WASHINGTON, March 8 (IANS): Reliance India chairman Mukesh Ambani with a net worth of $22.3 billion emerged as the world's richest Indian in the Forbes list of billionaires featuring 48 Indians.
India's top ten included Savitri Jindal & family (world rank 80), Sunil Mittal & family (113), Kumar Birla (116) Anil Ambani (118) Dilip Shanghvi (124) Shashi & Ravi Ruia (133) and Kushal Pal Singh (153).
Ambani, despite losing $4.7 billion in the past year, was ranked 19th richest person on the planet with Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim retaining his position at the top for the third year in a row with a fortune estimated at $69 billion.
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, 56, held on to second spot on the world list with a net worth of $61 billion.
He was followed by US investment guru and head of the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate Warren Buffett, 81, with a net worth of $44 billion.
Over a third of all the world's billionaires saw their net worth drop last year. India's steel king Lakshmi Mittal, who took the second spot among Indians, was the biggest "loser" from the previous list.
The owner of the world's largest steel company saw his fortune fall by $10.4 billion to $20.7 billion, knocking him out of the top 10 for the first time since 2004. He finished 21st on the world list.
Wipro chairman Azim Premji with a net worth of $15.9 was named the third richest Indian with a world ranking of 41.
A record 1,226 billionaires made the list this year, up from 1,210 in 2011, with an average net worth of $3.7 billion.
With a total net worth was $4.6 trillion, up $100 billion from last year, they came from 58 countries, with most hailing from the US, followed by the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East and Africa.
This year's list includes 104 women, among them Wal-Mart heiress Christy Walton, the world's richest woman and No. 11 overall with a net worth of $25.3 billion.
There was plenty of movement on the list, with 128 billionaires entering for the first time and 117 dropping off.
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, 27, continued his rise up the ranks with a net worth of $17.5 billion, making him the 35th richest person in the world.
The most notable people to leave this year's list were Harry Potter author JK Rowling and Jim Balsillie, former co-chief executive of Research in Motion, the maker of BlackBerry.