The "richest man in the world" stakes are heating up. With Bill Gates
seemingly more interested in giving his money away than in accumulating more
of it, it seemed inevitable that Mexico’s Carlos Slim would
take his place at the top of the pile. But now there’s another contender,
this time from India: Mukesh
Ambani, subject of a long
profile in the latest issue of Portfolio.
There’s bound to be a fair amount of debate
over this, and I’ll leave it to a rival monthly business mag to run the numbers.
But it is worth noting one big difference and one big similarity between Ambani
and Slim. The difference is that Ambani is not a technology billionaire;
the similarity is that both of them made their billions not internationally
but rather domestically, in an emerging-market country. Globalization is a big
thing, but the Ambani fortune almost flies in the face of it.