The 10 Richest People in Asia
Concerning population and size, Asia is the largest continent. In fact, it has grown to become a financial powerhouse. 60% of the world’s population resides in Asia. In particular, it is home to the 2nd (China), 3rd (Japan) and 9th (India) largest economies throughout the world. It collectively features among the fastest-growing economies on the planet. Also, this continent is the playground for ten of the world’s 50 wealthiest individuals. Those ten people boast a combined net worth of $205 billion.
The wealthiest individuals in Asia range from real estate giants to tech tycoons. As a result of China’s significant increased number of billionaires, the Asian billionaires’ collective wealth increased more than that of most of their peers around the world. In fact, Asia is the continent which boasts the most number of billionaires, according to Forbes. Read on to know about the wealthiest individuals on the largest continent.
10. Lei Jun
Net Worth: $14.4 Billion
Industry: Tech; Xiaomi
Lei Jun was able to earn most of his fortune from the tech industry. In fact, that’s just like most of his fellow Chinese billionaires. Xiaomi, his brand, is the largest smartphone maker in China. As well, it’s the 4th largest smartphone vendor throughout the globe. In particular, it was able to achieve all that within just 3 years since its founding.
Lei Jun got into tech shortly after completing college. He joined Kingsoft, which is a Chinese software firm that’s quite similar to Microsoft. Lei was playing a role of an engineer in that company. During his tenure at that company, he was also able to serve as the Chief Technology Officer, CEO, and President. In turn, Lei Jun was able to succeed in taking Kingsoft public 2007. Later, he resigned.
Afterward, he decided to spend several years as just a venture capitalist. In 2010, the already-wealthy entrepreneur founded Xiaomi, along with a former Google-China executive. Later in 2011, Lei Jun was appointed as Kingsoft’s Chairman. Somehow, he was able to forge a partnership between the firms. In turn, that provided cloud storage capabilities for all his phones.
Often, most people refer to Xiaomi as ‘the China’s Apple’. In fact, it’s now the 2nd most valuable private tech firm throughout the world. It boasts an outstanding $46 billion valuation. However, as sales growth slow, experts are contemplating this business model’s sustainability in the overseas markets.
9. Dilip Shanghvi
Net Worth: $16.4 Billion
Industry: Pharmaceuticals; Sun Pharmaceutical Industries
He graduated from the Calcutta University in 1982. Following that, he began working at the wholesale generic-drugs business which was owned by his father. Here, he was able to get a chance to manufacture Lithosun. In particular, that’s a drug which could treat manic-depressive disorders but was unavailable in Eastern India. That, in fact, was the genesis of Dilip’s Sun Pharmaceutical Industries. He founded it in 1983, with a $1,000 that he sourced from his father.
Within just this company’s first year, it was able to generate over $100,000 in sales. Then in 1994, Dilip took the company public on the then Bombay Stock Exchange. Shortly after that, the brand began expanding. It successfully made entry into the global generic-drug market after acquiring the Caraco Pharmaceuticals Laboratories, which was Michigan-based, back in 1997. In fact, that was among the first international acquisitions.
Later in 2012, Dilip Shanghvi decided to step down as the chairperson. Now, he serves as the company’s managing director. This firm generates almost $4.5 billion, in sales. For some time in 2015, Dilip was India’s richest man after his firm’s stocks had surged. Nevertheless, this man remains entirely devoted to philanthropy. Indeed, he’s the chairperson and founder of the famous Shantilal Shanghvi Foundation. It helps donate to education, community development, and social welfare causes.
8. Azim Premji
Net Worth: $16.5 Billion
Industry: Technology; Wipro
His father died in 1966. For that reason, Azim Premji, aged 21, dropped out of the prestigious Stanford. Following that, he had to take the helm of the company which his father left behind. It was referred to as Western-India Vegetable Products. Later, he decided to rename it to Wipro. Under Azim’s leadership, this firm diversified into various toiletries, as well as bath products.
Eventually, it grew to become an IT company. Today, it’s the 3rd largest IT giant. In particular, Wipro was able to generate $7.6 billion in the form of revenues in its recent fiscal year. Just recently, Azim appointed Abidali Neemuchwala as Wipro’s new CEO. The latter was a consultancy executive who’s based in Dallas. Azim cites him as the most appropriate leader to take Wipro into the next growth phase.
Last April, Abidali came to Wipro as a Chief Operating Officer. That followed his several years of working for a rival, Tata Consultancy Services. Most people know Azim Premji for his generosity. In fact, he chose to sign the Giving Pledge. As such, he committed to donating half or more of his wealth to Charity. Moreover, he was named ‘the most generous individual in India’ in 2015 on the Hurun Philanthropy List. That was for the 3rd consecutive year.
7. Ma Huateng
Net Worth: $17.1 Billion
Industry: Tech; Tencent Holdings
He’s a software engineer. He founded Tencent Holdings, which is the largest Internet portal in China. He did that when he was only aged 26, back in 1998. There are numerous widely used and excellent platforms in this company’s portfolio. For example, there’s the exceptional QQ, an instant-messaging service. In fact, that’s among the ten largest websites throughout the world.
Others include WeChat (a mobile-texting service with over 600 million users) and WeChat Wallet (a mobile-commerce product). Also, there’s Tencent Games (an online-gaming community). In fact, the lattermost is the largest gaming community in China. In 2015 alone, Ma Huateng was able to secure two exceptional deals. Back in April, he was able to purchase a $400 million stake in 58.com. That’s a Chinese classified listings’ platform. Already, Tencent owned a 25% share of that platform. During the same month, as well, he purchased a 15% stake in the mobile game-maker, Glu Mobile. The latter cost him $126 million.
6. Lee Shau Kee
Net Worth: $18.5 Billion
Country: Hong Kong, China
Industry: Real Estate; Henderson Land Development
Lee Shau fled for Hong Kong before the communists’ takeover back in 1948. He decided to work in commodities such as gold and currency exchange. That was before 1973 when he founded Henderson Land Development. For over 50 years now, Henderson has become among the leading real estate developers in China. In particular, it generates annual sales of over $3 billion. In turn, that makes Lee Shau Kee among the richest individuals in Asia.
As an active philanthropist, he has donated over $100 million to various causes. Such range from farmer-training programs and affordable housing to education causes. He presented an excellent honor to the birth of his 7th grandchild. He gave away almost $1.9 million to his employees and friends.
5. Li Ka-Shing
Net Worth: $19.5 Billion
Country: Hong Kong, China
Industry: Diversified Investments; CK Hutchison Holdings
Business magnate Ka-Shing is among the wealthiest people in Hong Kong. That’s despite his humble beginnings. To provide support for his family, he dropped out of school when aged 16. That was so following the death of his father due to Tuberculosis. He opted to work in a factory that was making plastic flowers. He was only, six years later, to open his factory. It’s the predecessor to what’s referred today to as the CK Hutchison Holdings.
In particular, it’s a vast business empire. It has interests in telecommunications, technology, real estate, and manufacturing. Li’s a savvy investor. His venture-capital fund, Horizon Ventures, has helped back companies like Skype, Spotify, and Facebook. As well, they’ve backed Hampton Creek, an egg-replacement food start-up.
In 2015, Ka-Shing reorganized his business affairs under two listed firms. He listed one for property holdings while setting the second one for other global assets. Besides, back in August last year, he was able to open the 12,000th location of CK Hutchison’s Health- and Beauty- Products retailer. In fact, that’s now the largest retail chain throughout the world.
4. Alwaleed bin Talal
Net Worth: $22.5 Billion
Country: Saudi Arabia
Industry: Diversified Investments; Kingdom Holding Company
Prince Alwaleed is the grandson of Saudi Arabia Kingdom’s first ruler, Abdul Aziz al-Saud. He was able to build his fortune through savvy investments in a broad range of firms. That’s across the Middle East and the U.S. In 1980, that’s when he founded the Kingdom Holding Co. Since then, he has been investing in almost everything. That’s from entertainment and education, to even real estate. Also, he has stakes in firms like Twitter, Time Warner, Motorola, and The Four Seasons.
Recently, he planned a play for the ride-hailing service, Lyft. Reportedly, he was able to grab a 2.3% stake after putting up $105 million. It was an almost $250 million round of funding the firm. Prince Alwaleed boasts an enigmatic relationship, especially with his money. Back in 2013, in fact, he sued Forbes for underestimating his wealth. But, he has announced plans to give away his entire fortunes to charity.
3. Mukesh Ambani
Net Worth: $24.8 Billion
Industry: Oil, gas, and petrochemicals; Reliance Industries
Here’s the richest individual in India, with a personal net worth of over $20 billion. Furthermore, Mukesh owns a 27-story mansion in Mumbai. It cost a whopping $1 billion to construct. Following his father’s death, Mukesh became the Chairman of the popular Reliance Industries. Originally, his father founded this company.
This enormous industrial conglomerate now generates over $60 billion in annual revenue. In particular, it attains that from its interests in petrochemicals and energy. Others include natural resources and textiles. More recently, they’ve also begun indulging in telecommunications.
In case Mukesh’s projections for India’s economy come true, his net worth is definite to soar. Ambani predicted that India’s economy would grow to $30 trillion by 2030. That was 4 years ago. Most people consider that as a bullish estimate. Consider the fact that today’s GDP of India stands at just $2.2 trillion.
2. Jack Ma
Net Worth: $26.5 Billion
Industry: Tech; Alibaba
He’s the 2nd richest individual in China. Jack Ma is the founder, as well as the executive chairperson of Alibaba. Also, reports assert that he’s the one who founded the first Internet Company in China. That was back in 1988; a company referred to as China Yellow pages. But, he lost control in 1996 to a state-owned telecom. Three years later, he was able to start Alibaba with only $60,000.
More than 15 years after its start, Alibaba was able to break records. Such include its $25 billion first public offering. In fact, that’s the largest ever throughout the world. But, post-IPO, Alibaba’s good fortune began slipping. For instance, the firm’s shares dropped by 22%, back in 2015. That’s most likely due to China’s slowing economy. As well, there are rising concerns over the counterfeiters who’re using this company’s platform.
That doesn’t worry Jack Ma, though. In fact, he acknowledges that next year will be quite a trying time for China’s economy. But, he remains confident that Alibaba will succeed in the long run. He intends to push the firm outside of China. He plans to expand Alibaba’s ventures abroad.
1. Wang Jianlin
Net Worth: $29.2 Billion
Industry: Real Estate; Dalian Wanda Group
Wang is a self-made billionaire. He’s the richest individual in China, as well as in the entire continent of Asia. Wang Jianlin is a real estate mogul who has served in the Chinese Military, right from 1970 to the year 1986. Afterward, he decided to indulge into business.
His hands are in dozens of sectors. Additionally, his name features on an extensive list of companies. That’s thanks to the conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group. For instance, there are firms like AMC Entertainment and Sunseeker (a British yacht maker). In fact, most of Wang’s larger investments are overseas. Such include upscale real estate projects in Madrid and Sydney.
Recently, Wanda Cinema Line and Commercial Properties completed their initial public offerings. In particular, the latter is among the largest property developers in China. The earlier, also, is among the largest movie-theater operators in Asia. Following that, Jianlin saw his fortune double from $13 billion to almost $30 billion.
Also, he has a 20% stake (costing $52 million) in Atletico Madrid, a Spanish football club. As well, he purchased the World Triathlon’ Corp for a costly $650 million. That’s the iconic Ironman’ Triathlon’s parent company. Wang binds his future investments to the culture industry. He asserts that that’s a sector which has neither brand nor profit ceilings.
In 2016 alone, this Chinese business person has already purchased the Legendary Entertainment. He paid an amount of $3.5 billion in cash. That’s the producer of popular series like ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Jurassic World’. Such acquisition grants him immeasurable power when it comes to Hollywood. In fact, that’s the first step towards gaining control over the largest film company. That’s, of course, on a revenue basis.
The vast economic disparities here contribute to the significant continuing tension in this region. Yes, global economic powers are continuing to power through. Such include South Korea, China, Japan, and India. But, the regions next to these countries need help. Political problems, also riddle Asia. Such don’t just threaten the economies. But, they also threaten the general stability of that region, as well as that of the world.
You Can, As Well, Feature in the Above List
Of course, we’d not leave you without some critical advice. The road to acquiring wealth isn’t paved with infomercials. Let’s tell the ugly truth. Say you’re not lucky to achieve a sizeable inheritance. You’ll thus have to navigate your road to prosperity. It’s within reach. Just develop the right traits. It’s a matter of one’s choices.
Develop a well-written financial plan. Save and live below your means. Also, lay off that credit. Let money work for you and seek professional advice. Becoming rich demands a fearless attitude as much as it needs knowledge. Your thinking should be economically-oriented. Have that competitive spirit and thirst for wealth. Good Luck!