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DMart CEO Navil Noronha Is India’s Latest Billionaire

Noronha holds a 2% stake in Avenue Supermarts Ltd, which owns DMart, a chain of hypermarkets in India. He has helped Damani, the company founder, boost his wealth to over $20bn


Meet India's richest CEO, Navil Noronha. Photo: DMart.

 

(AF) Ignatius Navil Noronha, who has been hailed as India’s richest professional manager, is now a billionaire – in US dollar terms – after shares of the company he steers soared to a new peak on Monday.

Noronha holds a 2.02% stake in Avenue Supermarts Ltd (ASL), in which he is CEO. The company owns DMart, a chain of retail hypermarket stores in India.

ASL’s shares were first sold on the Bombay Stock Exchange in March 2017 at an issue price of 299 rupees – about US$4 – each. In the four and a half years since they have risen to a record of Rs.5,899 ($78.65). On Monday they gained 10.7% during the day and have risen 113% this year.

That share rise catapulted Noronha’s net worth to Rs.774.4 billion (or $1.03 billion).

Born and raised in Mumbai, Noronha, 47, completed a management degree at the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, a private university in Mumbai.

Before joining Dmart, Noronha worked with fast-moving consumer goods multinational Hindustan Unilever.

DMart’s founder Radhakishnan Damani hired him in 2004 as a head of business, and he took over as CEO in 2007.

 

Dedicated, Steady and Grounded

While he has been India’s richest CEO for some time, Noronha is admired for being a dedicated professional who is steady and grounded. Reports say he operates from an office about as a quarter of the size of those usually occupied by leading business chiefs.

Under his leadership, the shares of ASL have jumped 19-fold or 1,800% from its IPO price, while its consolidated profit doubled to $55.73 million in the September quarter, year-on-year.

Expert say ASL’s growth has been impressive given that it faces stiff competition from giants like Reliance JioMart, Flipkart and Amazon.

The surge in the company’s share price has also made company founder Damani India’s seventh-richest person, with an estimated net worth of $20.57 billion, according to the IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List 2021.

At the BSE’s close of trading on Tuesday, ASL was priced at Rs.4755.5, with shares having lost 2.85% of its Monday gains.

However, the company is expected to record a further improvement in performance metrics in the October to December quarter, according to Mumbai-based stock broker firm Prabhudas Lilladher.

 

  • By Indrajit Basu.

 

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Indrajit Basu

Indrajit Basu is an India-based correspondent for Asia Financial and wears two hats: journalist and researcher (equity). Before joining AF he reported on business, finance, technology, wealth management, and current affairs for China Daily, SCMP, UPI, India Today Group, Indian Express Group, and many more. He is also an award-winning researcher. If he didn't have to pay bills, he would be a wanderer.

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