Gautam Adani, the man who may soon be Asia's richest person, is a college dropout who survived the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack and was once reportedly kidnapped for $2 million

It has been a good year for Adani.

The billionaire who hails from India saw his fortune increase by $55.3 billion in the year 2021, making him the third richest man in Asia.

Adani's net worth is now $89.1 billion. He's close to being Asia's richest person, but not as rich as India's richest person.

On Wednesday, Adani rose to the top spot, as shares of Adani Ports rose 4.59%, while Reliance Industries and Reliance Infrastructure fell.

Several local media outlets now hail Adani as Asia's richest man, though he still sits at second place on the index.

One of the world's largest coal mines, India's largest commercial port, and a 74% stake in Mumbai's international airport are all owned by Adani. He's come a long way from his days as a college dropout and gem sorter.

Diamonds, exports, and loans.

The son of a textile merchant, Adani refused to take on his father's business when he was a child, according to Silicon India.

He decided to work as a diamond sorter in Mumbai in the early 1980s after dropping out of Gujarat University to study commerce.

In 1988, Adani started his own business, Adani Enterprises, to import and export commodities, The Financial Times reported in an interview with him.

He would use profits from his business to back heavy loans so he could enter other industries.

The Gujarat government gave permission for Adani to start a harbor in the town of Mundra in 1995, according to The Times of India. It became India's largest private port.

Adani, an ally of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi since the latter was chief minister of Gujarat in 2003 has been criticized for rising in prominence and wealth because he supported the national leader. He denied in his interview that his business success was due to his political affiliations.

There was a terror attack and a $2 million ransom.

In 1998, Adani accused several men of abducting him and a companion. He claimed that he and Patel were kidnapped on New Year's Day when a group of men blocked their path and forced them into a van at gun point.

According to The Indian Express, a report was filed against the men, who demanded a $2 million ransom from the family of Adani. The prosecution couldn't prove that the two gangsters were involved in the kidnapping, so they were acquitted in the case.

According to the Financial Times, Adani doesn't like to talk about the incident, saying that two or three very unfortunate incidents happened in his life.

The 2008 Mumbai terror attack, in which 166 people were killed, was his second brush with danger.

An Indian man stands on top of a car with a sign as thousands of Mumbaikars take part in a mass demonstration march following last weeks series of terrorist attacks on the city, near the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel, on December, 3, 2008 in Mumbai, India. Two bombs were found and disarmed by the Mumbai police at the train station, which was one of the places attacked by the terrorists. Almost 200 hundred people were killed and over 300 were injured in the attacks.

Uriel Sinai is a photographer.

India Today reported that Adani said he could see the militant enter the building from his table during the siege.
He hid in the basement of the hotel with the help of hotel staff, and then moved to a chamber hall on the upper floor as the attack continued. He told India Today that he saw death at a distance of just 15 feet when the hotel was raided the next day.

He said that over 100 people were hiding with him. Some hid below the sofa while others took a different position. I told them to have faith in God.

He wrote a reflection on the anniversary of the attack on The Indian Express, saying that it was a day of personal reflection and prayer.

One of the lives they saved was mine. He wrote that he still remembers some of the faces, but that he would never be able to repay them. I am often struck by the thought that this was God's way of keeping me indebted.

Insider reached out to the Adani Group.

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