Rise of a Billionaire Businessman: The Story of Gautam Adani

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Gautam Adani is one of those people who succeeded against all the odds that life had thrown at them. This university dropout has become a billionaire entrepreneur today and is even contributing to the growth of Indian economy and has also done a lot for its infrastructure.

Today, Adani Group is one of the biggest corporations in the world and also a key player in India in businesses ranging from coal mining, oil and gas exploration, trading and power generation. Adani Group is also the biggest port operator in India. Here’s how it all started some four decades ago.

Gautam Adani was born in the year 1962 in a Gujarati Jain family. His Shantaben and Shantilal Adani migrated from northern Gujarat in search of livelihood. Gautam has seven siblings with the eldest being Mansukhbhai Adani. Born into a business family, Gautam Adani undoubtedly inherited the business acumen of his forefathers but did not show any interest in continuing the textile business that they had run for years.

Instead, he dropped out of his college in the middle and moved to Mumbai from Ahmedabad to pursue his dreams and seek his fortunes at the tender age of 18. All he had were a few hundred rupees when he reached Mumbai and there he joined as a diamond sorter at Mahindra Bros. After working for two years at this firm, he started his own diamond brokerage outfit in Mumbai at Zaveri Bazaar. Meanwhile in his hometown, his elder brother Mansukhbhai had bought a plastics unit in Ahmedabad and wanted Gautam’s help in running the business successfully.

This is what seems to be a turning point in the life of Gautam Adani. He forayed into global trading by beginning to import PVC which is the main raw material for making plastics. Gautam learned a lot about the global trade while he worked at his brother’s plastics unit and gained some experience in the field.

With his expertise, Gautam Adani soon set up his own business eventually – the Adani Enterprises – which became the flagship company of Adani Group which has a net worth of $7.4 billion as of 2017. Initially, the company was dealing with the import and export of commodities but later expanded to encompass power generation, multi-modal logistics, agri infrastructure and gas distribution among many other ventures. Today, Adani Group has more than more than 50 companies operating under it including Adani Wilmar Ltd, Adani Mining Ltd, Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone Ltd Adani Properties Ltd, and many others.

Gautam Adani is known as a risk taker and his business strategy involves heavily around excessive leverage and political patronage of which he has been a subject of some criticism too. But Gautam Adani boldly says that dealing with the government doesn’t mean that you have to bribe. There was also some backlash from the High Court of Gujarat that his industrial units do not have proper clearance from the environment authority.

But Adani is known for taking profitable undertakings and works closely with his company employees and teams to motivate and drive them to perfection. Today, Gautam Adani is a perfect example of a business genius merged with perseverant visionary as the group’s philanthropic wing, Adani Foundation, works in many states and is taken care by his wife Priti Adani. The couple has two sons, Karan Adani and Jeet Adani.