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The Year That Was: 2007
Rediff looks back at the highs and lows, the successes and failures, the heroes and villains, the wild and the overblown that made this year.
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The 10 richest Indians

December 14, 2007

It was a celebration of wealth throughout 2007. With the stock markets on a roll, India's billionaire entrepreneurs had an extraordinarily good year, with a slight churn in the list of richest Indians. Here's a look at the 10 richest Indians:

Mukesh Ambani: The richest man on earth?

2007 has been an extraordinary one for Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani. The 50-year-old's net worth shot up to $63.2 billion on the back of a booming stock market on October 29, making him the richest Indian in the world. Some media reports said Mukesh was now the richest man in the world, but the jury is still out on that.

During this year, the combined market capitalisation of four of his group companies -- Reliance Industries, Reliance Petroleum, IPCL and Reliance Industrial Infrastructure Ltd -- crossed the Rs 500,000 crore mark.

Although he is a modest man, Mukesh Ambani is currently building a 60-storey apartment at Mumbai's Malabar Hill. The building is estimated to cost $1 billion and is being designed after the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. It is expected to be completed by next September.

The media went into a tizzy when he bought his wife Nita a Rs 242 crore (Rs 2.42 billion), customised corporate jet on her birthday on November 1. The aircraft, an Airbus 319, has all the luxury trappings associated with the lifestyle of jet-setting kind such as a sky bar, a master bedroom as well as a bathroom with fancy showers.

The only setback for Ambani this year came in the form of opposition to Reliance Fresh, the retail chain division of Reliance Industries from small, local retailers. The latter attacked the Reliance Fresh stores, claiming that these stores would put their existence at stake. As a result, Reliance Fresh had to pull out of Uttar Pradesh.

Text: rediff Business Desk | Photograph: Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images
Also read: Mukesh Ambani on his childhood, youth
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