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BW Businessworld

How We Did It

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Most of our country’s wealth is in business, and the assets and investments made by businessmen. So that’s a good place to start estimating the wealth of India’s richest people. Data is not always easy to come by, but listed companies can help you in the  endeavour.

There are three primary aspects to the 2013 edition of India’s Super Rich. First, we list (and rank) the businessmen whose holdings in their companies are worth (together) more than a billion rupees (Rs 100 crore). This includes equity investments made by promoters and their family members (above 1 per cent) in companies that belong
to others.

The Tatas are the richest business group in the country, but the bulk of their wealth is held in trusts. This year too, we kept the Tata trusts out of the list; for interested readers, the net worth of the Tata trusts has increased by 21.6 per cent, from Rs 165,651.05 crore as on 31 March 2012 to Rs 201,428.04 crore on 28 March 2013. If this wealth was included they would be ranked number one.

Second, we sought to identify new billionaires, that is, those whose holdings in their companies increased to Rs 100 crore or more in the past financial year. This year, the number of new billionaires is restricted to 24, thanks to an underperforming stock market over the past financial year.

Mirroring the trend, the number of dollar billionaires (promoter worth more than Rs 5,500 crore) has come down marginally to 44 from last year’s 46.

We started with data of 5,266 listed companies on the Bombay Stock Exchange taken from Accord Fintech’s Ace Equity database. We categorised companies based on promoter groups.

Next, we eliminated companies where the government holds the largest share, including public sector banks such as State Bank of India.

We also eliminated multinational companies whose parents are the principal shareholders. From this residual set of 4,488 companies, we calculated the promoter worth based on promoters’ holdings in their companies and market capitalisation as on 30 March 2012 and 28 March 2013. Promoter wealth across group companies were added together.

Promoters’ worth in smaller companies, in which their shareholding is worth less than Rs 100 crore, were also added up to arrive at their total wealth. Pledged shares were also included (since, technically, the promoters still own them) for valuing promoters’ net worth. Then, we added their investment over 1 per cent in the equity market. Finally, we eliminated all entries which added up to less than Rs 100 crore, leaving 1,028 companies.

Most promoters hold stakes in their companies through various family members, so in such cases we have treated the family as one unit.

In some companies, there are co-promoters who are not related to one another, but their holdings cannot be segregated because either the data is not available or because a major part of the promoter shareholding is held through corporate bodies. These promoters have been listed separately. Finally, what we have is a list of 467 rupee billionaires or billionaire families in India.

Wherever the promoters’ wealth differs from what BW | Businessworld carried in 2012, it is because either their stakes in certain small group entities were not taken into consideration or the entities were found to have delisted. 

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 17-06-2013)