Some people are much luckier than others. In the past year, while India’s economy is shrinking due to the corona, the wealth of the two richest people in the country has skyrocketed. The wealth of Gautam Adani, who specializes in areas ranging from ports to coal, has doubled to $ 32 billion. Ambani Mine, which deals with oil, communications and trade, is now worth $ 75 billion – a 25% increase.
The share of national wealth reaching the Indian upper echelon is on the rise – as in many countries. Last year it rose 21.4%, the highest rate in the world. The share of the total in the national wealth is 39%, more than in the US and China. Stems from technological innovation or the opening of new markets, but from political influence and a preferential approach to capital.
Just a decade ago, the 20 most profitable public companies in India generated only a third of all profits; Today they stand at 70%. In the years 2018-2014, competition shrank significantly in ten industries, from aviation to tires. Only the stocks of the giant companies have recorded consistent profits in the last decade, and the result is that foreign investors are betting mostly on them instead of on young companies. The Government of India is proud that in April-August foreign investment was recorded at a record high of $ 36 billion, despite the corona; But half of the money, including investments from Facebook and Google, went into the hands of Ambani.
It’s easy to see why, Economist notes: for some reason things work out according to Ambani’s wishes. In 2016 it invested $ 25 billion in the mobile market – and just when it offered free services, the government eliminated 86% of the money police and sent most Indians looking for cash and savings. Rival companies have found themselves embroiled in lawsuits and fines alleging non-payment of taxes.
Adani also enjoys a similar Midas touch. In early 2019, his corporation, which controls a quarter of India’s seaports capacity, competed in a government tender to operate six airports for 50 years. Despite his inexperience, he overcame old companies in the field. Adani has since bought two more airports, including 74% of Mumbai airport shares. It recently won a $ 6 billion government tender for solar energy.
Some of the Indian tycoons thrive not because they have learned to predict the unexpected, but because they have learned how to fool the system – the same system that fails to deal with the poor of the state. In the past year there has been an alarming increase in malnutrition; Unemployment shows signs of some recovery from the deepest recession of the corona, but is far from satisfactory. Before the Corona only 49% of adult Indians worked for pay; The rate now is only 36%.