Gautham Adani, a high school dropout-turned-millionaire and Asia’s richest man from India, said US short-sellers questioned his business practices and sold his company’s stock and shares.
Based in the state of Gujarat in western India, Adani has built a business empire from the ground up after starting out as a commodities he trader. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hails from the same state, and their relationship has been heavily scrutinized by Modi’s opponents for years. has exploded. His interests include ports, power generation, airports, mining, cooking oils, renewable energy and most recently media and cement.
According to Forbes, his net worth is $127 billion, making him the third richest person in the world after Bernard Arnault and Elon Musk. He is married to his dentist, Priti Adani, and has two sons of his, Karan and Jeet, both of whom work for a company.
Despite his wealth, the 60-year-old, who hails from a middle-class textile family, was far less well-known than other billionaires in a country where many inherit wealth.
His business style has been described as “very pragmatic” by people with direct knowledge of his business.
As Adani’s empire expanded, the stocks of his seven publicly traded companies soared. In aggressive expansion, in some cases he has risen more than 1,500% over the past three years. He dismissed claims that Modi’s opponents benefited from their close relationship.
In a 2014 interview with Reuters, when asked if he was friends with Modi, Adani said he has friends in various political circles but avoids politics.
He said no political leader was behind his success and when asked during an interview about Modi’s use of Adani jets, Adani said Modi “paid in full”. rice field.
In recent years, the Adani Group’s $220 billion empire has attracted foreign investment. For example, France’s Total Energies partnered with Adani last year to develop the world’s largest green hydrogen ecosystem.
These days, Adani takes a proactive approach to building her public image, interviewing local and international media.
Appearing on the popular Hindi-language TV show People’s Court this month, Adani sat in a mock witness stand in court, answering questions about his conglomerate and subjecting him to an extraordinary level of scrutiny. He described himself as a “shy person” and said his popularity skyrocketed thanks to the political attacks he faced. bottom.
“People knew who Adani was because he continued to target him during and after the 2014 elections,” Adani said on the show, referring to parliamentary opposition leader Rahul Gandhi. Did.
Three weeks later, shares of his group’s publicly traded companies plunged on Friday, taking his cumulative losses this week to $48 billion. Short-seller Hindenburg Research on Wednesday accused the Adani firm of abusing offshore tax havens and raised concerns about its high debt. Adani called the report baseless and said he was considering taking action.
Adani On his group’s website, he seeks to balance ‘growth and goodness’ with the aim of building assets of national importance and transforming lives through self-reliance and sustainability. is the vision.
Adani is no stranger to controversy. Most recently, he sued the state government and fishermen’s leaders during months of protests by fishermen against his $900 million investment in building a port in the southern Indian state of Kerala. rice field. Also in Australia, environmentalists have been working on his Carmichael coal mine project in Adani, Queensland for years, citing concerns about carbon dioxide emissions and damage to the Great Barrier Reef. I protested.
His latest challenge is to deal with an unprecedented share price drop as the group’s flagship, Adani Enterprises, launched the nation’s largest public offering this week with the goal of raising $2.5 billion. That’s it.
The stock fell well below the offer price on Friday, calling into question its success.
Imagery guru Dilip Cherian told Reuters the Hindenburg report and its fallout could pose a risk of damaging Adani’s reputation, but the damage has been done. and take steps to draw investors’ attention to the strength of the group’s finances and assets. Stock sales are successful.
“Given his glorious rise, it is dangerous,” he said Cherian.
Adani told India Today TV in December that people questioning the group’s debts did not dig deep into their finances without saying who he was referring to. Adani was spotted en route to a meeting at the Federal Energy Minister’s office in New Delhi when a market crisis erupted on the stock exchange. It was unclear what was discussed, and Adani Group did not respond to a request for comment on Friday. Hindenberg claims that major Adani-listed companies have “massive debt” that puts the entire group on a “precarious financial position”, but the Adani Group has repeatedly said its borrowings are manageable. Investors have not expressed any concerns.