Gautam Adani is a first-generation entrepreneur and is the founder and Chairman of the diversified conglomerate Adani Group in India. The Group has a market capitalization of over USD 80 billion with six publicly traded companies. Gautam Adani has become the world’s biggest wealth earner surpassing Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, where his net worth has increased from USD 16.2 billion to USD 50 billion. He has consistently expanded his business, adding ports, airports, data centers, and coal mines in India while also proceeding with projects overseas.
By Udeshi Amarasinghe. Photographs Adani Group.
The Adani Group spans across businesses in energy, ports & logistics, mining & resources, gas, defense & aerospace, and airports. In each of its business areas, the Group has established a leadership position in India. All Adani Group stocks, except one, have rallied at least 50 percent this year. Being a self-made billionaire Gautam Adani has been able to secure investments from Total SA to Warburg Pincus. His focus has been expanding the businesses in areas that are resilient to market cycles.
Gautam Adani rarely comes into the limelight, but the core philosophy of infusing “Growth with Goodness” through his vision of nation-building drives his businesses. Each of the Group’s companies focuses on building world-class infrastructure capabilities to help accelerate India’s growth. For Gautam Adani, nation-building means transforming India’s coastline by creating a series of ports and logistics hubs, thus, generating several tens of thousands of jobs. The ports and terminals business spans across ten domestic ports in six maritime states; Gujarat, Goa, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Odisha. Gautam Adani controls Mundra Port, India’s most significant, in his home state of Gujarat. The latest cargo-handling infrastructure equips the ports. They are capable of handling the largest vessels calling at Indian shores. The Mundra Economic Hub spans an area of 15,000 hectares. It is located on India’s west coast in Gujarat’s industrialized and investor-friendly state, the gateway for Indian exports and imports. It is India’s largest portbased multi-product manufacturing zone. Mundra has accrued advantages of an efficient private seaport, logistical connectivity, economic benefits, and allied infrastructure. Mundra Port is the gateway for cargo to the Northern hinterland, and Mundra Manufacturing Zone is the gateway for the Indian exports. Adani Power and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones have gained more than 52 percent this year.
The Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone will be working with Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings in developing the West Terminal of the Colombo Port. This agreement represents Gautam Adani’s first such standalone overseas project.
For Gautam Adani, it is a priority to contribute towards nation-building and infrastructure development. Therefore, future business opportunities will focus on the road, metro, and rail sector by developing national highways, expressways, tunnels, metro-rail, and railways. The Adani Group has a successful track record of nurturing businesses in the infrastructure sector. The Group has developed several railway lines in India and abroad and owns the most extended private railway lines spanning about 300km in India. These private rail lines are connected to Adani’s ports, mines, and other business hubs to ensure seamless cargo movement.
As Adani Group is a big player in ports and infrastructure, it is evident that it will be in logistics. Adani’s provide logistics services across India, PAN India, both asset and service-based; across container, bulk, break-bulk, chemical, auto, and liquid industries. The Group operates three logistics parks located at Patli in Haryana, Kila-Raipur in Punjab, and Kishangarh in Rajasthan. With the ability to handle 500,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually, the Adani logistics business is growing rapidly. Furthermore, Gautam Adani has always focused on enabling food security by building a modern agriculture supply chain empowering the farmers. Adani Agri Logistics is a pioneer in bulk handling, storage, transportation (distribution) of food grains and providing an end-to-end bulk supply chain solution to India’s Food Corporation and various state governments. The company commissioned India’s first modern grain storage infrastructure for the Food Corporation of India in 2007. It commissioned grain silos in Moga (Punjab) and Kaithal (Haryana) to store grains and established receiving silos in Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Coimbatore, cities connected through Adani’s dedicated railway rakes.
Another priority for Gautam Adani is transforming India’s power scenario and mitigating the urban, rural divide by delivering electricity to several hundreds of millions living in India’s hinterlands. It also means to fulfill India’s energy requirements and become one of the most significant players in sustainable energy by making the largest commitment to the renewables ecosystem spanning across solar manufacturing, generation, and solar park businesses. Adani Green Energy is one of India’s largest renewable energy companies, with a pioneering effort to help India transition to renewable power generation. Adani Green Energy develops, builds, owns, operates, and maintains utility-scale grid-connected solar and wind projects. The electricity produced is supplied to central and state government entities and government-backed corporations. Adani Green Energy focuses on reaching a renewable power generation capacity of 25 GW by 2025. Adani Solar is the Adani Group’s Solar Photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing and EPC arm. Adani Green Energy rose 500 percent in 2020 and is up 12 percent so far and contributed USD 18 billion.
Adani Transmission business is one of India’s largest private sector power transmission companies with a presence across India’s western and northern regions. Adani Electricity Mumbai is a 100 percent subsidiary of Adani Transmission and is into power generation, transmission, and retail electricity distribution. It serves over three million consumers spread across 400 square kilometers in Mumbai and its suburbs with 99.99 percent reliability, one of the country’s highest. Adani Electricity meets close to 2,000 MW of power demand in Mumbai’s most extensive and the most efficient power distribution network. The Adani thermal power portfolio comprises 12,410 MW. The portfolio includes a power plant each in Mundra (Gujarat), Tiroda (Maharasthra), Kawai (Rajasthan), Udupi (Karnataka) and, Korba and Raikheda (Chhattisgarh). Thus, Adani Group is India’s most significant private sector power player. Adani Transmission is up 79 percent and contributed USD six billion to total wealth.
One of the Group’s significant businesses is Natural Resources. The business scale assures a continuous availability of extracted coal to enable a constant supply of power to India’s urban and rural geographies. The mining industry is considered a significant contributor to the growth of the Indian economy. The Adani Group established the mining business unit in 2007 as the last link in ensuring energy security for India. The Group is also developing and operating mines in Indonesia and Australia. Gautam Adani owns Abbott Point, a coal mining project in Australia, whose Carmichael coal mine is one of the world’s largest.
Adani Gas provides 6000km of pipeline distributing gas to kitchens in India. With over 1,200 industrial units, over 3,00,000 households, over 2,400 commercial units, and more than 80 CNG stations, Adani Gas is the largest privatesector CGD player in India with significant growth opportunities. Adani Gas increased to 96 percent this year and contributed USD eight billion. Water remains an integral part of Adani’s sustainable development initiatives. The Group proposes to build new Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) and rehabilitate existing STPs. Along with that, we also focus on opportunities in areas of Irrigation Infrastructure Development, Large Water Supply & Water Distribution Projects, and Desalination Projects to produce potable water for general consumption or industrial use.
Adani Enterprises is the only company with inherent capabilities to build data centers across the country. With the entry in data centers business, the Group is venturing into technology. Adani Enterprises signed an agreement recently to develop one gigawatt of data center capacity in India.
Some of Adani Enterprises’ key advantages include complete ownership of large land parcels across the country; end-to-end power value chain (generation, transmission, and distribution); fiber connectivity and robust network connectivity; and renewable power generation to ensure sustainability. The Group plans to build data centers in NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad. Adani Enterprises is the flagship company and has increased by 90 percent. With Adani Defence and Aerospace, Gautam Adani will be playing an instrumental role in helping India become selfreliant in defense and security and making India the hub for defense manufacturing.
Through his Group, Gautam Adani has always been committed to increasing it by realigning its businesses with an emphasis on climate protection and growing community outreach through its CSR program based on the principles of sustainability, diversity, and shared values.