Gautam Adani: Who is the Indian self-made billionaire behind Australia's largest mine?

Over the course of his 56 years, billionaire Gautam Adani has survived a terrorist attack and an alleged kidnapping.

He only quit high school to forge one of India & # 39; s most successful companies and become one of the richest men on the subcontinent.

Now the self-made man can say that he has spoiled the mother of political storms, with his proposed giant Australian coal mine about to become a reality.

The Carmichael mining magnate mine received the final slap of approval from Queensland & # 39; s environmental bureaucrats last Thursday.

Mr. Adani's victory comes after the approval of the facility has been hampered by environmental protests for nine years.

If everything goes according to plan, the coal mine is expected to be the largest in Australia – and possibly the world.

The company claims that the huge mine will produce 2.3 billion tons of black rock in the next 60 years.

But there is something extraordinary beyond Mr Adani's ambitions in Australia: the sensational secrets he has hidden behind his bushy mustache.

School dropout Gautam Adani, 56, is behind Australia's controversial new mine. He is pictured with his wife Priti at the wedding of Akash Ambani - of the richest family in India

School dropout Gautam Adani, 56, is behind Australia's controversial new mine. He is pictured with his wife Priti at the wedding of Akash Ambani – of the richest family in India

Adani & # 39; s son Karan (photo left) married Paridhi Shroff (photo right). Their wedding had thousands of guests, VIPs and private jets

Adani & # 39; s son Karan (photo left) married Paridhi Shroff (photo right). Their wedding had thousands of guests, VIPs and private jets

Adani & # 39; s son Karan (photo left) married Paridhi Shroff (photo right). Their wedding had thousands of guests, VIPs and private jets

Kidnapping, terror, glitter and glamor

Not long ago, Mr. Adani and his dentist wife Priti shone, while the eldest of his two sons, Karan, married the woman of his dreams in a flashy ceremony.

The lavish marriage – with private jets, VIP guests and thousands of attendees – spoke with the extreme wealth of Mr. Adani.

The businessman has predicted that his company will cost 20 billion dollars by 2020.

But with wealth and success comes the jealousy of others, and in 1997 kidnappers tried to take advantage of Mr. Adani's wealth.

The future billionaire was detained for ransom and reports in the local media claim that he was not released until $ 3 million was paid to his abductors.

Details are scanty. Eight men accused of involvement in the abduction of Mr. Adani have been acquitted by Indian courts, reports in local media.

And Mr. Adani has been shy to speak publicly about the undoubtedly frightening incident.

When asked about the incident by the Financial Times in London, Mr. Adani only said: & Two or three very unfortunate incidents have occurred in my life, that is one of & # 39 ;.

It was not the first time that the billionaire was dangerously close to death.

On November 26, 2008, Mr. Adani was dining at the iconic Taj hotel in Mumbai when it was attacked by terrorists.

Adani hid in the basement, while armed men killed more than 160 people inside. He only escaped when command & # 39; s started the fight with the killers.

& # 39; I saw death at a distance of only 15 feet & # 39 ;, he told the local media. It is undoubtedly something that feeds his ambitions to this day.

Adani hid in the basement of Mumbai & # 39; s iconic Taj hotel (pictured) when terrorists killed 160 people in the building on November 26, 2008

Adani hid in the basement of Mumbai & # 39; s iconic Taj hotel (pictured) when terrorists killed 160 people in the building on November 26, 2008

Adani hid in the basement of Mumbai & # 39; s iconic Taj hotel (pictured) when terrorists killed 160 people in the building on November 26, 2008

Karan Adani & # 39; s wedding (photo) had thousands of guests and attended a live Spanish flamenco band (pictured on stage)

Karan Adani & # 39; s wedding (photo) had thousands of guests and attended a live Spanish flamenco band (pictured on stage)

Karan Adani & # 39; s wedding (photo) had thousands of guests and attended a live Spanish flamenco band (pictured on stage)

How he came to riches

Mr. Adani comes from a simple start, a rarity in India's class-based system. Now 56, the mining magnate is estimated at around $ US11.4 billion ($ AUD16.5b).

As a teenager, Mr. Adani moved from his hometown of Gujarat, in the northwest of the subcontinent, to the big city of Mumbai.

He thought that the diamond trade could be the key to his wealth, but instead returned home in 1981 to work on his brother's plastic trade.

There he began to earn his fortune – first by concluding an international deal with a Korean company, and then by forming an import-export company, Adani Enterprises.

His business secret, like the Financial times it was easy. & # 39; Earn a small amount in one company and then take heavy debts against his income to finance the expansion to another & # 39 ;, says the brochure.

It is a strategy that Mr. Adani has repeated over the years, enabling him to finance & # 39; the world's largest private coal-fired power plant and India's largest private port in Mundra, Gujurat.

Critics have opposed Mr Adani's personal relationship with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Both came to power in the same time and the local media described him as the & # 39; constant companion & # 39; from Mr Modi on trips abroad.

Business Relationships: Both Mr. Adani (left) and Mr. Modi (in white) came to power in the same time and the local media described him as the & # 39; constant companion & # 39; from Mr Modi during overseas voyages

Business Relationships: Both Mr. Adani (left) and Mr. Modi (in white) came to power in the same time and the local media described him as the & # 39; constant companion & # 39; from Mr Modi during overseas voyages

Business Relationships: Both Mr. Adani (left) and Mr. Modi (in white) came to power in the same time and the local media described him as the & # 39; constant companion & # 39; from Mr Modi during overseas voyages

The new coal mine is in the initial phase (pictured) in the center of Queensland. The hotly discussed topic was an important decision in the federal elections in the Sunshine State

The new coal mine is in the initial phase (pictured) in the center of Queensland. The hotly discussed topic was an important decision in the federal elections in the Sunshine State

The new coal mine is in the initial phase (pictured) in the center of Queensland. The hotly discussed topic was an important decision in the federal elections in the Sunshine State

What does the future offer for Mr Adani?

This year, Adani Enterprises will overtake Indian multinational Tata, the owner of Jaguar Land Rover, as the largest private energy producer in the subcontinent since the opening of its first power plant just 10 years ago.

The construction of the Carmichael mine will start soon after a management plan has been approved by the Department of Environment and Science of the Queensland Government.

& # 39; I am grateful to the Queensland Government and the Australian Federal Government for believing in Adani & # 39; s vision to strengthen India's energy security and create opportunities for Australians & quot ;, said Adani Wednesday.

& # 39; The project provides 1,500 direct and 6750 indirect jobs & # 39 ;, the company has claimed. But critics say the exact number is much lower. And despite the approval of state and federal governments, there are still some obstacles before the mine gets off the ground.

The controversy will certainly continue with conservationists who are concerned about the effect that the dam will have on a nearby spring, the groundwater of the region and the nearby Great Barrier Reef.

If everything goes according to plan, Mr. Adani's dream mine will become operational in 2021.

Successful businessman: Mr. Adani rang the bell when his Mundra Port & Special Economic Zone Ltd. was listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai in 2007. His business has grown enormously since then

Successful businessman: Mr. Adani rang the bell when his Mundra Port & Special Economic Zone Ltd. was listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai in 2007. His business has grown enormously since then

Successful businessman: Mr. Adani rang the bell when his Mundra Port & Special Economic Zone Ltd. was listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai in 2007. His business has grown enormously since then

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