Mumbai: China’s Zhong Shanshan, who founded the country’s largest bottled water company Nongfu Spring, has eclipsed Mukesh Ambani to become Asia’s richest person.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Zhong’s total wealth has increased from $ 70.9 billion to $ 77.8 billion this year, making him the 11th richest person in the world. In addition, it is one of the fastest accumulations of wealth in history.
Popular as a 66-year-old ‘lone wolf’, Zhong has worked as a construction worker, a newspaper reporter, drugmaker and beverage sales agent before starting his own business. Hangzhou-born Zhong dropped out of primary school during the chaos of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China. In April 2020, the Zhong-controlled Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy went public on the Shanghai-controlled exchange. His controlling stake in the company was $ 20 billion in total fortune as of August.
In addition, shares of Nongfu Spring became an instant hit in September this year when they were listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Nongfu’s shares have risen nearly 155 per cent since his debut. The red cap bottles of Nongfu Spring are sold from small shops to high-end hotels across China. The company also sells teas, juices and flavoured vitamin drinks.
It is worth mentioning here that the list of the market share of the bottled water company and the majority of a vaccine-making company has helped to increase its wealth. The pharma firm has previously stated that it has partnered with two universities to develop the COVID-19 vaccine. Citigroup Inc analysts said that Nongfu has strengthened its market dominance and Bloomberg enjoys substantial cash flow.
The 63-year-old Ambani, who was ranked fourth on the Bloomberg Billionaire Index earlier this year, is ranked 12th. His current net worth at the beginning of this year is $ 76.9 billion (about Rs 5.63 lakh crore), down from around $ 90 billion (about Rs 6.62 lakh crore).
The decline in the net worth of the oil-to-telecom group owner is due to an improvement in shares of RIL, which had dropped from its all-time high of Rs 2,369.35 after announcing its deal to buy retail and wholesale at around 16. The percentage has dropped. Kishore Biyani controlled Future Group property. RIL shares closed at Rs 1,995.50 on Wednesday. In the past two months, US-based online retail titan Amazon has seen profit-booking in shares of RIL after challenging its deal with Future Group. Amazon says that the 2019 deal in which it pumped in $ 200 million in Future coupons, a Future Group company, said the Biyani-led group would not let anyone in its list of “banned individuals” own retail property Reliance, which can sell.
As per Motilal Oswal’s annual wealth creation study, RIL has created a wealth of Rs 6.3 lakh crore between 1995-2020. In the past 25 years (from March 1995-2020), RIL has posted a cumulative net profit of Rs 3.78 lakh crore.