Hong Kong (CNN Business) – Gautam Adani was already Asia’s richest man.
Now he’s also the world’s third richest person, overtaking LVMH (LVMHF) chairman Bernard Arnault and becoming the first Asian person to take that spot, according to Bloomberg and its Billionaires Index.
Adani, who runs one of India’s top conglomerates, is now believed to be worth approximately $137 billion, the tracker shows.
That’s after a surge this week placed him just behind Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk and Amazon (AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos, whose own fortunes are estimated at $251 billion and $153 billion, respectively.
Like other billionaires around the world, Adani has seen his wealth skyrocket during the pandemic.
The founder of the eponymous Adani Group controls companies ranging from ports and aerospace to solar energy and coal.
His fortune has grown exponentially since the start of the global health crisis, as investors bet on his ability to grow his business in sectors that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has prioritized for development. Adani has also benefited from an uptick in coal usage, which has catapulted his ascent in recent months, according to Bloomberg.
Adani overtook fellow Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani to become the region’s wealthiest person in February.
His shot up the global wealth rankings comes as some members of the world’s 1% give away more of their resources.
In July, Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates announced he would devote $20 billion to the endowment of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and reiterated his intention to move “off of the list of the world’s richest people.” Gates is currently ranked the world’s fifth most affluent person, according to Bloomberg’s index, with a net worth of $117 billion.
Inside India, Adani has been raising his profile in other ways, too.
Last week, he made waves by announcing a hostile bid to take over an influential broadcaster, New Delhi Television (NDTV). The deal is being pursued by AMG Media Networks, a unit of Adani’s conglomerate.
However, the group’s media foray comes at a time when its debt-fueled rapid expansion has become a matter of concern for analysts. The move has also created unease about future editorial freedom for NDTV, one of the country’s most respected news networks.