Caring for her family and carrying on her late husband’s public work is what India’s richest woman, meet with India’s richest women Mrs. Savitri Jindal, with a net worth of $14.4 billion, is content doing. She is 60 year old. Until her husband O.P. Jindal’s death in 2005, she didn’t even ask that how much money he made. She was quite happy playing the role of the mother and wife. “In our family, women do not venture out. We remain in charge of the house while the men take care of everything outside,” she says but the death of her husband in a helicopter crash in 2005 catapulted this mother of nine to the chairmanship of the $12-billion (revenue) O.P. Jindal group with extensive interests in power and steel. Her four sons — Prithviraj, Sajjan, Ratan and Naveen who run the businesses but the matriarch (A woman who rules a family) is the glue that binds the entire family together and the inheritor of the late Jindal’s political constituency. Savitri Jindal’s ascent to the top has proved lucky for the group. Its turnover has nearly quadrupled in the last five years, her sons are coming into their own, taking companies public, striking foreign alliances and making acquisitions but Savitri Jindal herself remains focussed on her public life. She typically keeps away from the hurly burly of business and spends three days a week in Hisar constituency which she represents in the Haryana Legislative Assembly and where her late husband had begun his career five decades ago by setting up a bucket manufacturing unit. O.P. Jindal was one of India’s greatest uninstructed engineers, he often would design most of the machines at his factories himself. It is this engineering acumen that helped him set up a vast industrial empire within a few years. Jindal set up factories across India, including Jindal Ferro Alloys in Visakhapatnam and an integrated steel project in Chhattisgarh (then Madhya Pradesh). “Jindal sahab had ensured that our sons had independent domains but stayed together as a family. Even today, they are independent and do not interfere in each other’s work. However, if one of them starts a new project or has a problem, the brothers sit together and talk about it,’’ -Savitri Jindal says. She has continued the family’s work on social welfare projects and likes to remain in direct contact with villagers in her constituency. She says that We have a tradition that wherever we set up a factory, we also set up a school and hospital” well my focus remains on family leadership. “Jindal sahab used to say that the workers in our factories are our extended family and we should take care of them. He thought the same of his constituency and I am trying to keep that up.
Mukesh Ambani tops the richest Indians list for the fourth year in a row with a net worth of $22.6 billion, despite losing $4.4 billion but his younger brother Anil Ambani is unfortunately not so lucky having slipped out of the top 10 to the 13th positon after a dip of $7.4 billion in his fortunes. At number two is steel magnate Laxmi Mittal, even after his net worth has dipped by $6.9 billion, he is still worth $19.2 billion. Wipro Tech wizard Azim Premji, one of Asia’s top philanthropers, is slotted at No. 3, and bridging the gender gap is Savitri Jindal at number 5. Worth $9.5 billion, Savitri is also the richest Indian woman today. There are nine Indians among 100 top richest persons of the world.
List of the top 10 richest in India:-
- Mukesh Ambani; US$22.6 billion
- Lakshmi Mittal; $19.2 billion
- Azim Premji; $13 billion
- Shashi & Ravi Ruia; $10.2 billion
- Savitri Jindal; $9.5 billion
- Sunil Mittal; $8.8 billion
- Gautam Adani; $8.2 billion
- Kumar Birla; $7.7 billion
- Pallonji Mistry; $7.6 billion
- Adi Godrej; $6.8 billion