After spending two decades building a business empire centred on coal, Indian billionaire Gautam Adani is now looking at a different future. His ambitious plans are getting a boost from close friend Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Mr Adani is diversifying into airports, data centres and defence – sectors Mr Modi considers crucial to meeting India’s economic goals. Investors are rewarding the pivot.
In less than two years, Mr Adani has gained control of seven airports and almost a quarter of India’s air traffic.
Adani will boost his renewable energy capacity almost eightfold by 2025.
Last week, he won a contract to co-develop a port terminal in Sri Lanka, a neighbour India is courting to check China’s influence in the region.
Adani Enterprises last month signed a deal with Edge- ConneX to develop and operate data centres across India.
After starting out as a commodities trader in the late 1980s, Mr Adani is now India’s second-wealthiest person, with a net worth of US$56 billion. He has added US$50 billion to his fortune in the past year, about US$5 billion more than Mr Ambani, Asia’s richest man, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.