India’s richest man surpasses Bezos on billionaires list

Meet Gautam Adani. His $152.2 billion fortune makes him richer than the Amazon founder but not as rich as Elon Musk.

Indian industrialist Gautam Adani, shown in 2010, has seen his fortunes soar this year. On Sept. 16 he was briefly the world's second-richest man on Forbes's real-time billionaire tracker. (Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images)

The jostling among the world’s richest humans intensified Friday as three men rotated through the No. 2 spot in the span of 24 hours, highlighting the volatility of the markets and meteoric rise of Indian billionaire Gautam Adani on a list long dominated by tech titans.

On Friday morning, Adani edged out French business magnate Bernard Arnault and pushed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos down to the No. 4 spot on Forbes’s real-time billionaire rankings. The shake-up didn’t end there, however, Adani fell to No. 3, ahead of Bezos, by the afternoon.

By 5 p.m. Friday, Arnault was worth $154.7 billion, Adani $152.2 billion, and Bezos $146.9 billion. Staggering numbers by any measure, but well behind the $273.2 billion fortune of Elon Musk.

As chair of the Adani Group, a multinational conglomerate, Adani’s portfolio of companies and investments spans coal mining, data centers, airports and renewable energy. And his wealth has soared over the past year, just as the value of the largest American tech companies has slipped alongside much of Wall Street’s biggest names.

Here’s what you need to know about Adani:

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