NEW DELHI (AP) – Veteran stock investor and Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, nicknamed India’s very own Warren Buffet, died yesterday in the city of Mumbai, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. He was 62.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the tribute to the business magnate, who according to Forbes had an estimated net worth of $5.8 billion.
“Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was indomitable. Full of life, witty and insightful, he leaves an indelible contribution to the financial world,” Modi tweeted, also extending his condolences to Jhunjhunwala’s family.
His cause of death has not yet been released, although he is believed to be suffering from several health conditions, local media reported.
Jhunjhunwala, a chartered accountant from the northern state of Rajasthan, started investing in the stock market while still in college, starting with a capital of just INR 5,000 (USD 63). He then founded and managed RARE Enterprises, an asset management company. As his wealth steadily increased, he became one of India’s richest men with investments in some of the country’s largest companies.
In his latest venture, he teamed up with two CEOs of Indian airlines to launch the low-cost Akasa Air, which made its maiden flight last week. Jhunjhunwala was seen in a wheelchair at the launch, local media reported.
Also known as the ‘Big Bull’ of the Bombay Stock Exchange, Jhunjhunwala was known for taking risks in the market and in its investments.
“Investor, daring risk taker, masterful understanding of the stock market,” tweeted Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, calling him a “single leader” who strongly believed in India’s strength and growth.
In an interview last week with news channel CNBC-TV18, Jhunjhunwala said that despite adverse economic conditions around the world, “the Indian market will grow, but at a slower pace”.