Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala dies, aged 62

Akasa Air promoter was called the Warren Buffett of Asia's third largest economy, with a fortune of $6bn

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was dubbed India's Warren Buffett. Reuters
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Stock investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, known as India's own Warren Buffett with an estimated net worth of $6 billion, died on Sunday morning at the age of 62.

The chartered accountant from the desert state of Rajasthan started to dabble in stocks while he was in college and went on to become a household name while managing his stock trading firm Rare Enterprises.

The cause of his death was not immediately known.

The promoter of India's newest airline, the ultra low-cost Akasa Air, Jhunjhunwala appeared days ago at its public launch. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Jhunjhunwala's excellent communication skills helped small investors understand the stock market, said businessmen and bankers in India's financial capital, Mumbai, who had known him for more than 30 years. His insights on the economy and companies made him a popular TV celebrity.

Jhunjhunwala's bets include a number of companies run by Tata Group, one of India's largest conglomerates. These include Tata Motors, watchmaker Titan, Tata Communications and Indian Hotels Co, which runs the Taj hotels.

Other investments include Indiabulls Housing Finance, Star Health Insurance and Federal Bank

Major politicians and business leaders mourned his death on social media.

“Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was indomitable,” prime minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

“Full of life, witty and insightful, he leaves behind an indelible contribution to the financial world. He was also very passionate about India’s progress. His passing away is saddening. My condolences to his family and admirers.”

Mr Modi ended with “Om Shanti”, an invocation of peace.

Updated: August 14, 2022, 5:49 AM
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