Billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, CEO of Rare Enterprises.
Hemant Mishra | Mint | Hindustan Times | Getty Images
Stock investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, dubbed India’s Warren Buffett with an estimated net worth of $6 billion, died early Sunday at the age of 62, his family said.
An accountant by profession from the desert state of Rajasthan, Jhunjhunwala started dabbling in stocks while in college and went on to manage a trading company, RARE Enterprises.
“Rakesh-ji died surrounded by his family and close aides,” a family member told Reuters, using a term of respect.
The cause of death was not immediately announced. The promoter of India’s newest airline, the ultra-low-cost Akasa Air, Jhunjhunwala came out 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 based in India’s financial capital, Mumbai, who had interacted with him for more than 30 years. years. His knowledge of economics and business made him a popular TV celebrity.
Jhunjhunwala’s stakes include several companies run by the 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. Top politicians and business leaders mourned his death on social media.
“Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was indomitable,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter. “Full of life, witty and insightful, he leaves behind an indelible contribution to the world of finance. He was also very passionate about India’s progress. His passing is sad. My condolences to his family and admirers.” Modi ended with “Om Shanti”, an invocation for peace.
Uday Kotak, the chief executive of Kotak Mahindra and a school friend, said Jhunjhunwala had “believed that Indian stocks were undervalued” and that he was right. “Incredibly sharp in understanding the financial markets,” Kotak tweeted. “We talk regularly, even more so during COVID. We will miss you Rakesh!”