Dramatic growth of Asian entrepreneurs in The Sunday Times Rich List

Rupanjana Dutta Wednesday 16th May 2018 09:37 EDT

London based Hinduja brothers, Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja are listed as the richest Asians in the UK, according to the newest edition of The Sunday Times Rich List. The 160 pages special edition, celebrating its 30th anniversary, reveals the wealth of 1000 richest people in Britain. There are 83 Asians in this year's rich list, with 47 who are of Indian-origin.

The Asians on the list demonstrate how successful these business people have been with accumulated wealth among the top 20 of £82.8bn and an increase of wealth by more than £11bn. Moreover, 94 per cent of those on this year's Sunday Times Rich List built their own fortunes, compared to just 43 per cent when the first list was produced in 1989. List compiler Robert Watts said this was evidence that "Britain is changing".

He added, "Today's super rich include people who have set up businesses selling chocolate, sushi, pet food and eggs. We're seeing more people from humble backgrounds, who struggled at school or who didn't even start their businesses until well into middle age.”

The Indian-born Hinduja brothers who have been displaced to second position by chemicals entrepreneur Jim Ratcliffe, are listed with an estimated fortune of around £20.64 billion, compared to Ratcliffe's £21.05 billion.

The list under "Britain's definitive guide to wealth" finds that the 1,000 richest individuals and families in the country have a combined wealth of £724 billion - a 10 per cent rise on last year's figure of £658 billion, the billionaire count has risen to 145 - 11 more than last year and there are also a record number of 141 women in the list this year. The super-rich needed a wealth of £115 million to be featured in this year's Rich List, nearly four times the £30 million necessary to appear in the first edition back in 1989. The highest ranked female on the list is Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, who runs the famous Heineken brewery.

Out of the top 14 rich listers who are 'Giving their money away', donating at least half of their wealth to charitry, includes names like Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (£175 million). Lord Verjee (£165 million) is on No 23 on the 'Givings List' donating £6.3 million to education, children, social sectors and overseas, while Lakshmi Mittal is No 7 on the list of 'Ten of the Biggest Charitable Giifts', donating £18.5 million to South Asia Institute, at Harvard University.

Some key Asians on the list

The Hinduja brothers' biggest successes over the past year have been their Indian car manufacturer Ashok Leyland and the Mumbai-based IndusInd Bank- share prices of which have risen respectively by 49% and 27%. However, the highest new Asian entry in the Rich List is the India-born Bavagathu Shetty at no 59 with £2.38 billion. He founded the New Medical Centre (NMC) in the United Arab Emirates with his wife.

Entrepreneurial brothers, David and Simon Reuben, have moved down from third to fourth place, with a fortune of £15.09 billion and steel tycoon Lakshmi N Mittal has moved down from fourth to fifth place with £14.66 billion pounds. Sri Prakash Lohia, brother in law of Mr Mittal and owner of Singapore-headquartered Indorama group, with an estimated £5.15 billion fortune has been ranked at No 25.

He is followed at No 60 by retailers Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora with an estimated £2.3 billion. Bengaluru-headquartered Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is on the list at No. 75 alongside her Scottish husband, John, with £1.75 billion.
Lord Swraj Paul and family at No 90 marked a significant revival of fortunes after registering a growth in wealth of around £840 million to an estimated fortune of £1.5 billion.

Other billionaires with India connection to have made to the list include pharmaceutical majors Navin and Varsha Engineer at No 96 (£1.14 billion), property tycoons Raj, Tony and Harpal Matharu at No 105 (£1.3 billion), and hotelier Jasminder Singh and family at No. 131 (£1.06 billion).

Britain's so-called chicken king and his wife, Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan, come in at No 183 (£746 million), followed by Bhikhu and Vijay Patel's pharmaceuticals fortunes at No 204 (£687 million), and the Jatania brothers at No 215 (£630 million).

Mukesh Ambani is the only Indian on a separate "50 Richest in the World" ranking, with £31.7 billion. The Reliance Industries chief is ranked No. 19 on a list topped by US-based Walmart owners - the Walton family.

Fashion tycoon Tom Singh and Family are at No 344 (£370 million) and Health supplement Vitabiotics founder Kartar and Tej Lalvani are at No 346 (£365 million) and up by £75 million.

Speaking about an increase in Asian entrepreneurs under the list list complier Watts added, “The rise of Asian entrepreneurs on the Sunday Times Rich List is one of the most exciting developments we’ve seen on the Rich List in recent years.

“Our first Rich List in 1989 featured just a handful of people from Britain's ethnic minorities - so the rise of successful entrepreneurs from these communities has been extremely rapid.

“It’s striking that’s the Asian talent we’re finding is in all quarters of the economy: retail, fashion, hotels and pharmaceuticals to name but a few.”

Those who have topped the Rich List from 1989-2018 includes names of Lakshmi Mittal, Gopi and Sri Hinduja and David and Simon Reuben.

However the Independent criticising the wealth inequality and wage stagnation in the UK wrote, the top segment of the population has around 5.7 per cent of the UK’s wealth, while the bottom 50 per cent has just 8.7 per cent of the wealth, according to the Wealth and Assets Survey, a national survey of the wealth of the UK population from 2014 to 2016.

They further said, while it took the members of The Sunday Times Rich List just four years to recover from the recession in nominal terms. Yet in real terms, average wages in this country are still lower than they were in 2007. There are 4.1 million people living in poverty in the UK today – or almost 30 per cent of all children.

Today, the wealthy are taking an ever larger share of the pie, with a much greater share of national income accruing to wealth owners rather than workers. Far from “trickling down”, much of this wealth is stuck at the top, invested in unproductive financial assets that provide few jobs for ordinary people, or saved up in offshore tax havens.

The Alternative Rich List

The Sunday Times for the second time has made a separate section about 'inner wealths' in the Rich List. This illustrates celebration of people in the UK who find inner contentment, striving to make the world a better place, understanding one's inrtinsic values. They are described by Skoda's guiding philosophy 'Driven by something different'. Out of 30 people mentioned on this list are six Asian names. They are:

* British Bengali Fatima Zama, an anti-extremism activist, who visits schools to confront the stereotyping of her community.

* Pakistani origin Plastic surgeon Asim Shahmalak, who spents thousands of pounds of his own money travelling from Manchester to Pakistan to help victims of acid attack.

* 18 year old Campaigner Amika George launching #FreePeriods, a campaign calling on the government to provide free sanitary products to girls on free school meals and lobbied MPs to include it in their election manifestos.

* 23 year old Social entrepreneur Julius Ibrahim who started Second Shot Coffee, a shop in London which employs and trains homeless people, giving them transferable skills to move into long-term employment.

* Shehan Hettiaratchy who has treated Westminster terror victims and Grenfell residents under his role as trauma lead at Imperial College Healthcare Trust in London.

* Anoushe Husain, a 22 year old Muslim girl, campaigner and paraclimber with one hand and complex health problems climbed equivalent of one and a half times the height of Everest for charity. She is hoping to join Team GB soon.

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