Who is Gautam Adani?
Gautam Shantilal Adani, popularly known as Gautam Adani was born on 24 June 1962. He is an Indian billionaire businessman, chairman, and founder of Adani Group.
According to Forbes, his net worth is estimated to be $10.3 billion as of December 2017. He founded Gautam Adani group of industries in 1988, which now deals in businesses spanning coal trading, coal mining, oil & gas exploration, ports, logistics, power generation, agriculture, edible oils, transmission, and gas distribution.
Gautam Adani was born into a Gujarati Jain Bania family in Ahmedabad. He is the son of Shantaben and Shantilal Adani who had migrated from the town of Tharad in northern Gujarat in search of a livelihood. Adani has seven siblings the eldest being Mansukhbhai Adani.
Gautam is married to Priti Adani, a dentist and heads Adani Foundation as a Managing Trustee. They have two sons namely Karan Adani who is the elder of the two and is married to Paridhi Shroff, the daughter of Cyril Shroff, arguably the biggest name in India’s corporate law terrain and Jeet Adani is their younger son.
Name: Gautam Shantilal Adani
Born: 24 June 1962 Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Parents: Shantilal Adani and Shantaben Adani
Residence: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Occupation: Chairman, Adani Group
Known for: Founder and chairman, Adani Group
Net worth: $10.3 billion (December 2017)
Spouse: Priti Adani
Children: Karan Adani, Jeet Adani
Relatives: Mansukhbhai Adani, Vinod Adani (brothers)
Schooling and College
Gautam Adani did his schooling from Seth C.N. Vidyalaya School in Ahmedabad. Later, he studied at Gujarat University but only till his second year for a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce as he was a college dropout.
The Mumbai Journey
After leaving college at a young age of 18, he went to Mumbai with only a few hundred rupees and worked as a diamond sorter at Mahindra Bros. for 2 years. After 2 years, he set up his own diamond brokerage firm at Zaveri Bazaar. His elder brother Mansukhbhai bought a plastics unit in Ahmedabad in 1981 and wanted Gautam to run it.
Return to Ahmedabad
Adani returned to Ahmedabad and this was the beginning of Adani’s journey into global trading by beginning to import Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) which is a key raw material for manufacturing plastics. While working at his brother’s plastics unit, Adani gained valuable working experience in working with the intricacies of Global Trade.
The Late 80’s Phase
During the late 1980s, young entrepreneurs were looking to enter into relatively new and exciting sectors of Software and Telecom but Adani ventured into what merchants and East India Company used to do 500 of years ago under the British rule. The Adani Group, along with its flagship company, Adani Enterprises Ltd. (formerly known as Adani Exports Ltd.), was established by Gautam Adani in 1988 as a Partnership firm with a capital of 5 lacs.
The Adani Group had a good beginning, but Adani used his skills of persuasion to get beneficial land allotment policies and guidelines from the bureaucracy. Adani’s entrepreneurial and ambitious vision along with rigorous hard work made the Adani Group one of the fastest growing professionally owned enterprises in India. He maintained the world-class quality standards and a customer focused approach which helped the Adani Group to achieve revenues of INR 262 billion by 2009.
What Does The Adani Group do?
The Adani Group is a Gujarat based Indian conglomerate which works in the following areas:
The Adani group’s core businesses include commodities trading, edible oil manufacturing, Mundra port operations and distribution of Natural Gas.
Apart from its core businesses, the Adani Group has also diversified into Real Estate, Ports, Special Economic Zones and IT-enabled services. Its expansion was accompanied by a synergy among its business units to bring them together and make them more productive and competitive.
The group focus on converting partnerships into winning relationships and continuously satisfying its stakeholders by constantly delivering good returns.
The Adani group covers more than 50 companies under it, some of them are:
- Adani Enterprises Ltd.
- Adani Agri Logistics Ltd.
- Adani Agri Fresh Ltd.
- Gujarat Adani Energy Ltd.
- Adani Mining Ltd.
- Gujarat Adani Port Ltd.
- Adani Power Ltd.
- Adani Retail Ltd.
- Adani Wilmar Ltd.
- iCall India Ltd.
- Adani Properties Ltd.
- Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone Ltd. Etc.
Projects of Adani Group
- Mundra Port is one of the country’s first and the most efficient private port and its 100 sq km SEZ was one of India’s largest multi-product free-trade zones. It currently handles 40 million tonnes of cargo which is expected to go up to 100 million tonnes.
- The Adani Group had entered the Power sector with its 4620 MW thermal power project in Mundra, Kutch district. By March 2010, the first 2 units of 660MW had been completed.
Awards and Honors
The Adani Group has got many awards and honors for its corporate performance. Some of them are:
- Dun & Bradstreet- Rolta Corporate Award 2008” for outstanding performance in Trading after the performance evaluation of over 500 companies.
- Gautam Adani was awarded the “Excellence in Management Award (2007)” by Chief Minister of Gujarat.
- The Adani Group’s Mundra Port and SEZ were awarded the “Port Authority Award (2006)” by Lloyd’s List for the Best Port in Middle East and Indian subcontinent.
- In 2005, it was conferred as “Five Star Export House” and it received “FIEO’s Niryat Shree Gold Trophy”.
- The “ICSI award for Excellence in Corporate Governance” in 2004.
- The “GCCI Export Appreciation Award” in 2004.
- The “International Code for the Security of Ships and of Port Facilities” (ISPS) for compliance by Ministry of Shipping, Govt. of India, 2004.
- In 2003, it ranked 38th in BS 1000-India’s Corporate Giants.
- In 2001, it was awarded the status of “Golden Super Star Trading House” as well as the “SOPA” award.
- In 2000, it received the “SRTEPC” award.
- Gautam Adani owns 2 private jets, a Beechcraft jet purchased in 2005 and a Hawker purchased in 2008.
- The Adani Group’s, Fortune is the largest selling edible oil brand in India with a 22% market share.
- Adani Enterprises Ltd. was rated among the 50 top performing Asian companies by Forbes magazine. The combined market capitalization of 3 of their listed companies – Adani Enterprises, Adani Power and Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone have made this group India’s top 10 business houses.
As the head of one of the most envied corporate houses of modern India, Adani faced many controversies throughout his life.
- As Gautam Adani has been a generous contributor to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in power in Gujarat. He is alleged that his business has benefited from his proximity to powerful politicians like Gujarat former Chief Minister and current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
- Gautam Adani was accused of supporting Narendra Modi at the time of the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. He was accused of providing Modi with special favors by providing him Adani Groups’ chartered planes for traveling to rallies across India. Clearing the allegation in an interview with CNBC Mr. Adani said that the BJP paid market price to his group of companies for using its aviation services.
- In 1999, his kidnapping by underworld don Anees Ibrahim became overnight headlines. He was released for a ransom of 3 crores. Although, the reasons and other information about the kidnapping was never confirmed.
- In 2002, the Delhi police detained him for charges of cheating in a case forged by a rival.
- In the late 1990s, he had been under scrutiny for alleged invoicing irregularities and money laundering. He was also charged for possible complicity with rogue trader Ketan Parekh.
Social Works of the Adani Foundation
Adani Foundation was established in Ahmedabad in 1996 to look after the Corporate Social Responsibilities of the Adani Group.
It started its work with a few rural communities around the Adani port at Mundra. The foundation consists of a team of committed professionals whose work is to plan & implement developmental and growth programmes in rural communities.
The team simultaneously works on a number of issues in each community to enable holistic development.
The Foundation follows a participatory approach to ensure a sense of ownership for the services it provides and the community wealth it creates. The Foundation, through institutional and individual grants for education and medical relief, has brought about tangible changes in lives of people of rural communities. Today the Foundation operates in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan as a registered NGO.
Adani Foundation is active in four major areas for the society:
- Medical Aid
- Rural Development
- Charitable Initiatives
Gautam Adani has created an enterprise, the Adani Group which is innovative in all aspects of the business, from technological to commercial. He was always responsive to the concerns of employees, society, and stakeholders. He has always been a responsible citizen by trying to harmonize all the activities of his companies with the global environment and actively working to reduce their load on the environmental.