Indian flavour gets stronger on Forbes' lists

Sonia, Manmohan among most powerful; 50 on billionaire list

Indian flavour gets stronger on Forbes'  lists

Congress president Sonia Gandhi was placed ninth on the list of most powerful persons in the world. Gandhi was described as a person who wields unequalled influence over 1.2 billion Indians and “after being elected as Congress president for the record fourth term she has cemented her status as true heiress to the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty.”
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been ranked 18th in the list, headed by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Forbes described Singh as “Soft-spoken Oxford-trained economist credited with transforming India’s quasi-socialist economy into world’s second-fastest growing”. The other Indians who made to the list included Reliance Industries CMD Mukesh Ambani and NRI industrialist Lakshmi Mittal who are ranked 34th and 44th respectively.

President Jintao, who rules over one-fifth of world’s population was described as a person who “unlike Western counterparts, can divert rivers, build cities, jail dissidents and censor internet without meddling from pesky bureaucrats, courts.”

US President Barack Obama, who last year topped the list, was placed behind Hu at second while Saudi King Abdullah stood third. Pakistan’s Army Chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani was at 29th in the list, while Osama Bin Laden was at 57th and India’s most wanted Dawood Ibrahim at 63th spot.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin held the fourth place and Pope Benedict XVI the fifth, while German Chancellor was at sixth place, British Prime Minister David Cameron at seventh and Chairman of US Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke at eighth place in the list.

Among the World Billionaires, steel czar Lakshmi Mittal with a net worth of $31.1 billion grabbed the sixth place with net profits of ArcelorMittal, world’s largest steel-maker, rising 18-fold to $2.9 billion in 2010 on recovery in demand for the commodity and higher margins.

Mukesh Ambani with a net worth $27 billion was ranked ninth on the world list, while the head of consumer products to outsourcing giant Wipro, Azim Premji, was next ranked 36th with a net worth of $16.8 billion. “The largest such endowment by an individual in India makes Premji one of Asia’s biggest donors,” said the magazine, referring to a donation of $2 billion worth of shares last year to a trust to fund his Azim Premji Foundation.

Among the top 10 Indians on the list were Shashi and Ravi Ruia, with a net worth of $15.8 billion, Savitri Jindal and family ($13.2 billion), Gautam Adani ($10 billion), Kumar Mangalam Birla ($9.2 billion), Anil Ambani ($8.8 billion), Sunil Mittal and family ($8.3 billion), and Adi Godrej and family ($7.3 billion).

Mexican on top

For the second year in a row, Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helu takes the title of world’s richest man with a record-breaking fortune of $74 billion. His net worth grew $20.5 billion in a year.

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, 55, was second again as his net worth rose $3 billion to $56 billion. Warren Buffett, 80, chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., held on to third place with $50 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old co-founder and chief executive officer of social-networking website Facebook Inc jumped to 52nd this year from 212th place last year. There are now 1,210 billionaires in the world and 214 new members joined the club in 2010, while only 47 dropped off the list last year.

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