Billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, aka ‘India’s Warren Buffett,’ Dies at 62

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, a billionaire investor known as “India’s Warren Buffett” for his successful stock market wagers, passed away on Sunday at the age of 62, according to one of his companies.

Jhunjhunwala, a chartered accountant who began stock trading at the age of 25, established Rare Enterprises, an asset management firm that invests in companies in the telecommunications, hospitality, and financial services sectors, among others.

Forbes put his net worth at $5.8 billion at the time of his death and referred to him as an “investor with the Midas touch.” His most recent company, Akasa Air, a low-cost airline, began operations in India last week.

“We are very saddened by Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s untimely passing this morning,” Akasa Air said in a statement on Sunday, praising his “invincible spirit” and passion for “anything Indian.”

A cause of death could not be determined immediately. A family member of Jhunjhunwala told Reuters that the investor “died surrounded by his family and close associates.” His wife, Rekha Jhunjhunwala, and three children survive him.

Local media said that Jhunjhunwala was in terrible health and used a wheelchair to attend Sunday’s Akasa Air launch event.

Politicians and business figures in India offered their condolences on Jhunjhunwala’s passing. Numerous individuals lauded his attempts to educate individuals about stock trading, as well as his optimism regarding India and its economy.

“Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was indomitable,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. “Life-affirming, humorous, and perceptive, he makes an unmistakable mark on the financial world. He was also highly enthusiastic about India’s development.”

“Investor, daring risk taker, mastery of the stock market, and clear communication – a leader in his own right,” tweeted Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

In an interview with India’s Economic Times in 2021, Jhunjhunwala expressed optimism that India would surpass China as the second-largest economy in the world. “You may call me a fool, you may call me anything, and I may not live to see it, but I can assure you of one thing: India will surpass China within the next quarter-century,” he stated.

Jhunjhunwala “believed India’s stock to be undervalued. “He is correct,” stated Uday Kotak, a wealthy banker from India who attended school with Jhunjhunwala and regarded him as “extraordinarily adept at analysing financial markets.””

Jhunjhunwala was born in Mumbai in July 1960 and grew up there. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mumbai and his master’s degree from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

According to the Financial Express, his father was a commissioner for the Indian government’s income tax department and provided Jhunjhunwala with investment advice. According to Forbes, as a 25-year-old student, Jhunjhunwala spent $100 in the stock market and built it into a multibillion-dollar fortune.

Also a fan of Indian cinema, he co-produced three Bollywood films between 2012 and 2016.

Ajay Bagga, an Indian markets expert, told the BBC that Jhunjhunwala “personified the India tale” since he was “a young middle-class guy who rose through the ranks to amass such a tremendous wealth.”

You may also like...