The annual tabulation of the wealthy in the UK reveals that a number of Indian-origin businessmen are making it big.
When Brexit was announced, shockwaves were sent across the world triggering fears of severe economic impact on the UK and the world. However, as an annual rich list has revealed, the wealthiest individuals in the country have mostly gained and grown in stature. Among these are numerous Indians and Indian-origin businessmen, with Hinduja brothers’ combined wealth topping the list.
The Sunday Times Rich List 2017 revealed the number of billionaires in UK growing to 134, a record breaking number. Indian-origin Hinduja brothers, Srichand and Gopichand, were placed at number one, with their estimated worth at EUR 19.2 billion. Indian steel baron, Lakshmi Mittal, whose company, ArcelorMittal, is known as the largest steelmaking company in the world, was also featured among the top of the list, ranking fourth, with EUR 15.65 billion.
— The Sunday Times (@thesundaytimes) May 7, 2017
The Hinduja brothers have investments in industries ranging from oil and gas to media, property and healthcare sectors. “The Hindujas have also recently bought British assets, including Careline, an outsourcing business, and the bus-maker, Optare. There are assets in Switzerland of about EUR 4.27 billion, according to Bilan’s 2016 ‘Swiss Rich List’. Their six-storey mansion, a sapphire’s throw from Buckingham Palace, adds EUR 355.65 million,” the list explained. India-born entrepreneurs and brothers, David and Simon Reuben, also made it to the third place on the list with a worth of 16.60 billion. Mittal was the wealthiest individual in UK in 2008, but slipped gradually. “The furnaces are roaring again in the steel industry. Mittal, 66, the largest steelmaker in the world, is feeling the effect in his bank balance and on the ‘Rich List’, where his EUR 7.23 billion increase from last year is one of the highest annual rises to date,” the list reads.
In total, on the billionaire list were 40 Indian and Indian-origin persons, including brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa, whose business, Euro Garages, has been recognised as Europe’s largest independent fuel retailer. There were also numerous millionaires with an Indian connect in the rich list, from industries such as pharmaceuticals, with Bhikhu and Vijay Patel’s worth of EUR 800.13 million and Kuljinder Bahia and his family, which owns Southall Travels, from the travel industry, at an estimated value of EUR 498 million.
With the onset of Brexit, wide ranging speculations and predictions had surfaced. While there are numerous policy changes that are certain to take place, as of now, it seems that the wealthiest are not disturbed. Meanwhile, persons of Indian-origin, who have already scored a fortune, are making steady ground in gaining wealth, as the list reveals. The ‘brexit boom’, as the list termed it, is reflected by the numbers of billionaires, yet this may be a sign of growing inequality.
Ties between India and the UK have been pledged to become stronger, particularly on the economic front, with UK Prime Minister, Theresa May’s visit this year discussing the same. Business travel norms and other such procedures are poised to become less complicated. Students and other less fortunate individuals, who do not have a few millions to invest or spare, may not be beneficiaries of these growing relations, however.