Gautam Adani

Gautam Shantilal Adani (born 24 June 1962) is an Indian billionaire industrialist who is the chairman and founder of Adani Group, a multinational conglomerate involved in port development and operations in India.[2][3]

Gautam Adani
Gautam Adani.jpg
Adani in 2012
Born
Gautam Shantilal Adani

(1962-06-24) 24 June 1962 (age 60)
EducationGujarat University (dropped out, 1978)[1]
Occupation(s)Businessman, Industrialist
Years active1981–present
Title
SpousePriti Adani
Children2, including Karan Adani
RelativesPranav Adani (nephew)
WebsiteOfficial website

In January 2023, Hindenburg Research, a US investment research firm, released a report accusing Adani and his companies of stock manipulation and fraud.[4] Shortly after, Adani's personal fortune has plummeted by over $50 billion.[5][6][7][8][9] According to the Forbes and Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Adani's net worth is estimated at $59 billion as of 6 February 2023, making him the 21st richest person in the world. [10][2]

Early life

Adani was born on 24 June 1962 in a Gujarati Jain family to Shantilal Adani (father) and Shantaben Adani (mother) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.[1][11] He has 7 siblings. His parents had migrated from the town of Tharad in the northern part of Gujarat.[12] He is a school drop out and never completed his education.[6] His father was a small textile merchant.[13]

He was educated at Sheth Chimanlal Nagindas Vidyalaya school in Ahmedabad. He enrolled for a bachelor's degree in commerce at Gujarat University, but dropped out after the second year.[14] Adani was keen on business, but not his father's textile business.[15]

Career

As a teenager, Adani moved to Mumbai in 1978 to work as a diamond sorter for Mahendra Brothers.[16]

In 1981, his elder brother Mahasukhbhai Adani bought a plastics unit in Ahmedabad and invited him to manage the operations. This venture turned out to be Adani's gateway to global trading through polyvinyl chloride (PVC) imports.[14]

In 1985, he started importing primary polymers for small-scale industries. In 1988, Adani established Adani Exports, now known as Adani Enterprises, the holding company of the Adani Group. Originally, the company dealt in agricultural and power commodities.[14]

In 1991, the economic liberalization policies turned out to be favorable for his company and he started expanding the businesses into trading of metals, textiles, and agro products.[14][17]

In 1994, the Government of Gujarat announced managerial outsourcing of the Mundra Port and in 1995, Adani got the contract.[18]

In 1995, he set up the first jetty. Originally operated by Mundra Port & Special Economic Zone, the operations were transferred to Adani Ports & SEZ (APSEZ). Today, the company is the largest private multi-port operator. Mundra Port is the largest private sector port in India, with the capacity of handling close to 210 million tons of cargo per annum.[19][20]

In 1996, the power business arm of the Adani Group, Adani Power, was founded by Adani. Adani Power holds thermal power plants with a capacity of 4620MW, the largest private thermal power producer of the country.[21]

In 2002, Adani was arrested by Delhi Police in execution of a non-bailable warrant(NBW), following a cheating complaint by a top of official of M S Shoes. The court withdrew the NBW the next day, after the court was informed that the parties were negotiating for a compromise.[22]

In 2006, Adani entered the power generation business.[23] From 2009 to 2012, he acquired Abbot Point Port in Australia and Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.[24]

In 2012, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office(SFIO) had filed a charge sheet against twelve accused including the Adani for cheating & criminal conspiracy related to purchase and sale of shares. According to SFIO, Adani Agro allegedly provided funds and shares for running illegal activities. A local court in Mumbai discharged Adani & other accused of this case in May, 2014.[25] However, in 2020, a Mumbai sessions court overturned the clean chit to Adani in this case.[26]

In May 2020, Adani won the world's largest solar bid by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) worth US$6 billion. The 8000MW photovoltaic power plant project will be taken up by Adani Green; Adani Solar will establish 2000MW of additional solar cell and module manufacturing capacity.[27][28]

In September 2020, Adani acquired a 74% stake in Mumbai International Airport, India's second busiest after Delhi.[29]

In November 2021, while speaking at the Bloomberg India Economic Forum, Adani said the group is investing US$70 billion in a new green energy business.[23][30][31] In July 2022, he offered new details on how this investment will be utilized to build three giant factories – solar, electrolyzer (to make green hydrogen), wind turbine plants.[32][33]

In February 2022, he became Asia's richest person, surpassing Mukesh Ambani.[34] In August 2022, he was named the 3rd richest person in the world by Fortune.[35]

In May 2022, Adani family acquired Ambuja Cements and its subsidiary ACC from Holcim Group for $10.5 billion, through an overseas special-purpose entity.[36]

In August 2022, AMG Media Networks Limited (AMNL), a unit of Adani Group, declared that it planned to buy RRPR Holding, owner of 29.18% of national news broadcaster NDTV, and made an open offer to buy a further 26%. In a statement, NDTV said that Adani acquired his stake via a third party without informing the company's founders, former journalist Radhika Roy and her economist husband Prannoy Roy, and that the deal was done “without discussion, consent or notice.”[37] This bid also raised concern regarding editorial independence in India, since Adani is considered to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.[3][38]

In January 2023, Adani and his companies were accused of stock manipulation by Hindenburg Research, a US investment company, in report titled "Adani Group: How The World's 3rd Richest Man Is Pulling The Largest Con In Corporate History". Following that, Adani Group stocks plummeted $45 billion. The losses resulted in Adani dropping from the 3rd richest person in the world to 22nd on Forbes' billionaires tracker.[39] The report accused the group of having substantial debt and being on a "precarious financial footing", causing stocks of seven listed Adani companies to fall 3-7%. The report was released ahead of Adani Enterprises' follow-on public offering, which opened on Friday, 27 January 2023.[40] The Adani Group's CFO (Jugeshinder 'Robbie' Singh)[41] stated that the timing of the report's publication was a "brazen, mala fide intention" to damage the offering.[40] The Adani Enterprises public offering was cancelled on 1 February 2023.[42]

The Adani Group said that the Hindenburg Research report was "malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale" information,[40] and that it was "evaluating the relevant provisions under U.S. and Indian laws for remedial and punitive action against Hindenburg Research".[43][44] Alison Frankel (a senior legal writer at Reuters) wrote that it was unlikely that the Adani Group would sue Hindenburg in the U.S. because American courts usually regard financial analysis as protected opinion under American free speech laws.[45] "The Adani Group has published a 413-page rebuttal to claims by Hindenburg Research".[46][47]

Political views

 
Secretary of State John Kerry greets Gautam Adani, 2014.

Adani has been described as being close to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party.[3][38] This has led to allegations of cronyism as his firms have won many Indian energy and infrastructure government contracts.[48] With an Indian government auditor accusing Modi in 2012 of giving low cost fuel from a Gujarat state-run gas company to Adani and other businesspeople.[49]

Adani and Modi have both denied allegations of cronyism.[50] The Economist has described Adani as a "a master operator", skilled at "navigating the complicated legal and political landscape of Indian capitalism," although the newsmagazine cautions that his firm is known for its "Byzantine" structure and opaque finances.[46]

Personal life

Gautam Adani is married to Priti Adani. The couple have two sons, Karan Adani and Jeet Adani.[51] In January 1998, Adani and an associate, Shantilal Patel, were allegedly abducted and held hostage for ransom, but were released without collecting the money.[52][53] Two former gangsters Fazl-ur-Rehman and Bhogilal Darji, were accused of the kidnapping. They were acquitted in an Indian court in 2018, after Adani and Patel did not show up for depositions, despite multiple summons by the court.[53][50]

Adani was in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel during the 2008 Mumbai attacks.[54][55]

Philanthropy

Adani is the owner of the diversified conglomerate Adani Foundation, funded through the Adani Group. It was founded in 1996. Other than Gujarat, the organisation operates in the states of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha.[56]

In March 2020, he contributed 100 crore (US$13 million) to the PM Cares Fund through his group's philanthropy arm, to fight the Coronavirus outbreak.[57] A contribution of 5 crore (US$630,000) was made to the Gujarat CM Relief Fund and 1 crore (US$130,000) to the Maharashtra CM Relief Fund.[58]

Adani led Adani Group imported four ISO cryogenic tanks filled with 80 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen from Dammam in Saudi Arabia to Mundra in Gujarat. The group also secured 5,000 medical-grade oxygen cylinders from Linde Saudi Arabia. In a Twitter post, Adani shared that each day his group is supplying 1,500 cylinders with medical oxygen to wherever they are needed in the Kutch district of Gujarat.[59] In June 2022, Adani has committed to donate Rs 60,000 crore ($7.7 billion) to social causes. Adani's corpus will be administered by the Adani Foundation, making it one of the biggest transfers to a philanthropic trust in India.[60]

References

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