Exactly How Rich is Mukesh Ambani?


Exactly How Rich is Mukesh Ambani?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

Mukesh Ambani is a rich man.

His wealth is the kind of material that can keep the comic mills running forever: Mukesh Ambani is so rich that if Richie Rich was made in India, it would be based on his life. Mukesh Ambani’s house is so huge that you need Google Maps to navigate around it. And Mukesh Ambani has so much money that he could get both Messi and Ronaldo to play football at his son Akash’s birthday party. On Dhanteras, Mukesh Ambani buys soan papdi that is actually made of gold. See what I mean?

But the $40.1 billion question is, just how rich is Asia’s richest man? And exactly how much money is $40.1 billion?

Now the nerds among you will quickly say that ₹2605698000000 is a number so big, it will take an entire minute to count if you move your middle-class fingers past every digit. And if you turn to the calculator, it will give up on you, so don’t bother. To truly understand $40.1 billion, you don’t need a calculator. You need perspective.

– $40.1 billion is 50 per cent more than the GDP of his birth country, Yemen.
– Mukesh Ambani could build 40 more Antilias and still have money left to buy the world’s most expensive painting.
– Mukesh Ambani could bail out Vijay Mallya 30 times!
– Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries could buy 100 per cent of every company listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange.

Are you getting a picture. Still not? Ok let’s try this.

Mukesh Ambani is so rich that if Richie Rich was made in India, it would be based on his life.

If you saw money lying on the street, how much would it have to be to tempt you into picking it up? My guess, you’d let a Re 1 or ₹2 coin go. It’s probably not worth the effort. But what if you spotted ₹5 or ₹10? You might pick it up. That’s a handy sum of money for most of us. For a Bollywood star that money could be ₹500. For Salman Khan, it would probably be ₹2000. The value could be ₹50,000 for Patanjali CEO Acharya Balkrishna. As per Neil deGrasse Tyson’s wealth test, the amount that Mukesh Ambani could let go and not bother to even pick up if it was lying on the street, would be roughly $36090, which translates to ₹23 lakh. So basically, ₹23 lakh is Mukesh Ambani’s ₹5.

If reading this ruined your day, I’m deeply sorry.