Middle East retailing king Micky Jagtiani has been named the richest Indian in the Gulf by Forbes magazine. Seven Gulf-based Indians are included in the latest global ranking of rich Indians, with Jagtiani at number 17, worth $5.3 billion.
His Landmark Group, based in Dubai, started with one store in Bahrain in 1973 and now rakes in revenues of $5 billion annually, with 1800 stores across the region, Africa and India. The second richest Indian in the Gulf, according to Forbes, is Ravi Pillai, chairman and CEO of the RP Group of Companies.
His wealth grew 65 percent in the past year, to $2.8 billion, moving him four places up the ladder to 30. “I am honoured and thankful to Forbes for the ranking. However, I am even more delighted at the strong representation of Indian entrepreneurs from the region in the list, which underlines the contributions of Gulf-based NRIs to promoting all-round development here and in India,” Pillai said in a statement.
Pillai is the highest ranked Gulf tycoon originating from Kerala, and ranked above Lulu Group, Yusuffali MA, who was the third highest ranked GCC resident, at number 40, worth $2.3 billion.
Forbes said Lulu Group raked in $5.7 billion in revenues in the past year from its 110 hypermarkets, supermarkets and grocery outlets, mostly in the Middle East. It is now expanding to Africa, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Other Gulf-based Indians on the list were: Sunny Varkey, founder of the world’s largest private education company GEMS Education, (#55, worth $1.8 billion); property mogul PNC Menon (#70, $1.4 billion); BR Shetty, whose NMC Health is the UAE’s largest healthcare firm, (#86, $1.1 billion), Azad Moopon, who chairs Dubai-based Aster DM Healthcare, (#95, $1.1 billion).
It is the first time everyone in the top 100 is a billionaire, with combined wealth of $346 billion, up more than a third from 11 months ago, Forbes said. The richest is Mukesh Ambani, who has topped the list for 8 years in a row, with $23.6 billion. He added $2.6 billion to his wealth, even as his $55 billion (market cap) Reliance Industries, battles the federal government's decision to review a gas price increase approved by the previous regime.