Gautam Adani in Aap Ki Adalat: World’s third richest person and Asia’s richest man, Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani Group, faced tough questions in a no-holds-barred interview with India TV’s Editor-In-Chief and Chairman Rajat Sharma in Aap Ki Adalat. Adani responded to all the allegations against him on India TV’s iconic show and shared his success story. Gautam Adani is the world’s busiest deal maker who earned maximum wealth in 2022. He started business as a regular diamond trader. Today he has ports, mines, power, solar power, green energy, cement, housing, petrochemicals, and everything under him. With his hard work and passion, Gautam Adani became the King of Infrastructure. Here’s the full transcript of his interview with Rajat Sharma in Aap Ki Adalat.
Rajat Sharma – Gautambhai, everyone asks God for wealth, but it seems like God only listens to you. I’ve been researching on your wealth for days now and it seems to be increasing every day. Seems like by the end of this show, you would have added another couple of thousand crores to your kitty. So, what is the formula for earning money?
Gautam Adani – Rajatbhai, firstly I would like to thank you and your audience for giving me this chance to appear on Aap Ki Adalat. You brought up the topic of this formula. This formula is not based on any mathematics, chemistry or physics, on the basis of which I would base my business. There’s only one formula that works both in business and our practical lives, and that is hard work, hard work and hard work. I see that I have my family’s support, the support of my seniors, the support of my team, and above all, God’s blessings and mercy. I work with honesty and I believe this is the only reason and there is no shortcut. The success of any man depends on honesty and hard work, and the rest is left to God; that’s the only formula.
Rajat Sharma – How much can you depend on God after all? In December 2021 your wealth was 9,62,322 crores. In December 2022, in one year, it is 18,64,579 crores. 9 lakh crores in one year, how much is God blessing you?
Gautam Adani – See, Rajatbhai, I don’t get trapped in this web of numbers. The major thing for me is what change can I bring about in the nation. If you go to see why the numbers have increased, I see that the country is on the path to progress. And I say it with full confidence that India’s position today, and in the coming 20-30 years, is going to be unstoppable.
Rajat Sharma – But these figures are dumbfounding! Every day you earn 1,600 crores, you earn 67 crores every hour. Was this hobby of earning money a childhood habit or something that came in adolescence?
Gautam Adani – Like I said, I don’t chase numbers. I was 15 years old. I passed my 10th grade. And, coincidently I belonged to a family situation that without completing my studies or graduation, I came to Mumbai to find work. That was a 4-year journey before I returned to Ahmedabad. Mumbai taught me quite a few things, it taught me how to work hard. After that, my business journey started. I belonged to a middle-class family, a business family, I got into business and I as a 15-19 year old had that zeal to do something beyond my family business. My family supported me quite a bit, and on the basis of that, I went ahead. The money was limited, and I had to grow my business accordingly. There were lots of troubles, there were many established players. But I have noticed that at various points in my life, different people supported me for me to succeed, and whatever I am today, is because of them.
Rajat Sharma – Your friends tell me that you were good in your studies, but you left it midway.
Gautam Adani – No, I was good at my studies. I had chosen Engineering as a technical subject. I was good at Math too. But the situations were such that I had to keep my studies on the back burner and I got into the business.
Rajat Sharma – Now listening to you, many might drop out of studies thinking that’s the formula to make money. (laughs).
Gautam Adani – No, I believe education is very important. Education makes a person knowledgeable. I wasn’t able to choose that path, and that’s my misfortune. I chose another path – hard work and experience. That hard work and experience increased my wisdom. I sometimes wonder that had I had the education along with this hard work and experience, then I would’ve become much bigger than the current Gautam Adani.
Rajat Sharma – Then you would’ve become No. 1 about 10-12 years ago.
Gautam Adani – No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 are okay, it’s just a story.
Rajat Sharma – But the story is also that you used to have a scooter, today you have a fleet of jet aircraft and helicopters. Look at where you’ve reached.
Gautam Adani – The only thing I can say is that I’m a grounded man, and even today I know the mindset of a person travelling by a scooter, a rickshaw, a bus or be it a jet, that’s because I have been through that journey. Just because I travel by a jet, it doesn’t mean I’m not rooted to the ground.
Rajat Sharma – There’s a joke on social media that if Mukesh Ambani invested the 500 million in Adani shares rather than in his house, then he’d be the richest man in the world today.
Gautam Adani – See, there’s a lot of creativity on social media and is a source of entertainment. I don’t concentrate much on that.
Rajat Sharma – But what’s to be noticed is, there was a time people used to only talk about Tata-Birla, but today they only talk about Adani-Ambani.
Gautam Adani – See, Tata and Birla are very respected industrialists of our country. They have done a lot in making this nation and are still doing so for the nation. You have groups that are always in front and behind you. I believe that India has the strength to make many more such industrialists.
Rajat Sharma – Have the dangers increased as you earn more money and become bigger?
Gautam Adani – No business is risk-free. How much-calculated risk one takes, how much is one’s risk-taking capacity… I wouldn’t say that I’ve reached here without any difficulties. But, one should have the perseverance to stay strong in good times and bad, and grow to new heights with your hard work.
Rajat Sharma – Now I want to talk about your difficulties. There was a time you were kidnapped and your life was under threat.
Gautam Adani – See, that wasn’t a very good happening, but everyone has such things in life. It’s better to forget such things as quickly as possible.
Rajat Sharma – I thought you would never forget that, and would definitely give it to him if you ever were to encounter him again.
Gautam Adani – It’s my nature to adapt to things as quickly as possible. It’s not in me to lose my peace over what’s not in our control. I was kidnapped and released the next day. I tell you, that I slept well that very night. So, I never feel that pressure.
Rajat Sharma – You had another threat to your life on 26/11 when the terrorists attacked The Taj Hotel and you were in the hotel. Do you recall that
Gautam Adani – I remember everything and I saw the terrorists in front of me when they fired their first round. I’m thankful to God, that I’ve seen two close-to-death experiences. I think it’s God’s grace that I was saved.
Rajat Sharma – The whole country was witness to the night of 26/11 and it still sends shivers down one’s spine. You happened to see it from a very close range.
Gautam Adani – On 26/11 I was dining with the Dubai Port CEO at the Masala Craft restaurant in Taj and that’s when this incident happened around 10 p.m. 5 minutes before that, we paid the bill and were ready to leave. However, my friend wanted to discuss more, so we stayed back for coffee and that’s when this incident occurred. I sometimes think that had I paid the bill and left on that time, I would’ve been trapped in the lobby area. Since we stayed back, we were trapped inside the restaurant. Today I say that the dedication shown by the employees of Taj Group, be it their waiters or any of them, is something which is very rare to see in organisations today.
Rajat Sharma – How did you escape from there?
Gautam Adani – I was trapped there all night. The employees of Taj took me to the Chamber from the path behind the kitchen. I was there all night. At around 7 a.m. the commandos came and were aware that many people were trapped there. So, with full protection, the commanders escorted us outside the hotel premises. I got away about 7.30 – 8 a.m. the next day.
Rajat Sharma – Gautambhai, people say the name Gautam Adani itself is enough. There’s a person in our country who has for the last 8 years, with a lot of effort, made you famous. He takes your name every day. You may have heard the name – Rahul. But the accusation is that, you have never thanked him.
Gautam Adani – See Rajatbhai, Rahul ji is a senior leader of the Congress Party. I feel that as an industrialist, it doesn’t suit me to comment on him. He’s a respected leader, and I see that he too wants the nation to progress. I understand, he says certain things because of his political leanings, but I don’t take it any more than a political gimmick.
Rajat Sharma – See, you don’t comment on him, but he doesn’t do the same. I’ll give you a couple of examples. This is not too old, this was said in February 2022 that the Modi government had handed over all of India’s ports, airports, gas, transmission, power, mining, green energy, gas, everything to Gautam Adani.
Gautam Adani – When you put an accusation, also tell me, is there anything that is done without bidding? Is there one business which we have entered without bidding or without merit? Even we know that doing such a thing in India would create controversy. The Adani Group has a philosophy that nothing should be touched without a bid. Be it my ports, airports, roads, powerhouse, not one business has been acquired without bidding. It’s like questioning the one who stands 1st in the exam.
Rajat Sharma – Then they’d say the paper was leaked.
Gautam Adani – Then that should be accepted. But that accusation even Rahul ji hasn’t put on us, that there was foul play in any bidding process.
Rajat Sharma – I’ll tell you what the motive is. He is saying all the money that you’re investing in different infrastructure projects are loans you have procured from different banks. Gautam Adani has a loan of 2,00,000 crores, which is all public money, based on which you’re making a fortune.
Gautam Adani – You’ve asked a good question. I want to tell you, when you make an infrastructure project, you have a bank borrowing and your equity on top of that. You have to put 30-40% of your own money and 60-70% can be borrowed from the bank. The question is, what is the rating on the loan you’ve taken? I want to make it clear today through your show that Adani Group is the sole group in India whose rating… and this rating is not given by any political party or bank, it’s given by an independent rating agency after your full financial analysis. And on the basis of that, loan is given to those eligible. You have that rating for India, the Indian banks and for every corporate. Today every company of Adani Group is rated at par with India’s overall rating, which is a sovereign rating. Adani Group has such a discipline and rating, that in my 25 years we have never delayed payment or defaulted on interest, and more so, whenever we need funds for any development activity, everyone is ready to lend to us.
Rajat Sharma – Rahul Gandhi is saying that Modiji is ensuring you’re getting all this.
Gautam Adani – Before 2013 we used to take 80% of the money from Indian banks. That today stands at 35%. After that, we penetrated the international market with a global rating. On the global front, no one lends based on what someone says, they purely lend seeing your rating and governance. Based on our company’s ratings and disclosures, one of our companies has got an award for worldwide 3rd ESG level. This is an absolutely baseless allegation. I understand he needs to say certain things politically, but there’s no friction between the lenders and us borrowers.
Rajat Sharma – He’s saying that most of your loan is given by the government banks and 40% of the loan is given between 2020 and 2022.
Gautam Adani – I want to tell you that our loan rate has increased by 11% in the last 10 years and our income has increased by 24%. Our rating has improved because of our profitability and our rating is growing more also because of our borrowing.
Rajat Sharma – Many people say that if ever the Adani bubble bursts, then all banks will go bust.
Gautam Adani – Some people have such a dream. But let me tell you that Adani’s assets are 3-4 times more than our loans. So, no one’s money is unsecured.
Rajat Sharma – So this balloon will keep flying and never burst?
Gautam Adani – This balloon will keep flying as long as India is progressing.
Rajat Sharma – We’ll take some audience questions.
Audience – You said that numbers aren’t important to you, passion is. But we feel proud when we hear that the world’s richest man is from our country. My question is, you might’ve taken many big risks in life. Have you never felt scared?
Gautam Adani – When you take risks, you need to know its limit. We’ve taken risks in many places, and it’s not that we’ve been successful in all; we have faced failures in many places too. You need to have that strength to wade through such a time, and for that, you need to be perseverant. Difficulties will come. It’s not that you will face success in every endeavour; you will face difficulties too. But, with the right intention and with the right perseverance, you will never face failure.
Rajat Sharma – Another accusation of Rahul Gandhi is that Modi ji supports you so much, that in the first port you ran, Mundra Port Trust, in September 2021, 20,000 crores of drugs were confiscated. In May 2022, 500 crores of drugs were caught, and then in July 2022, 375 crores worth of drugs were caught. He asks, who is it that is saving Adani?
Gautam Adani – You need to see that these drugs have been caught. You need to look at it from this perspective that any drugs that pass through the port are caught. That doesn’t mean that there has been no inquiry on the previous catch. But today I would like to congratulate every agency, be it the customs, the police, or the DRI, that they worked diligently and caught this smuggling of drugs. When we run a port, we have no additional powers than what the government tells us to do. When you run a port, you are in charge of only loading and unloading the cargo. You have no policing powers, no inspection powers, and no power to arrest; that is the work of the different agencies of the government. This is to mislead the people. Whatever is being caught is reported to the government – who is sending is, who is doing it, how is it coming, and the government has tackled all of them.
Rajat Sharma – But the accusation of Rahul Gandhi and the Congress Party is that even though drugs have been repeatedly caught, never has Adani or his men been questioned.
Gautam Adani – No, that is wrong. Whenever there’s an investigation, it’s a 360° investigation and there’s questioning in that. It has never been that one has been able to bypass the government investigation. So I disagree that the Adani Group has been receiving some special treatment.
Rajat Sharma – Along with keeping track of your wealth, I find it difficult to keep track of the number of accusations Rahul Gandhi levies on you. There are 2-3 accusations every day.
Gautam Adani – Rajatbhai, I feel that by repeatedly naming Rahul ji, you’re instigating a fight between us and tomorrow he will release another statement. I believe that Rahul ji is a respected leader. Yes, he too runs a political party, he has an ideological battle and there will be accusations. I’m a regular industrialist. I will do my work and he will do the politics that suit him.
Rajat Sharma – No, neither of you are ‘regular’. (laughs). He also has a problem with Narendra Modi’s statement, that one end of the cricket pitch is named Adani End.
Gautam Adani – A stadium is made with an auction. There’s Adani on one side and Reliance on the other. Both groups have given money and bought those rights. I don’t know what’s wrong in that.
Rajat Sharma – You never talk much about Rahul Gandhi. Today the audience and public are in front of you, so you have a chance to say something if you want.
Gautam Adani – During the 2014 elections and post that, Rahul ji has continuously attacked me, because of which you all know who I am and because of which I’m here today.
Rajat Sharma – Gautambhai, I have been asking you about Rahul Gandhi for so long, but you’re a dark horse. During Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, he was talking to the former governor of RBI – Raghuram Rajan. He said that he spoke to the ‘chowkidaar’ (gatekeeper) of the parliament, the real one and that chowkidaar told Rahul ji that he had got Adani shares four years ago and he got tremendous benefits and he became a millionaire (lakhpati). So, he is also praising you.
Gautam Adani – In which context he said, I don’t know, but for me, any common man be it small investor or big, when he invests in the Adani Group and is earning money, I feel very happy about it. I think Rahul ji must have spoken in a natural way and the outcome that came out of it, I don’t know if it was in our favour or not.
Rajat Sharma – It was in favour because Congress accuses, Rahul Gandhi accuses, and you in Rajasthan where there is Rahul Gandhi Party’s government of Ashok Gehlot invested 68,000 crores.
Gautam Adani – The potential that Rajasthan has, and not only Rajasthan, in all the states whatever potential they have, the Adani Group is committed to development. You must have seen that even the media wants to have some controversy and I have even heard afterwards Rahul Gandhi ji in his press conference has appreciated our investment. Rahul Gandhi does not have any policies which are against development. So, our aim is to go to every state, wherever it is possible and do the maximum investment.
Rajat Sharma – You are saying that he is not against development, but the Congress party’s slogan is, ‘Aam Aadmi Behaal, Adani maalamaal.’
Gautam Adani – Look, whatever political narrative one may try to draw, ultimately, you tell me one thing in his allegation, one is a political statement, and the other is a really genuine allegation. Let the people decide, you decide the work that we do, what is the truth.
Rajat Sharma – I think today it will be decided Gautambhai because see one on side Congress criticizes and on another side, Ashok Gehlot invites you, I mentioned the 68,000 crores investment, so first we thought Ashok Gehlot is the magician, now we feel you are the magician.
Gautam Adani – Ashok Gehlot’s government provided us land for a power project, there were MDO projects for mining, and all was done through bidding. Whatever help they have given is within the policy. Their policies were very clear and when you are a serious player and you are asking something within the policy, then I believe that not only Ashok Gehlot’s Congress government, we are working even with Kerala left government, working with Mamata Didi, even with Naveen Patnaik Ji’s, Jagan, even KCR, so we are working in each state and all are the different government’s some are a regional party, congress, left party also, so today I want to say confidently that we never had any problem from any government. So, statements and all are on a different place and when you are a serious player in infrastructure and whatever promises you are making to all the states and accordingly you are doing the development, so I did not have any difficulty from any government.
Rajat Sharma – But Gautambhai the impression is that you only invest where there is Modiji’s government? Where there is BJP government you get more projects there only?
Gautam Adani – That is why I say, today Adani Group is really happy that today we are working in 22 states, and all these states are not BJP-ruled. We did not have any complaints as we did not have any difficulty with any state government.
Rajat Sharma – I have taken out the figures. In Andhra Pradesh, 60,000 crores, Odisha 57,000 crores, West Bengal 35,000 crores, but in spite of this people say Modi is Adani’s watchman (chowkidar). People say that Modi has made Adani what he is today.
Gautam Adani – See there are very few people who make such statements who have difficulty with Modi Ji, or because of ideological jostling. But my experience says, I can only say that most of the people like Modi Ji and in Adani’s development model they do not find any problems.
Rajat Sharma – Is it true that your first big investment with which you became big with Mundra Port for which Narendra Modi gave you land for ₹1 per square feet.
Gautam Adani – The land that we got for ₹1, I would like to tell you Rajat ji that, that land was not land at all. When there was a high tide, the land used to go under the sea water and we did a reclamation of almost 10 feet, 3-4 meters above it and the cost of the reclamation is far bigger than the cost of the land. Even today when you give example of Mundra Port, it is a very unique example. We have not taken even one-acre land of any farmer. So, today after having such huge investment in port for infrastructure, the cost of the land increased. So, you make allegations with the cost of land of today, but when we got the land and when it was not developed and if you take into consideration today’s cost, I think it is not fair.
Rajat Sharma – Your friends say that when that land was being developed, you used to get up at 4 o’ clock in morning and go there daily?
Gautam Adani – Rajatbhai, if you don’t have dedication and hard work, infrastructure projects will never stand up. Not only me, all my employees worked with me together, that is why Mundra Port has stood up. I’m happy that we have developed it in such a way that in 10 years, it became the biggest port of India and not a single rupee is invested by the Government. Road, we made all the connections. We have made a private railway line of 100 KM. We have made an airport there. The government gave only the land, gave development right, rest nothing. Whenever we needed any permission, whichever government was there in Gujarat, helped us fully.
Rajat Sharma – Whichever government was there, they helped you, that is why people say in Gujarat Chimanbhai, Keshubhai, Narendrabhai, and everybody’s bhai Gautambhai.
Gautam Adani – Rajatbhai, I want to say that this is not only the feeling of the Adani Group. All the industrialists who are there in Gujarat, everybody has the same feeling because the government of Gujarat even from the time of Madhav Singh and even before also, is industrialist friendly. So whatever policies are made, they are made to attract the industrialists because otherwise there are no resources in Gujarat. There was drought every 2-3-4 years before the water of Narmada canal came. In spite of this, it was ahead in industrialization. Even before our birth, Gujarat was ahead, so it is nothing that there is something special favour for Adani.
Rajat Sharma – You said, you have not taken even an inch of the farmer land. Now few days ago, Arvind Kejriwal went to Gujarat, he has gone lots of times and he says that the farmer who should have got ₹50 lakh per acre Gautambhai just gave him ₹1 lakh per acre.
Gautam Adani – See Rajatbhai, if such allegations were there, then forget about Kejriwal, that farmer himself would come and make the allegations. Till date have you ever seen in papers that any farmer has any complaint against us in terms of acquisitions in Gujarat?
Rajat Sharma – Are they afraid of you?
Gautam Adani – Till date in Mundra we have not taken a single land from farmer. Whichever land we have taken is a government, unsurveyed land on which the water from the sea used to come over that land and we have done the development by doing reclamation and that development is because of the 50,000 to 1 lakh crores of investment and the cost of the land increased a lot and the farmers are having all the benefits of that. Today, I’m very happy that Adani Group in Mundra is able to do more and more development because of all the farmers and the community there with whom we are working hand-in-hand.
Rajat Sharma – I never had interaction with Gujarat farmers, but those who were doing farmer movement in Delhi, they were saying that Narendra Modi had brought these three farm laws to benefit Adani.
Gautam Adani – Rajatbhai, if you look, we have very limited exposure in agriculture. We have made few warehouses for the Food Corporation of India and the wheat in those warehouses the Adani Group did not buy it and never had any ownership of it. The Food Corporation who for minimum support price buys from farmers, stores it, and supplies it to the people below the poverty line. So, we only provided an infrastructure.
Rajat Sharma – No, allegations were that you were knowing that such bill is coming and you created the infrastructure, you made cold storages there so that you can benefit.
Gautam Adani – See firstly these are baseless talks. Farmer makes the produce, he does not know what the demand is in the market, so when his produce comes out the market is down, no place for storage.
Rajat Sharma – But if the farm laws were implemented would Adani benefit from it or not?
Gautam Adani – I believe that the laws were good and I’m not saying it because it would benefit the Adani Group. Genuinely as a citizen, because I’m first a citizen of India, then comes the Adani Group. I think the farm laws were good and it is unfortunate that they had to be repealed when a political tone was given to them. I’m seeing that our 40%-50% of the population of India directly or indirectly, depends on agriculture and India has the capability to supply food to the entire world and the major problem is limited infrastructure, people are not getting things by rail, no cold storage, lack of warehousing. So, the customers are not getting good things and the farmers are not getting good income. If such laws would come, we would have done investments further in infrastructure which would benefit the farmers. Today I would like to say, we are making ports, airports, road, powerhouse, and this is not for supplying ports and electricity to the Adani Group, this is for the people of the country. I have seen the condition of electricity 15 years ago. Even in Noida, the power used to go out, now you are getting it uninterrupted. Today in airports there are so many benefits, roads are good, so I believe that infrastructure aids in the development of country and all these youth, their aspirations are increasing as so many jobs are being created, so we have no other way other than infrastructure development to take the country ahead.
Rajat Sharma – So, you have done a lot of infrastructure, airport, ports, given employment. Has Modiji done anything or not?
Gautam Adani – You cannot take personal help from Modi ji. You can talk about policies; how can you take our country ahead and talk about what is happening on ground level. So, you make policies for everybody and the benefit of policies which is available for everybody is available for the Adani Group also. I see in my life that the break that I got was given by Rajiv Gandhi Government because of which global trading houses were done. Then second break I got was from Narasimha Rao government because of which the public private partnership developed and it showed altogether a new direction of industrialization to the country, and third by Keshubhai government. You are right, that at that time Modi ji were there for 12 years as Chief Minister and I proudly say that we had very good experience with Modi government.
Rajat Sharma – People would like to know that if only Adani will be rich or ever the country will be rich?
Gautam Adani – The country is progressing a lot. We are celebrating 75 years of independence, it took 58 years since independence for India to achieve $1 trillion economy, it took another 12 years to achieve $2 trillion economy, and it took five years to achieve $3 trillion economy and I’m seeing that the way the aspiration of our youth is increasing and the position that India has today in the world, our economy will increase more than $30 trillion by 2050. What is this $30 trillion economy showing, that your per capita income will grow and, with this development, job opportunities will increase. I think that in the coming times with the governance, nobody can stop India.
Audience – Many people want to become like Gautam Adani, so what do you say about that?
Gautam Adani – See this country is throwing up lots of opportunities. You try to analyse it and do hard work and don’t ever think that you will be successful with shortcuts. Every person becomes successful, it takes times, some become early, some takes time. If you walk on the mark continuously, your door towards success will open. You should have the liking for it, not like I saw him, I want to become like him. You don’t get into that. Whatever interest you have within yourself for anything, you move ahead with it.
Rajat Sharma – Your friends call you Gautam Toofani.
Gautam Adani – Friends call by different names, but I’m not Toofani.
Rajat Sharma – We feel that you yourself are a storm (toofan).
Gautam Adani – Do you feel like this?
Rajat Sharma – Gautambhai people say that you have earned so much money and wealth, why don’t you think about the other poor people?
Gautam Adani – See Rajatbhai, I’m a person from the ground, so in my every process, there is the common man in my eyes. I will give you an example. On my 60th birthday just six months back, my family members were sitting 10 days before and family members were talking about what gift to be given to me on my 60th birthday. So, I said if you want to give me a gift, so the wealth of our family that is there, give 60,000 crores from that to the Foundation. This is not about me alone, it is my full family and with lot of joy they said this is a very good idea and they gave it.
Rajat Sharma – 60,000 crores, it is lots that you gave.
Gautam Adani – Whatever you feel from within you, you start with that. So, when we put these 60,000 crores in the Foundation, we thought what to do now, how should we use it. So, we took three sectors – health, education, and skill development. We are talking with experts of these three sectors. You will see that in the coming 2-3 months, we will make a big announcement and use it in such a way the poorest of the poor will benefit. I have in my mind how to use it for good.
Rajat Sharma – This is true that the work of the Foundation, charity that you are talking is looked upon by your wife Priti than you?
Gautam Adani – Priti ji is my pillar and she fully looks after the family, two children, and takes care of my granddaughters also and she is a doctor. She left her profession and is supporting me. She fully supported the family, took care of the family, brought up the kids, and when the kids grew, she handled all the activities of the Foundation. So, today I’m very satisfied that Priti is working the most on it daily 7-8 hours for foundation activities. Secondly, in our foundation there is a lot of professionalism and under Priti’s guidance lots of development work is going on.
Rajat Sharma – I have seen the Foundation work Gautambhai and indeed she is doing good work, but upon reading about her we came to know yours was an arranged marriage. Before marriage when you met her for first time, you did not talk at all, you were quiet.
Gautam Adani – I’m a very shy person Rajat ji and I’m uneducated and she is a doctor, so naturally there was some mismatch.
Audience – The question for you is that you have such a big empire, you are so busy, your schedule is very busy, how do you take out time for your family and how do you take out time to relax yourself?
Gautam Adani – This is a very good question. I would like to tell you that three days in a week I’m out of Ahmedabad, when I’m there for four days then I go late to the office at about 10:30 to 11 o’ clock because I come late at night at about 11 or 12. In the morning, I get up at 6:30, I do exercise for one hour, after that 2 to 2½ hours, I talk with my wife, children, and granddaughter over the dining table, read newspapers. So, I spend couple of hours with them. Secondly, I have made a rule even if I’m in the office at lunch time my every family member is in the dining room who ever are available and we talk. That is how basically I’m spending time with them.
Rajat Sharma – Now you are not saying that you play cards.
Gautam Adani – This is a secret, when I go at night, I play rummy paplu game with Preeti. I play 8-10 games, and most of the time she wins.
Audience – Sir you are a role model for crores of people, who is your role model that you want to share with all of us?
Gautam Adani – Dhirubhai Ambani. I see him as a role model. It is because in his tenure, Reliance Industries at that time the economy was not open, then afterwards opened, and the way he showed direction to the country about how to think big, I’m very much impressed by it because afterwards, Mukeshbhai took it a lot further. But from the first generation point of view and I can understand when you don’t have money, but thinking is very big, they always attract you and particularly the first-generation entrepreneurs like me, so I naturally see he has done very good work.
Rajat Sharma – Is there friendship with Mukesh Ambani or competition?
Gautam Adani – No, no, Mukeshbhai is a very good friend of mine and I respect him a lot. The new direction that he gave to Reliance Industries in Jio, technology, retail, and of course his conventional business petrochemicals and refinery, the way he has worked he has contributed a lot for the development of the country.
Rajat Sharma – Are you not happy that you left him behind?
Gautam Adani – Rajatbhai, I have never been in the illusion of the numbers and I don’t see myself like that.
Rajat Sharma – I have been trying to trap you for a long time, but you are not getting trapped. Now big people come to you, I have seen that the Prime Minister of Britain came to your office, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister came to you, so how do you handle them?
Gautam Adani – I see it like, they have come to the Adani Group Headquarters, is not important, they have come to our country and how they are seeing India and I’m seeing the change because different Prime Ministers and dignitaries when they come, they see India in a completely different way. This is very satisfying that now they are basically looking at India and Indian industrialists very seriously.
Rajat Sharma – They invite you to set up business there, so the Head of States of countries what do they think about India, what do they think about Narendra Modi?
Gautam Adani – See, I have seen special USP of Narendrabhai that is how to use our Indian Diaspora. It is not that Indian Diaspora is after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, it was for many years. In front of other Prime Minister, he saw that how can we make this platform better and better and without any government expenses you go to America or any country, there are 50,000 citizens gathered together, so the value and respect he has made it from a different side. So, the citizens who are there have got the benefit of that. Now they are seeing Indians with a completely different respect, so it is his contribution, which is very appreciative.
Rajat Sharma – Gautambhai you have answered nicely all the questions. From now onwards nobody can say that Gautambhai does not speak. He speaks also and speaks good. Normally, those who are accused, I don’t praise them, but literally you are a big-hearted person and you have answered very nicely.
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