THE RICHEST INDIAN
How Dilip Shanghvi outdid Mukesh Ambani
The impossible has happened, and a virtually unknown, self-made entrepreneur has surpassed the mighty Mukesh Ambani as India’s richest man. Read on and find out exactly how Dilip Shanghvi created a pharmaceutical empire out of a 10,000 loan from his father.
‘Iam not here to sack people, that’s not my style. I believe in continuity and if you look around our company’s senior management team, most have been with me for years. I don’t believe in losing people.’ The room was tense and it was the first time that the senior brass at Ranbaxy met with their longtime competitor and now boss, Dilip Shanghvi. Ever since his company Sun Pharma had acquired Ranbaxy, they were jittery about their future. But, as Shanghvi addressed the room in his characteristic soft tone, dressed in his crisp white shirt, he was the very picture of reassurance and stability.
He even lightened the mood by reminiscing about how he tried to impress his would be wife by telling her that if they ran the business well, they could earn ` 1 crore a year. Considering that he is now worth $21.8 billion, ` 1 crore must now seem like chump change. But the point that he was trying to make to that room full of nervous Ranbaxy executives was the massive gap between his aspirations and his achievement, a gap that seems poised to widen even further.
The closed door meeting that was reported in The Economics Times (ET) did much to restore the morale at Ranbaxy. Despite the potentially hostile managers, it was a situation he was much more comfortable handling compared to the media attention he’d been getting ever since he was declared the richest Indian in the world in a list compiled by Bloomberg.
‘I am not comfortable at all with this tag of being dubbed the richest Indian and all the attention that follows. The truth is that I like to focus on my work and do it right, money is incidental,’ Shanghvi told ET after the list was out.
The news came as a shock to most that a virtually unknown man (outside his industry) beat the mighty Mukesh Ambani, whose name has become a byword for limitless wealth and untouchable power. Where Reliance Industries is seen as ubiquitous, Sun Pharma isn’t even the most widely known pharmaceutical brand. But somehow, some way, this soft spoken 59-year- old selfmade billionaire, managed to escape our notice while he became both the richest Indian and the richest pharmaceutical tycoon in the world.