While Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has had quite a hold on the Indian market, making him one of the richest businessmen in Asia, he has now lost the title to Gautam Adani. The Indian billionaire businessman, who is the chairman and founder of the Adani Group, an Ahmedabad-based multinational conglomerate, now holds the title of the richest man in Asia.

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Reports suggest that Adani’s net worth increased drastically from April 2020. On 18 March 2020, his net worth was estimated at USD 4.91 billion, and it then saw a spike of over 1808 per cent in 20 months. This estimates to be a whopping USD 83.89 billion. Ambani’s net worth also saw an increase in this period, but only by 250 per cent, to approximately USD 54.7 billion.

So who is Gautam Adani, the man who surpassed Ambani? Here is everything we know about the Indian billionaire.

As mentioned, Adani is the chairman and founder of the Adani Group, and he is also the president of the Adani Foundation, which is primarily led by his wife, Priti Adani. He established the Adani Group in 1988 and expanded his business into resources, logistics, energy, agriculture, defence and aerospace, amongst others. He had a 66 per cent stake in Adani Ports & SEZ, 75 per cent stake in Adani Enterprises, 73 per cent stake in Adani Power, and a 75 per cent stake in Adani Transmission.

He moved to Mumbai in 1978 and picked up a job as a diamond sorter for Mahendra Brothers. After working for them for a couple of years, he ventured out to establish his own diamond brokerage firm at Zaveri Bazaar, Mumbai. The business expanded to PVC imports in 1981 when his elder brother, Mansukhbhai Adani, bought a plastics unit in Ahmedabad and handed over the operations to him. This was just the start for Adani, who worked meticulously to expand the business.

He also had set up the first jetty in 1995. Today, Adani Ports & SEZ (APSEZ) is the largest private multi-port operator. In May 2020, he also won the world’s largest solar bid by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) worth USD 6 billion, and in September 2020, the company acquired a 74 per cent stake in Mumbai International Airport.

But Adani has not only been focused on business. In 2020, he contributed ₹100 crores to the PM Cares Fund through his group’s philanthropy arm; a contribution of ₹5 crores was made to the Gujarat CM Relief Fund and ₹1 crore to the Maharashtra CM Relief Fund to fight the Coronavirus outbreak. The group also acquired 5,000 medical-grade oxygen cylinders from Linde Saudi Arabia.

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