Gautam Adani has indeed come a long way from the time he dropped out of college. He turned 55 on 24 June 2017. A quarter century ago, he had given up studying in a morning college in Mumbai to start trading in diamonds and plastics. After a successful stint as a diamond trader, he moved to Ahmedabad in Gujarat in 1981 to help start a cousin’s firm to trade in poly-vinyl chloride (PVC).
Gautam Adani currently heads a group of companies which comprises India's biggest private operator of ports as well as the country's largest private producer of electricity, both coal-based and based on solar energy. In addition, the Adani group has substantial interests in a variety of sectors: coal mining, coal trading, oil and gas exploration, gas distribution, transmission and distribution of electricity, civil construction and infrastructure, multi-modal logistics, international trade, education, real estate, edible oils and food storage.
His companies currently trade in over 30 commodities with at least 28 countries. Over the period of a year till September 2014, the market capitalisation of companies in the Adani group (or the prevailing market price of the companies' equity shares multiplied by the total number of shares) zoomed by more than 250 per cent! The Ahmedabad-based businessman had a net worth of $6.3 billion (or ₹40,322 crore) on April 2017, according to Forbes magazine.
Gautam Adani is said to be close to India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.