D-Mart owner Radhakishan Damani enters top 100 global billionaires’ club

The other Indians on the top 100 rich list ahead of Damani are Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani, Azim Premji, Shiv Nadar, and Lakshmi Mittal.

Radhakishan S Damani, investor and promoter of the D-Mart supermarket chain, has broken into the elite club of the top 100 global billionaires.

Damani, who grew up in a single-room apartment in Mumbai, is now ranked 98th on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with $19.2 billion as his net worth.

The index is a daily ranking of the world’s richest people.

The other Indians on the top 100 rich list ahead of Damani are Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani, Azim Premji, Shiv Nadar, and Lakshmi Mittal.

The rise in the wealth of Damani is synonymous with the growth of his retail chain.

“Damani is known to be a deep value investor who largely focuses on the mid- and small-cap space, with long holding periods of 10,15, and 20 years.

“However, most of his wealth could be attributed to his holdings in Avenue Supermarts (the company that runs DMart),” said a market veteran.

Besides Supermarts, his top holdings include VST Industries, India Cements, Sundaram Finance, and Trent.

Bloomberg has attributed 60 per cent of the 75 per cent promoters’ stake to Radhakishan Damani and family (the rest is held by others including brother Gopikishan S Damani and his family).

The market capitalisation of Avenue Supermarts has gone up six times since listing in March 2017 (from Rs 39,813 crore) to Rs more than 2.36 trillion and the value of the holding of Damani and his family in the listed retailer went up from Rs 32,870 crore to more than Rs 1.77 trillion even as they reduced it from 82.2 per cent to 75 per cent to comply with the minimum public shareholding norms laid down by the Securities and Exchange Board of India. In the past one year, the stock has gone up 62 per cent.

D-Mart, set up in 2002, saw strong double-digit growth in sales and profits between FY09 and FY20.

FY21 was affected due to the pandemic. Even if one includes FY21, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of profits has been 56 per cent and that of sales 36 per cent since 2008-09.

Damani had become one of the top 10 richest Indians after the blockbuster listing of Avenue Supermarts.

Damani, who keeps a low profile, recently hit the headlines when he bought a residential property in the plush Malabar Hills area of Mumbai for over Rs 1,000 crore, making it the biggest property deal in the country in recent years.

There are several factors that have contributed to DMart’s success, which produced profits on a sustained basis when retailers such as Future Group, Aditya Birla Retail, and Spencer’s have incurred losses.

Unlike other retailers, D-Mart mostly owns the property where its stores stand and pays its suppliers well in advance, getting discounts on payables.

The chain generally has moderate interiors and operates from neighbourhood areas.

D-Mart had 238 stores as on June 30, 2021.

The management said the company would add 59 stores during FY20-22. DMart has also experimented with an e-commerce venture, called D-Mart Ready, in some cities where it operates.

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