Billionaire investor and Akasa Air owner Rakesh Jhunjhunwala passes away
MUMBAI: Veteran stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, often referred to as India's Warren Buffett, died here Sunday morning. He was 62.
Jhunjhunwala died early this morning due to a cardiac arrest, a source in his newly set up airline said.
Often referred to as 'India's Warren Buffett' and the Big Bull of Indian markets, Jhunjhunwala's net worth was USD 5.8 billion (about Rs 46,000 crore), according to Forbes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over Jhunjhunwala's passing. He tweeted, "Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was indomitable."
Starting off his journey in stock markets while still in college with a capital of just Rs 5,000, he recently teamed up with ex-Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube and former IndiGo head Aditya Ghosh to launch Akasa Air --- India's newest budget carrier. The airline began commercial operations this month with a maiden flight from Mumbai to Ahmedabad.
An investor with a Midas touch, he was the 48th richest man in the country. A chartered accountant by education, he chose Dalal Street instead of auditing accounts.
In 1985, Jhunjhunwala invested Rs 5,000 as capital. By September 2018, that capital had inflated to Rs 11,000 crore.
His portfolio includes companies like Star Health, Titan, Rallis India, Escorts, Canara Bank, Indian Hotels Company, Agro Tech Foods, Nazara Technologies and Tata Motors. Overall, he had a stake in 47 companies at the end of the June quarter. Titan, Star Health, Tata Motors and Metro Brands were some of his largest holdings.
He was the chairman of Hungama Media and Aptech and sat on the board of directors of firms such as Viceroy Hotels, Concord Biotech, Provogue India and Geojit Financial Services.
Born on July 5, 1960, in a Rajasthani family, Jhunjhunwala grew up in Bombay, where his father worked as a Commissioner of Income Tax. He graduated from Sydenham College and thereafter enrolled at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
He earned his first big profit in 1986 when he bought 5,000 shares of Tata Tea at Rs 43 and the stock rose to Rs 143 within three months. In three years, he earned Rs 20-25 lakh.
When Jhunjhunwala entered the stock market, Sensex was at 150 points. His privately-owned stock trading firm Rare Enterprises derived its name from the first two letters of his name and that of his wife Rekha, who is also a stock market investor.