Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, the ‘Warren Buffett of India’, has died at the age of 62

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, the 'Warren Buffett of India', has died at the age of 62
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MUMBAI, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Stock investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, dubbed the “Warren Buffett of India” with an estimated net worth of $6 billion, died early on Sunday at the age of 62, his family said.

A chartered accountant by profession from the desert state of Rajasthan, Jhunjhunwala started dabbling in stocks while in college and went on to run a stock trading firm, RARE Enterprises.

“Rakesh-ji died surrounded by his family and close associates,” a family member told Reuters, using a tribute.

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The cause of death was not immediately announced.

Jhunjhunwala, the promoter of India’s new airline, ultra-low-cost Akasa Air, went public a few days ago. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Jhunjhunwala’s excellent communication skills helped small investors understand the stock market, say traders and bankers based in Mumbai, India’s financial capital, who have interacted with him for more than 30 years. His insights into economics and companies have made him a popular TV celebrity.

Jhunjhunwala’s bets include several companies run by the Tata Group, one of India’s largest conglomerates. This includes Tata Motors (TAMO.NS)Watch maker Titan (TITN.NS)Tata Communications (TATA.NS) and Indian Hotel Co (IHTL.NS)which runs the Taj Hotel.

Other investments include Indiabulls Housing Finance (INBF.NS)Star Health Insurance (STAU.NS) and the Federal Bank (FED.NS)

“We are deeply saddened,” Jhunjhunwala co-founder Akasa Air said in a statement “We at Akasa cannot thank Mr. Jhunjhunwala enough for being an early believer in us and reposing his faith and trust in us to build a world-class airline,”.

Prominent politicians and business leaders also mourned his death on social media.

“Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was indomitable,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter.

“Full of life, intelligent and insightful, he left an indelible contribution to the world of finance. He was also very passionate about India’s progress. His death is saddened. My condolences to his family and fans.”

Modi ended the call for peace with “Om Shanti”.

Uday Kotak, chief executive of Kotak Mahindra and a friend from school days, said Jhunjhunwala “believed Stock India was undervalued” and he was right.

“Surprisingly sharp in understanding financial markets,” Kotak tweeted. “We talk regularly, even during covid. Miss you Rakesh!”

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Rupam Jain in Mumbai and M. Sriram and Mrinmoy Dey reporting in Bengaluru; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and William Mallard

Our values: Thomson Reuters Trust Policy.

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