There is rich. And there’s Forbes richest people. Astounding people with the biggest net worth in the world – which is sometimes higher than some of the countries’ GDP. Unparalleled billionaire lifestyle. Unreachable success. How many billionaires are there? Perhaps you are curious. There are over 1,500 billionaires in the world. However, the battle of the billionaires does not stop in net worth and assets.
Fact: Money is one form of power that you can never underestimate. It creates reputation and influence that can almost instantly maneuver and rule people. It creates dependency, which gives a sense of powerlessness to the average folks. Know the 9 filthy rich billionaires that their countries cannot do without – they are just too valuable!
Jack Ma (China)
Former English teacher Jack Ma co-founded and chairs Alibaba, one of the world’s largest eCommerce companies, with just $60,000 in 1999. In 2014, it broke records with an initial public offering of $25 billion. Jack Ma is ranked no. 4 on the list of Forbes richest people in China with a net worth of $47.7 billion.
Aside from being an online platform titan, Alibaba is also deeply engaged in corporate social responsibility and philanthropy. Jack Ma believes that a business model should be good to society.
There’s no doubt that China is topping the ranks as one of the biggest economies in the world and one of the countries with the highest GDP (Gross Domestic Product), thanks to the ever-growing manufacturing, exporting and online retail giants like Alibaba. As of 2017, China’s GDP was $12.40 trillion (nominal) or 18.8% of the world economy. It placed China on the 2nd rank next to the United States. America’s GDP ran at a rate of $19.7 trillion in the last quarter of 2017.
Bidzina Ivanishvili (Georgia)
Ivanishvili made his money in Russia but went back home to Georgia in 2003. His major source of wealth comes from banking and metals. He was elected Prime Minister for about a year (2012-2013) and voluntarily resigned after his party won the elections, saying he had fulfilled his task. In March 2012, he was ranked 153rd in Forbes magazine’s annual list of the world’s billionaires and was touted as Georgia’s richest person. With a net worth of $5.52 billion as of March 2017, Ivanishvili’s wealth is equivalent to 32 per cent of Georgia’s GDP. He runs many crucial infrastructures, including hospitals, schools and colleges.
Najib & Taha Mikati (Lebanon)
Taha Mikati co-founded telecommunications company Investcom with his brother, ex-Prime Minister Najib Mikati in 1982. Taha also co-founded other businesses, including a diversified investment holdings M1 Group, the Mikati Foundation, and the Arabian Construction Company, which is one of the largest construction companies in the Middle East. Najib and Taha are two of the Forbes wealthiest people in Lebanon. The Mikati brothers have an estimated net worth of 2.6 billion and ranked 782nd in the global ranking, according to the 2017 Forbes Lebanese billionaires list.
Owner of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote is the richest man in Africa for the seventh year in a row. With an estimated net worth of $12.2 billion – which is $100 million higher a year ago. The Nigerian billionaire’s most valuable asset is Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement producer. Aside from cement, Dangote has been investing in a huge oil refinery and fertilizer production business. He owns stakes in flour, salt and sugar manufacturing companies as well.
The Dangote Group is also known for its huge involvement in corporate social responsibility. It set up the Dangote Foundation to facilitate involvement in the areas of education, health and empowerment. The foundation also provides humanitarian aid to the victims of natural calamities.
Carl Stefan Persson
Chairman of chic fashion retail giant H&M (Hennes & Mauritz), Stefan Persson is Sweden’s wealthiest man and the 4th richest man in the fashion industry. His father Erling Persson established the retail chain in 1947 and currently, Stefan Persson owns a 28% stake. Although, a huge chunk of his wealth is linked to H&M, Persson has been growing his net worth through a solid portfolio of retail properties throughout the United States and Europe, which include prime real estate in the world’s leading shopping destinations like Fifth Avenue in New York. He holds a real-time net worth (as of February 19, 2018) of $17.2 billion.
Beyond business, Persson is also a founder of the Mentor Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to fight substance abuse among young people.
Mukesh Ambani (India)
Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited Mukesh Ambani is the richest person in Asia with a staggering net worth of $38 billion. Ambani currently controls about 40% of the company, which owns the largest oil refining complex in the world.
For the 10th year in a row on Forbes billionaires’ list, Ambani continues to retain the top position despite India’s economic hiccups last year. In fact, he stood at the 16th spot on the global real-time list and he also topped Forbes annual list of India’s 100 richest tycoons.
Related: 7 Ways To Know If Your Job Is Just A Big Mistake
Carlos Slim Helu & family (Mexico)
Mexico’s richest man and 4th current richest man in the world, Carlos Slim and his family control America Movil. The biggest mobile telecom company in Latin America. He also owns stakes in consumer goods, mining industries, Mexican construction, real estate and 17% of The New York Times. His real-time net worth (as of February 18, 2018) is $71 billion.
Binod Chaudhary (Nepal)
Businessman, industrialist and philanthropist Binod Chaudhary is the first billionaire in Nepal. As chairman of the Chaudhary Group (CG), a conglomerate that consists of about 80 companies, he controls CG, particularly a stake in Nepal’s Nabil Bank. CG’s portfolio includes hotels, electronics, beers and foods like the famous Wai Wai noodles. CG’s hotels consist of 29 owned and 70 managed properties, which include luxury hotels, such as India’s Taj hotel chain. Chaudhary’s late father also opened Nepal’s first department store. The Nepalese billionaire’s real-time net worth (as of February 19, 2018) is $1.52 billion.
Apart from his hefty contribution to the country’s economy, Chaudhary has also been involved in several government and social sectors. He runs CG Foundation that works for the social welfare, education, youth empowerment and health. He makes significant contributions in the areas of music, art, literature and sports as well.
Petr Kellner (Czech Republic)
The Czech Republic’s wealthiest man, Petr Kellner founded and controls PPF Group, an Amsterdam-based investment house with $40 billion (35 billion euros) in assets as of June 2017. The company’s biggest asset is the consumer finance company Home Credit Group, a consumer finance firm with vast operations locally and 10 other countries, including Russia and China. Apart from PPF group, Kellner’s other assets include commercial real estate holdings, a stake in telecom company O2 Czech Republic and PPF Bank. Kellner was ranked 102nd richest person worldwide as of August 2016 on Forbes billionaires’ list. His current net worth as of February 19, 2018 is $16.2 billion.
Besides business, Kellner also supports art projects through PPF with his wife Renáta. The Kellner Family Foundation and the Open Gate grammar school project work to focus primarily on education.