Monday, March 4, 2024

When Google did not exist, how did Forbes prepare the first list of the world’s richest people?

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Mukesh Ambani and Elon MuskImage Credit source: Forbes

Whose name appeared in the ‘Forbes’ rich list, who got which rank? Who remained on top between Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos, who won in India between Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani. We all want to know about it. Today it has become quite easy because you have tools like Google and the Internet. But imagine, when ‘Forbes’ had prepared the first such list, then how would all this have been possible without Google or the Internet? This story is quite interesting…

The foundation of Forbes’ work of compiling the list of the world’s richest people was laid in 1982. Yes, this was even before India won the first Cricket World Cup. That year, ‘Forbes’ planned to make a list of America’s 400 richest people. The idea of ​​this came to Forbes owner Malcolm. He talked to his team of editors, but everyone gave up. There was a big reason for this too.

There was a fear of becoming the target of ‘kidnappers’

The editors of Forbes at that time asked how to find out about the wealth of rich people, when most of the information related to it is not public. Apart from this, he had another question from the management that by making such a list, will not the rich people become the target of fund raisers, dacoits or kidnappers?

Later Malcolm said that no problem, he would get this work done by an outside person, with the help of some editors. Then what happened at that time was that Forbes invented some methods of gathering information and methods of data mining which are still in use today. But in 1987, Forbes released the list of the world’s richest people outside America and he had to work hard for this.

This is how the first ‘World’s Billionaires List’ was prepared

After releasing the Forbes 400 list, Forbes released the list of the world’s richest people after 5 years. At that time there was neither Google nor Internet. Therefore Forbes had to work hard. Its financial reporters made phone calls to all the countries of the world. Sent many reporters on tours to Asian countries. From there he collected information which was not public and finally he found the world’s richest man in Japan.

The person who topped Forbes’ first list of the world’s richest people was not an American but a Japanese businessman. His name was ‘Yoshiaki Tsutsumi’. His company Sheibu Corporation had made huge investments in real estate at that time. At that time his net worth was around $20 billion, which today would be around $44.4 billion. But his good fortune did not last long.

In the year 2005, his name appeared in several scams, after which his net worth decreased rapidly and he was dropped from the list of the year 2007.

India’s list coming since 2004

Forbes has started bringing out the list of India’s 100 richest people since 2004. Mukesh Ambani has been on top in this list for a long time. Even in the year 2023, he is on top, whereas his rank in the world is 15. In 2023, the richest person in the world is Elon Musk.

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