Mukesh Ambani attends the Nana Chudasama's Book launch 'History on Banner' on June 17, 2010 in Mumbai, India.//Chairperson of Indian conglomerate Adani Group, Gautam Adani delivers his speech during the inauguration 6th the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) in Kolkata, India, Wednesday

Mukesh Ambani (L) and Gautam Adani (R) have grown their empires for years without competing directly with each other.Debajyoti Chakraborty/NurPhoto via Getty Images and Prodip Guha/Getty Images

  • Two of Asia’s moguls now rank among the world’s top 10 wealthiest people.

  • Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani own giant multi-sector companies in a rapidly developing India.

  • The two moguls may soon butt heads as their empires grow larger.

Editor’s note: This story was first published in August 2022 and has been updated to reflect the most recent financial figures.

Billionaires Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani are both central figures in the rapid growth of India’s industries.

A girl walks past a Reliance Jio store in Kolkata, India, 03 March, 2021.A girl walks past a Reliance Jio store in Kolkata, India, 03 March, 2021.

A girl walks past a Reliance Jio store in Kolkata, India, 03 March, 2021.Indranil Aditya/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani have both seen a meteoric rise in their wealth in the last decade as they’ve dominated India’s energy, infrastructure, retail, and defense development industries.

But it’s in the last three years that the pair has seen its fortunes roar to heights unprecedented in Asia.

Adani, whose personal wealth grew from around $13 billion in 2020 to $110 billion as of December 27, is now the third-richest person in the world, per Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index. That puts him and his fortune ahead of Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett.

Ambani is currently the world’s ninth-richest person, with a net worth of $85 billion as of December 27, per the index. He’s still seen a great leap in wealth since 2020, when he was worth around $32 billion.

We took a look at each of the two billionaires’ business empires, fortunes, and real-estate investments. Representatives for Ambani and Adani did not respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

NET WORTH: Gautam Adani is the only top 10 billionaire who grew his personal fortune this year.

Gautam Adani (R) interacts Chief economic advisor Amit Mitra (L) during sixth edition of Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) with industrial stalwarts and representatives from 49 countries at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, New Town on April 20, 2022 in Kolkata, India.Gautam Adani (R) interacts Chief economic advisor Amit Mitra (L) during sixth edition of Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) with industrial stalwarts and representatives from 49 countries at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, New Town on April 20, 2022 in Kolkata, India.

Gautam Adani (R) interacts Chief economic advisor Amit Mitra (L) during sixth edition of Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) with industrial stalwarts and representatives from 49 countries at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, New Town on April 20, 2022 in Kolkata, India.Samir Jana/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Amid a rocky economy and a post-COVID slump for most of the world’s richest people, Adani is the standout this year. He made $33.8 billion over the last 12 months, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

That makes him the only top 10 billionaire to post gains this year so far, while high-profile plutocrats like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos lost $132 billion and $84 billion respectively, per Bloomberg.

Once a college dropout, Adani overtook Ambani in February as the richest man in Asia, after his wealth skyrocketed by $12 billion in the first two months of 2022.

He was briefly the world’s second-richest person in September, behind only Elon Musk’s then-$263.9 billion fortune, according to Bloomberg. But he was later knocked down from the spot after Louis Vuitton founder Bernard Arnault enjoyed a post-COVID boost in luxury brand sales.

Mukesh Ambani, the second-richest person in Asia, is an energy mogul who recently started dominating India’s telecom space.

Neeta Ambani, Mukesh Ambani,Anant Ambani and Isha Ambani attend the IPL opening celebration on March 11, 2010 in Mumbai, India.Neeta Ambani, Mukesh Ambani,Anant Ambani and Isha Ambani attend the IPL opening celebration on March 11, 2010 in Mumbai, India.

Mukesh Ambani and his family attend the IPL opening celebration in 2010.Prodip Guha/Getty Images

Ambani is currently worth $85.4 billion, making him the second-richest person in Asia, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He nearly tripled his wealth during the pandemic — his net worth was around $36 billion in 2020, per Forbes.

Ambani’s telecom company, Jio Infocomm, has seen a staggering rise: It claims to have accrued more than 350 million subscribers in the first five years after its launch in 2015. This year, Jio Infocomm was estimated to have around 410 million subscribers, according to the company’s latest annual reports.

BUSINESS EMPIRE: Adani Group, a powerhouse in energy, logistics, and renewal resources, saw profits soar over the last few years.

Wespro, India's largest state-of-the-art coal terminal at the Adani Port in Gujarat, India.Wespro, India's largest state-of-the-art coal terminal at the Adani Port in Gujarat, India.

Wespro, India’s largest state-of-the-art coal terminal at the Adani Port in Gujarat, India.Soumik Kar/Getty Images

The Adani Group, founded in 1988, is Adani’s multi-industry powerhouse firm based in India. Its share price has jumped nearly 20-fold since August 2020, and the company hit $260 billion in market value in September.

Adani Group’s ports and terminals are its hallmark trade. Adani first developed a port in 1995 in his home province of Gujarat, and it claims to be India’s largest private commercial port. It now operates alongside 12 other Adani ports and terminals along India’s coast.

The organization also has businesses in power-grid distribution, gas, solar, and thermal power, data centers, real estate, airports, water management, retail for fruit and edible oils, and financial services, according to its annual report.

Adani’s recent success is often attributed to his companies moving in lockstep with India’s leadership.

The Adani Group made significant gains this year by expanding beyond coal and fossil fuels, investing billions into green energy industries as Prime Minister Narendra Modi also pushes India toward renewable power.

Modi has also established a vision for India to boost its defence equipment exports and lower its dependence on foreign military supplies. Meanwhile, Adani Group has started developing UAVs, small arms and ammo, and counter drone technology, helping it secure contracts with the Indian Armed Forces.

Ambani’s Reliance Industries is a heavyweight in oil and gas. It also owns India’s biggest telco.

Of the 1,394 petrol pumps that Reliance operates, 518 are company owned and the remaining dealer operated,RIL outperforms industry in petrol, diesel sales from its 1,400-odd outlets, near Kolkata in 2020.Of the 1,394 petrol pumps that Reliance operates, 518 are company owned and the remaining dealer operated,RIL outperforms industry in petrol, diesel sales from its 1,400-odd outlets, near Kolkata in 2020.

Of the 1,394 petrol pumps that Reliance operates, 518 are company owned and the remaining dealer operated,RIL outperforms industry in petrol, diesel sales from its 1,400-odd outlets, near Kolkata in 2020.Debajyoti Chakraborty/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ambani’s Reliance Industries started growing exponentially around 2014, according to its annual reports, putting it ahead of the Adani Group in its rise to prominence.

In 2020, it became the first Indian company to cross an estimated $200 billion in market value, although the Adani Group also achieved that milestone this year.

Reliance Industries has delved into fewer sectors than the Adani Group, focusing instead on several core pillars such as gas production, media and entertainment, digital services, retail stores, and oil refinement — its biggest business, per its 2021-2022 annual report.

Its oil refining ventures alone raked in $40 billion in revenue last year, the report states.

The 38-year-old company operates India’s largest telecom network through Jio Infocomm, which has grown by 120 million subscribers since the pandemic began.

Its vast retail network of 15,000 branded stores for toys, jewelry, clothing, and groceries covers at least 41.6 million square feet in total, per its annual report.

SPENDING HABITS: Adani keeps his wealth and assets low key, but reports say he owns at least three private jets, travels by chopper, and has a $50 million bungalow.

AW-139 model helicopter by Italian-British manufacturer AgustaWestland is seen during the 8th International Helicopter Industry Exhibition HeliRussia 2015, at the Crocus Expo Center, on May 21, 2015, in Moscow, Russia. International helicopter industry exhibition HeliRussia will take place in the comfortable walls of the IEC Crocus Expo on May 21-23, 2015.AW-139 model helicopter by Italian-British manufacturer AgustaWestland is seen during the 8th International Helicopter Industry Exhibition HeliRussia 2015, at the Crocus Expo Center, on May 21, 2015, in Moscow, Russia. International helicopter industry exhibition HeliRussia will take place in the comfortable walls of the IEC Crocus Expo on May 21-23, 2015.

AW-139 model helicopter by Italian-British manufacturer AgustaWestland is seen during the 8th International Helicopter Industry Exhibition HeliRussia 2015, at the Crocus Expo Center, on May 21, 2015, in Moscow, Russia. International helicopter industry exhibition HeliRussia will take place in the comfortable walls of the IEC Crocus Expo on May 21-23, 2015.Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Little of Adani’s lifestyle or spending is publicly known. Older news reports, such as a 2011 article from India’s Economic Times, say Adani built a helipad in his home and regularly travels via helicopter instead of on the road.

The Economic Times reported that one of these choppers is the Agusta Westland A139, a 15-seat twin-engined helicopter that’s marketed as both a luxury travel option as well as a vehicle for law enforcement or fire and rescue work. The chopper can cost up to $9.65 million, according to aircraft sales website AVBuyer.

In 2012, the outlet reported that Adani owns three private jets — a Canadian Challenger 605, an Embraer Legacy 650, and a Hawker Beechcraft 850XP.

NDTV reported in 2020 that Adani purchased a $50 million residential property in New Delhi, citing a bid by his company. But while Ambani has given tours of his luxurious home before, the exact location and features of Adani’s home are not publicly known.

On social media, Adani shies away from flashy posts. One of the only personal photos he’s ever tweeted was of him and his family celebrating his birthday with a cake at home.

Ambani’s family lives in a 27-floor mansion replete with helicopter pads, a snow room, and a garage for 168 cars.

The twenty-seven storey Antilia, the newly-built residence of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, is seen in Mumbai on October 19, 2010. The 400,000 square foot residence, named after a mythical island in the Atlantic, is expected to be occupied by Ambani, his wife and three children later in the year. The building has three helicopter pads, underground parking for 160 cars, and requires some 600 staff to run.The twenty-seven storey Antilia, the newly-built residence of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, is seen in Mumbai on October 19, 2010. The 400,000 square foot residence, named after a mythical island in the Atlantic, is expected to be occupied by Ambani, his wife and three children later in the year. The building has three helicopter pads, underground parking for 160 cars, and requires some 600 staff to run.

The twenty-seven storey Antilia is seen in Mumbai on October 19, 2010. The 400,000 square foot residence, named after a mythical island in the Atlantic, is expected to be occupied by Ambani, his wife and three children later in the year. The building has three helicopter pads, underground parking for 160 cars, and requires some 600 staff to run.INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images

Ambani’s home, fleet of luxury vehicles, family events, and vacations have been the subject of vast public scrutiny.

He and his family live in Antilia, a 400,000-square-foot mansion with 27 floors, three helipads, a 168-car garage, nine elevators, and a snow room, per Architectural Digest.

According to The South China Morning Post, it takes around 600 staff to run Antilia and maintain its ballroom, temple, and 50-seat theater.

The outlet also reported that Antilia is outfitted with a snow room that pumps artificial snow on demand, as well as its own ice cream parlor.

Ambani made international headlines in 2018, when it was said that the wedding of his daughter, Isha Ambani, cost around $100 million. The 600 attendees of the high-profile event included Beyoncé, Hillary Clinton, Bollywood legend Shah Rukh Khan, and Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington.

Ambani also owns more than 170 luxury cars, including a $2 million Rolls-Royce Cullinan with a $128,000 paint job, per Luxury Launches, an Indian lifestyle news website.

Recently, Ambani booked his family into suites at Switzerland’s luxurious Bürgenstock Resort at around $74,000 per night in July.

Ambani and Adani grew their empires separately for years, but in 2022 signs emerged that a momentous clash could be drawing ever closer.

Mukesh Ambani stands next to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an event celebrating the launch of 5G services in India.Mukesh Ambani stands next to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an event celebrating the launch of 5G services in India.

Mukesh Ambani stands next to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an event celebrating the launch of 5G services in India.Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Though they operate in some of the same industries, Adani and Ambani’s gigantic multi-sector companies have largely steered clear of direct competition with one another.

They dodged a clash over a telecommunications bid in August, when Adani was said to be keen on vying for India’s first 5G airwaves — new territory for him, but one of Ambani’s main pillars of business. He ultimately declined to challenge the bid, Bloomberg reported.

Still, the rapid growth of each billionaire’s business territory has given rise to speculation that the two giants will eventually go head-to-head over a massive deal, Bloomberg wrote.

Adani and Ambani’s companies have been competing for other smaller deals this year, such as when they both tried in November to acquire the beleaguered Future Retail, which was once India’s second-largest retail company but defaulted on its loans.

Ambani’s Reliance landed the purchase, though it later dropped the deal because Future Retail’s creditors didn’t approve of its $3.4 billion offer.

In the same month, Adani’s and Ambani’s groups both expressed interest in purchasing the same assets from an insolvent energy company, Lanco Infratech.

But both backed off from the auction on December 1, citing concerns over a reported violation in the sale process, local media reported.

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