70-year-old Zydus Group Chairman Pankaj Patel is one of the richest businessmen of Ahmedabad. Patel helms a massive empire propelled by flagship firm Zydus Lifescience Limited, one of India’s largest pharmaceutical companies with market cap of Rs 63,580 crore.
Patel also became the second billionaire businessman from Ahmedabad after Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani to buy a private jet when he acquired a Challenger-604 aircraft back in 2012. The pharma magnate, who likes to keep a low-profile.
The aircraft purchased by Patel is manufactured by the Bombardier company. It can have anywhere between 7 to 12 seats and would cost anywhere between $10 million (Rs 50 crore) and $14 million (Rs 80 crore) at the time.
Patel’s Zydus Lifesciences was formerly known as Cadila Healthcare. The company was started way back in 1952 by his father along with a business partner to make vitamins. Patel studied pharmacy from Gujarat University before joining the business in 1976. As the founding families decided to go separate ways, Pankaj Patel took the leadership role in 1995.
Ahmedabad-headquartered company clocks over $1.9 billion in revenue. Its popular products include Sugar Free, Covid-19 vaccine, ZyCoV-D, Covid-19 drug Remdesivir from Gilead and leading Gujarat hospital chain Zydus Hospitals.
Pankaj Patel is on the board of several educational institutions including the prestigious Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Udaipur. He is an inventor who shares over 64 patents. Pankaj Patel was India’s 49th richest person last year. His net worth currently stands at a whopping $6.2 billion (over Rs 51,537 crore). His son Dr Sharvil Patel has taken over the role of Managing Director (MD) of the company.