In September of last year, Indian businessman Gautam Adani became the first Asian to rank second on the global list of billionaires (those with a net worth of more than $1 billion) as the proportion of the world’s wealthiest persons who are Asian continues to grow.
Although most of the world’s wealthiest people are still Americans, data from different sources reveals that Asians are steadily moving to the top of the global wealth ladder. Adani was named the first Asian to make the top three in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index in late August, according to Indian media. Forbes, a business magazine in the United States, later validated the rating.
With this in mind, we thought we would look at some of the wealthiest Asian business owners and try to get an insight into their success. To compile this list, we scoured the entirety of Asia (albeit from our offices,) addressing many different industries. We’ve explored everything from the wealthiest import and export business owners to the richest casino owners; no stone has been left unturned. So, without further ado, we give you Asia’s most affluent business owners.
1. Mukesh Ambani
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Mukesh Ambani’s father, the late Dhirubhai Ambani, began his career as a yarn trader in the 1960s. He founded Reliance Industries, which started in 1966 as a small-scale textile manufacturing company. Mukesh Ambani, the richest Asian in 2023, now leads the vast Reliance Industries conglomerate.
Mukesh Ambani is the driving force behind the success of some of RIL’s most well-known subsidiaries, including Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL), Reliance Industrial Infrastructure Limited, Reliance Retail, Reliance Institute of Life Sciences, Reliance Logistics and Reliance Clinical Research Services.
2. Jack Ma
Jack Ma is one of Asia’s wealthiest billionaires and one of the most inspiring personalities on our list. Ma has been steadily rising the ranks for some time and has finally reached the top. Jack Ma is the founder of Alibaba Group and a Chinese business entrepreneur.
He went from being rejected by KFC, Harvard, and numerous other opportunities to starting one of the world’s most valuable corporations. Jack Ma’s net worth is currently estimated to be $38.2 billion.
3. Gautam Adani
Gautam Adani, the 11th richest person in the world, is an Indian infrastructure entrepreneur with a $90 billion net worth. His family runs Gujarat’s Mundra Port, India’s largest commercial port. Besides infrastructure, Adani’s family is also into real estate, commodities, power generation, power transmission, coal mining, airport operations, and renewable energy.
4. Zhong Shanshan
Zhong Shanshan is the founder and chairman of Nongfu Spring, a Hong Kong-listed bottled water company that went public on September 8. On September 24, the company’s stock was up 77%, making Shanshan the wealthiest person in China and the 17th richest person in the world. Furthermore, Shanshan owns a majority ownership in Wantai Biological Pharmacy, a company that worked on a coronavirus treatment.
5. Ma Huateng
Ma Huateng (commonly known as Pony Ma) is the CEO of Chinese Internet behemoth Tencent Holdings, which has one of the most significant market capitalizations in the country. As a result, he is the second richest man in China for the third year in a row, and he has risen from 20th to 15th place in the global rankings.
6. Li Ka-Shing
Li Ka-Shing is one of Asia’s wealthiest and among the list’s richest self-made business tycoons. In addition, he is the sole Hong Kong resident on the list. Li, 94, is regarded as one of Asia’s most prominent corporate heavyweights.
His reputation for astute commercial deals has earned him the moniker “Superman.” In 1940, the Chinese business magnate moved with his parents to Hong Kong from mainland China. He started working at 15, and his company now spans everything from shipping and telecommunications to biotechnology, with employees in 52 countries.
7. Zhang Yiming
Yiming founded ByteDance, one of China’s primary social media sites. If you are unfamiliar with this corporation, it is the parent company of the worldwide phenomenon TikTok. Yiming has stunned everyone by becoming one of the youngest people in history to become one of Asia’s wealthiest people.
He is only 39 years old and was previously named to the Forbes China 30 under 30 list in 2013. His businesses have only increased since then, and his net worth is now believed to be approximately 49.5 billion USD.
8. Robin Zheng
Image source: https://forbes.com/
Robin Zeng, commonly known as Zeng Yuqun, is a Chinese billionaire entrepreneur and the Chairman and Founder of Contemporary Amperex Technologies (CATL).
CATL is a well-known Chinese battery manufacturer specializing in producing lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Zeng is one of the wealthiest people in China and Asia.
In conclusion, the rise of Asian billionaires in recent years is undeniable, as seen by the success of business tycoons like Mukesh Ambani, Jack Ma, Gautam Adani, Zhong Shanshan, Ma Huateng, Li Ka-Shing, Zhang Yiming, and Robin Zheng. These individuals have built their wealth through various industries, ranging from technology to infrastructure, and have established themselves as some of the most prominent corporate heavyweights in the world.
Their stories of success serve as an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs and highlight the economic power shift from West to East. It will be interesting to see how the list of Asia’s wealthiest business owners evolves in the years to come.