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Flipkart founders debut on Forbes billionaire list

Flipkart's application loading page.
Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Flipkart's application loading page.

If there's one indicator India's e-commerce sector is on fire – here it is.

Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, the co-founders of India's largest e-commerce firm Flipkart debuted on Forbes billionaire list on Wednesday, each boasting a personal fortune of $1.3 billion.

Taking the 86th spot, the Bansal duo are the first billionaires to be minted in India's e-commerce boom, according to Forbes.

While they share the same last name, Sachin and Binny are not brothers. The business partners met while studying at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and later became colleagues at Amazon before launching their e-commerce venture in 2007.

Flipkart, which is reportedly preparing for an initial public offering (IPO), is valued at $15.2 billion, according to Business Standard.

"This year's list reflects the churn in the global economy and the growing clout of emerging sectors like e-commerce in India," said Sourav Majumdar, editor at Forbes India.

The Bansals were two of 12 new faces on Forbes' India Rich List this year. Dubai-based Sunil Vaswani of the Stallion Group – a conglomerate with business presence in the West Africa – was the wealthiest newcomer, entering the ranking in the 48th spot with a net worth of $2 billion.

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Another notable debutant was airline veteran and co-founder of IndiGo Rakesh Gangwal, in 70th place with $1.6 billion.

"While the overall wealth of India's wealthiest has remained by and large constant, the democratization of wealth within the list continues," Majumdar said. "Overall, the list reflects the changes in India's economy, and the resilience of Indian enterprise despite continuing uncertainties in some sectors," he said.

There were few changes at the very top of the rich list. Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani retained his crown as India's richest person for the ninth consecutive year despite a drop of $4.7 billion in his net worth driven in part by a fall in the company's share price.

Shares of Reliance Industries have declined almost 5 percent so far this year as lower crude prices weigh on the oil and petrochemicals giant. Nevertheless, Ambani's personal fortune totaled $18.9 billion.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Dilip Shanghvi and IT services firm Wipro chairman Azim Premji remained in the second and third spot, respectively.

Cyrus Poonawalla, who recently set a new property record in Mumbai with his purchase of a $110 million heritage mansion in the city, was the biggest gainer on the list. He placed in the 9th spot with a net worth of $7.9 billion.