Gautam Adani: The panicked Indian entrepreneur in the stock market
Indian industrialist Gautam Adani is the richest person in Asia. Its business empire spanned coal, airport, cement and the media, now rocked by allegations of corporate fraud and a stock market crash.
But the billionaire who lost $25 billion in his net worth this week. And tumbling from No. 3 to No. 7 on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people is one of the business world’s great survivors.
On New Year’s Day 1998, Adani and his associates were reportedly kidnapped by gunmen for a $1.5 million ransom, before being later released to an unknown location.
A decade later, he dined at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai while it was surrounded by armed groups. which killed 160 people in one of India’s worst terrorist attacks.
Adani was reportedly trapped by hundreds of others, hiding in the basement all night before security helped him the next morning.
“I saw death from 15 feet away,” he said of his experience after the private plane landed that day in his home city of Ahmedabad.
Adani, now 60, stands apart from his contemporaries among India’s mega-rich. Many of them are known for hosting lavish birthday celebrations and weddings. which was later circulated around the pages of newspaper gossip
Introverted, introverted, introverted, and rarely speaks to the media Usually sends the lieutenant to company events.
“I’m not a very social person who wants to go to parties,” he told the Financial Times in a 2013 interview.
Adani was born in Ahmedabad into a middle-class family. But left school at 16 and moved to the financial capital of Mumbai to find work in the lucrative jewelery trade.
Shortly after his brother’s plastic business was discontinued. He launched his namesake flagship group in 1988, branching out into export trade.
His big break came seven years later with a contract to build and operate a commercial shipping port in his home state of Gujarat.
It became the largest port in India at a time when the port was largely government-owned. It is a legacy of the sclerosis planning economy that has hampered growth for decades and is in the process of being dismantled.
Adani in 2009 expanded into the coal business. This is a lucrative sector for a country that is still almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels to meet its energy needs. However, the decision caught international attention as he quickly rose to the list of India’s billionaires.
Adani Group shares have tumbled since the publication of a report alleging fraud.
His purchase of underutilized coal basins the following year sparked years of “Stop Adani” protests in Australia following disappointment over the project’s enormous environmental impact.
A similar controversy plagued his coal projects in central India. The forest which is home to the tribal community has been cut down for mining.
Adani’s $900 million coastal port project in the southern state of Kerala has been the site of violent clashes between the police and the local fishing community, which has demanded a halt to its construction.
Adani is seen as a follower of Hindu patriot Prime Minister Narendra Modi. which is a Gujarati friend and link his business interests with the interests of “Building a Nation”
He has invested in strategic priorities of the government. in the past few years He launched a green energy business with ambitious goals.
Last year, he launched and completed the takeover of NDTV, a hostile media outlet. It is a television news service that is considered one of the few media outlets willing to openly criticize the Indian leader.
Adani brushed off fears for press freedom, but told the Financial Times that journalists should “Courage” to say “when the government does the right thing every day”
The billionaire also channeled Modi’s harsh rhetoric when discussing the historical injustices faced by British rule in India.
“A country crushed and drained by colonial rulers. Today it stands at the cusp of extraordinary growth,” he told a business forum in November.
But the Adani Group’s rapid expansion into capital-intensive businesses raised alarm bells. By affiliates of Fitch and CreditSights, market researchers warned last year that it was
This week, a shocking report from US investment firm Hindenburg Research claimed that the conglomerate was involved in a “Ridiculous stock manipulation and accounting fraud schemes over the past several decades.”
Hindenburg said that the form of Decades of “government concessions” have made investors, journalists, citizens and politicians reluctant to challenge their behaviour. “For fear of retaliation.”
The Adani Group has lost more than $45 billion in market capitalization since the report was published. And the company’s chief legal officer announced on Thursday that The company is exploring punitive action against Hindenburg in US and Indian courts.
Global CIO Office chief executive Gary Dugan told Bloomberg on Friday that the problems facing the Adani empire are “At the heart” of India’s business sector and the dominance of family-controlled companies.
“Naturally, these things are unclear. And investors around the world must trust the issue of corporate governance,” he said.