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#409 Ajay Piramal $4.70B

Random fact: Wife Swati Piramal has a medical degree and helped to fight polio.


Piramal is the chairman and largest shareholder of Piramal Enterprises, the world's third largest producer of inhaled anesthetics. The Mumbai-based company produces a range of drugs and glass containers and had revenue of $817 million in the year to March 31, 2017. It forms part of a diversified conglomerate, the Piramal Group.

As of Oct. 20, 2017:
Last change +$20.8M (+0.4%)
YTD change +$1.69B (+55.9%)
Industry Finance
Biggest asset PIEL IN Equity
Citizenship India
Age 62
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Ajay Piramal's net worth of $4.70B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

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Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Piramal's wealth is derived from his 49 percent stake in Mumbai-based Piramal Enterprises, a publicly traded company that produces drugs and glass containers. It’s the world's third-largest producer of inhaled anesthetics, according to its website. Piramal controls the stake in his own name and indirectly through family members and holding companies, including Mumbai-based Vulcan Investments.

He also has a stake in real estate developer Piramal Realty. In a September 2016 interview with Bloomberg News, Piramal confirmed he owns a majority of the company, which is included in the calculation as a 51 percent stake. Its value is based on an investment by Warburg Pincus in which the private equity firm paid $284 million for a minority stake, said to be 26 percent, according to a Sept. 17, 2015 Outlook Business article.

The billionaire also owns glass bottlemaker Piramal Glass, which he delisted from the Indian stock exchange in 2014. It's valued based on its financials for the year to March 31, 2016 recorded in its annual report and the average price-to-earnings multiple of four publicly traded peers: Cie de Saint-Gobain, Asahi Glass, Samkwang Glass and Hindusthan National Glass & Industries.

He also owns 37 percent of pharmaceutical research company Piramal Phytocare, according to its 2016 annual report.

Riddhi Goradia, a spokesperson for Piramal, said he declined to comment on his net worth.


Birthdate: 8/3/1955
Family: Married, No children
Education: 1992, President & Fellows of Harvard College, Post-Graduate Certificate 1977, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Management, Master's Degree 1975, University of Mumbai, Bachelor's Degree

Ajay Piramal was born Aug. 3, 1955. After completing his MBA from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai in 1977, he joined his father's textile business.

Piramal was 29 when his father died suddenly in New York. The next year, his older brother, Dilip, broke off from the family company, taking with him the plastics and luggage maker Bloplast VIP Industries, and leaving Ajay and his other brother Ashok with the under-performing textile business. Ashok died of cancer in 1982, so Piramal became the leader of the textile business, which nearly closed over labor issues.

Piramal decided to pivot away from the declining textile industry and purchased Nicholas Laboratories, a generic drug business, in 1998. More than two decades later, Piramal sold the business to U.S. pharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories for $3.8 billion.

As his pharmaceutical business grew, Piramal ventured into new sectors along the way, including financial services, real estate and glassmaking. All of his ventures are run under the Piramal Group umbrella.

  • 1977 Starts working at his father's textile company.
  • 1977 Takes over family business after his father's death.
  • 1984 Acquires Gujarat Glass, which would be renamed Piramal Glass in 2008.
  • 1988 Enters pharmaceutical industry with acquisition of Nicholas Laboratories.
  • 1999 Opened India's first shopping mall, Crossroads, in Mumbai.
  • 2010 Sells Indian generics business to Abbott Laboratories for $3.8 billion.
  • 2013 Piramal Healthcare is renamed Piramal Enterprises.
  • 2016 Partners with Bain Capital to invest in India's distressed assets.