Four Indians among Singapore's Richie Rich

NEW DELHI: Here's another example of the growing wealth among the non-resident Indians. And no, these are not the already well known names like Lakshmi Mittal, Swraj Paul and Indra Nooyi, but relatively lesser known Indians who have struck gold in the eatern part of the world.

Four NRIs — Murli Kewalram Chanrai, Mustaq Ahmad, Sudhir Gupta and Kartar Singh Thakral — figure in the latest Forbes list of Singapore's Top 40 Rich List.

The four Indian expats are collectively worth $1.54 billion, which accounts for more than 5% of the combined net worth of $28 billion accumulated by Singapore's 40 richest people.

Chanrai — ranked the richest Indian in Singapore — is the head of the $3 billion Kewalram Chanrai Group, while Ahmad is the owner of the hugely popular Mustafa Centre in Little India. Gupta, on the other hand, is a tyre tycoon who made it big is Russia, while and Thakral is into textiles and IT peripherals.

The 83-year-old Chanrai was placed seventh among the list of Singapore's Riche Rich with a net worth of $880 million. His Kewalram Chanrai Group is held privately by overseas Indian family trusts and is part of the 150-year-old Chanrai empire.

From a humble beginning in trading business in India and Nigeria in 1860, the family business has grown into a conglomerate with business spanning across textiles, commodities, international trade, IT and real estate spanning over 45 countries.

Next in line is 47-year-old Sudhir Gupta, who has been ranked as Singapore's 13th richest person with a net worth of $320 million.

Gupta, a Singapore citizen and a PhD in agricultural chemistry from Russia, started with a tyre company in Moscow. After acquiring a Dutch company, he formed Amtel-Vredestein, a tyre company which was listed on London Stock Exchange last year.

Kartar Singh Thakral, who has been ranked 25th with a net worth of $175 million, joined his family trading business in 1949.

His empire spans across various businesses, including the Singapore-listed Thakral Corp, that distributes technology gears for products like iPods in China and India. The Thakral Group made a humble begining with ‘Punjab Store' in Bangkok in 1905.

Mustaq Ahmad, who happens to be the last among the four Indians at the 27th position with a net worth of $165 million, is the owner of one of Singapore's famous landmarks — the Mustafa Centre. Fifty five-year-old Ahmad runs a bustling store in Singapore's Little India called Mustafa Centre, which is stuffed with more than 150,000 items ranging from beds to spices. The store was opened in 1971.

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