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India’s billionaires Ambani and Adani obtained richer whereas coronavirus pushed hundreds of thousands into poverty

But as these Indians struggle to live on a few dollars a day, the country’s ultra-wealthy have gotten even richer and more influential, as their combined fortunes have soared by tens of billions of dollars in the last year.

Mukesh Ambani — chairman of the sprawling conglomerate Reliance Industries — is now worth more than $80 billion, some $15 billion more than a year ago, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Not far behind him is Adani Group founder Gautam Adani, whose wealth skyrocketed from less than $13 billion this time last year to $55 billion today.

The two men, who are now the first and fourth richest men in Asia, respectively, are worth more than the GDP of some nations. Their diverging fortunes with fellow Indians are symbolic of a rising wealth gap that has hammered many across the world, and which has become particularly pronounced in Asia’s third largest economy, which accounted for more than half of the global increase in poverty in 2020.

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