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Billionaire Investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Identified As ‘India’s Warren Buffett,’ Dies At 62

Ace Indian investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, sometimes called the Warren Buffett of India, died Sunday morning at age 62. Jhunjhunwala, who had been battling well being issues for some time, had amassed a fortune value an estimated $5.8 billion. His shrewd inventory picks had earned him a cult following and he remained bullish concerning the Indian inventory market and his nation’s financial prospects to the tip. Jhunjhunwala traded on his personal account by way of his agency Uncommon Enterprises—a reputation coined from the primary two letters of his title and that of his spouse Rekha.

Reacting to the information of Jhunjhunwala’s loss of life, on the eve of India’s 75th Independence Day celebrations, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was indomitable. Energetic, witty and insightful, he leaves behind an indelible contribution to the monetary world. He was additionally very enthusiastic about India’s progress. His passing away is saddening. My condolences to his household and admirers. Om Shanti.”

Banker Uday Kotak, a self-made billionaire like Jhunjhunwala, said on Twitter: “Rakesh Jhunjhunwala: my college and school mate. One 12 months my junior. Believed inventory India was undervalued. He’s proper. Amazingly sharp in understanding monetary markets. We spoke repeatedly, extra so throughout Covid. Will miss you Rakesh!”

Son of an income-tax officer, Jhunjhunwala began dabbling in shares whereas nonetheless learning commerce in school in Mumbai. He certified as a chartered accountant and started investing in 1985 with simply $100. As a younger investor, he discovered a mentor in inventory market veteran Radhakishan Damani at a time when the inventory market index was at 150; it now trades over 59,000.

Jhunjhunwala preceded his guru within the billionaire ranks, which he joined for the primary time in 2008. Damani debuted on the Forbes World Billionaires’ listing in 2017, the 12 months when he took his hypermarket chain Avenue Supermarts public. Whereas Jhunjhunwala was media savvy and outspoken, Damani maintains a low profile and avoids public interactions.

“Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was indomitable. Energetic, witty and insightful, he leaves behind an indelible contribution to the monetary world.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Jhunjhunwala’s portfolio consists of blue chips corresponding to watch-and-jewelry maker Titan Firm, a part of the Tata conglomerate, which is his greatest asset value over $1.5 billion. His different long-time holdings embrace automaker Tata Motors and rankings agency Crisil.

Whereas Jhunjhunwala was all the time cautious of backing new-age startups, in recent times, he had begun reaping a windfall from a clutch of personal fairness investments as these firms began getting listed. For instance, his 14% stake in footwear retailer Metro Manufacturers, which went public final December making its proprietor Rafique Malik a billionaire, is value over $400 million at the moment. He was additionally an early backer of gaming agency Nazara Applied sciences and normal insurer Star Well being and Allied Insurance coverage Firm-both listed final 12 months.

In what many noticed as a dangerous transfer, Jhunjhunwala’s most up-to-date guess was on a sector ravaged by Covid-19: aviation. Final 12 months, he invested $35 million for a 40% stake in low-cost airline Akasa, which made its inaugural flight earlier this month, flagged off by the nation’s aviation minister and with its superstar investor on board. Showing in a wheelchair, Jhunjhunwala mentioned that he was excited concerning the launch.

With a style for single malts and cigars, Jhunjhunwala favored to reside life king-size. He was reportedly constructing a 13-storey mansion in south Mumbai as his new house. A fan of Bollywood motion pictures, Jhunjhunwala financed just a few corresponding to English Vinglish and Ki & Ka.

On the similar time, Jhunjhunwala was among the many nation’s notable philanthropists with a namesake basis and mentioned a few years in the past that he needed to offer away 25% of his wealth inside his lifetime. Amongst a lot else, he was one of many founders and trustees of Ashoka College, a liberal arts college, and a daily donor to the Agastya Worldwide Basis, which gives science schooling to the poor. Ashoka College in a press release referred to as Jhunjhunwala one in all its most beneficiant donors and mentioned that he was as a consequence of go to the college later this 12 months to launch the Rakesh Jhunjhunwala College of Economics and Finance.

In 2020, when he featured on Forbes Asia’s list of Heroes of Philanthropy, he mentioned, “ Once I turned a billionaire in 2008, my father wasn’t excited by my web value however in how a lot I used to be going to offer away.” Jhunjhunwala is survived by his spouse and three youngsters.


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