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June 4, 2020

Indian entrepreneur becomes billionaire amid COVID-19

World

June 4, 2020

NEW DELHI: Chemicals magnate Arun Bharat Ram, 79, a scion of the Delhi-based storied business clan that owns the erstwhile Shri Ram Group of Companies, has become a billionaire, thanks to the surging share price of his India-listed SRF Ltd, foreign media reported.

His net worth has risen to $1.1 billion on the back of SRF’s stock which soared by roughly 63% since March 25, when New Delhi enforced a nationwide lockdown in an effort to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The company makes chemicals used in refrigerants as well as chemicals that are the raw materials for pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Another division makes textiles for industrial use, including fabrics that are used in tires, conveyor belts and tarpaulins, while a third division makes chemicals used in the film to package fast moving consumer goods like chocolates, chips and biscuits. SRF netted $92 million on revenue of $1.1 billion for the financial year ending March 2019, the latest figures available

One reason is the recent change in sentiment towards China. As the Covid-19 pandemic has spurred many businesses to reassess their supply chains that depend upon China, where the virus is believed to have originated, investors are hoping that Indian companies across many sectors including chemicals will increase their market share as global clients look for low-cost alternatives, Akella said.