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Asia’s richest man Gautam Adani reveals global media ambitions

Gautam Adani wants to build a global news brand as a sign of the growing influence and international ambitions of Asia’s richest man.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Financial Times, Adani He highlighted investment plans ranging from launching a “super app” in India to bidding for a power project in Israel. He also defended the group’s controversial Carmichael coal mine in Australia, but admitted that he would not have gone through with its development had he known how much opposition it would cause.

his comment was Adani port-to-power conglomerate It has grown in influence as its founders championed the development agenda of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expanding abroad and making inroads into the media and consumer sectors.

“Why can’t one media house independently support a global footprint?” asked the new media sector billionaire launched a hostile takeover In August, major Indian broadcaster NDTV said, “India has no singles. [outlet] Compare with the Financial Times and Al Jazeera. ”

At the group’s skyscraper headquarters outside Ahmedabad, the largest city in his home state of Gujarat, Adani said he sees the NDTV purchase as a “responsibility” rather than a business opportunity.

Adani Group’s unfinished takeover offer sparked controversy in India NDTV is known to broadcast voices critical of the Modi government over media independence, although big shots are perceived to align with the Modi government.

“Independence means you say that if the government does something wrong, it is wrong,” Adani said. “But at the same time, when the government is doing the right thing every day, we should be brave.

The cost of creating an international media group was “trivial” for the conglomerate, which invited NDTV owner and founder Prannoy Roy to remain chairman. Adani’s AMG Media Network also bought a stake in business news platform BQ Prime (formerly BloombergQuint) this year.

Adani’s company’s soaring share price this year has baffled some analysts, boosting his fortune faster than any other billionaire. Currently worth $136 billion, according to Forbes, Adani has risen to the top of the global wealth rankings, alongside tech mogul Elon Musk and luxury mogul Bernard his Arnaud.

In contrast to other Indian heavyweights, Adani is self-made. From a commodities trading company founded in 1988, it has grown into India’s largest private sector infrastructure company with 13 ports and his 8 airports.

Opposition politicians argue that Adani benefits from a close relationship with Modi, a fellow Gujarati. was the prime minister. He said investors are buying into “India’s success story.”

Adani Group is also India’s largest private coal operator, operating mines and coal-fired power plants. But the Indian government is now pushing an ambitious switch to renewable energy, with the conglomerate pledging to invest his $70 billion in technologies ranging from solar panel manufacturing to green hydrogen production by 2030. doing.

In addition to launching a “super app” within the next three to six months that will connect Adani airport passengers to other Adani Group services, Adani will also invest 40 in the vast Mundra port and petrochemical complex in the Special Economic Zone. He said he plans to invest more than $100 million. in Gujarat.

“There is huge demand open and there are not enough hydrocarbons in India,” Adani said. He wants to build an ethane cracker, part of the industrial process that turns natural gas into plastic, alongside his coal-to-PVC plant already under construction.

Adani denied the move to petrochemicals would open up serious competition with fellow billionaires Mukesh AmbaniReliance Industries founded ethane crackers in 2017. “There is no competition,” he said. “India is a huge and growing market and everyone is welcome.”

Adani also has broader international expansion, including winning a port contract in Sri Lanka and building a power plant in India to supply neighboring Bangladesh.

He said the group was “considering entry into the Israeli power sector” and was “highly likely” to bid on gas-based power projects. Adani Ports, along with his Gadot Group in Israel, bought a stake in the country’s second largest commercial port in Haifa in July for $1.2 billion.

Describing Africa’s east coast as a “great opportunity”, Adani said he would consider investing in “mining and metals operations” in Africa, while his company assessed the feasibility of hydrogen production in Morocco and Oman. doing. Adani and French oil company TotalEnergies signed a $50 billion green hydrogen partnership earlier this year.

Adani argues that high energy prices underscore the importance of his group’s controversial Carmichael coal mine project in Australia’s Galilee Basin, whose high-quality coal is expected to be exported to India. He argued that it was an energy-efficient way to meet the growing demand for

But he added that, in hindsight, he would not have developed it, given the fierce opposition from environmental activists. He said the mine is currently producing only 17 million tonnes despite having coal approval.

“We couldn’t get in if we knew there was so much opposition and so much resistance coming. We wouldn’t have done it,” Adani said. “But after spending $2 billion to $3 billion already, we have all the approvals according to the criteria, and we understand that we have government support on both sides, and support from the local people. Should someone object?”



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