This story is part of Forbes’ coverage of India’s wealthiest 2021.View the complete list here.
When the second wave of Covid-19 hit India earlier this year, the government ordered commercially used oxygen suppliers to shift production to medical oxygen to meet the surge in demand. I did. Devendra Jain’s privately owned Inox Air Products, a chemical and industrial gas tycoon, is a joint venture with US-based Air Products & Chemicals to launch operations and increase medical oxygen production by 520% per day. I made it 2,800 tons. Since the last measurement of fortune, Inox Group Chairman has seen his net worth almost double to $ 3 billion.
Jain grandson Siddhars, 43, executive director of Inox Air Products, said it was “very” difficult to supply pure oxygen to every corner of the country. His first hurdle was the lack of special cryogenic tankers needed for transportation. Inox Air Products quickly modified tankers used to transport gas, but that wasn’t enough.
Together with others in the industry, the company lobbyed the government. Soon it transported cryogenic tankers by train, allowing the Indian Air Force to fly empty tankers and replenish them to their next destination. “It was a really war-like situation,” says Siddhars. To make matters worse, some of his family were fighting Covid-19 at the time.
Oxygen production has returned to near normal levels as Covid-19 infections have declined from their peak in May, he says. Inox Air Products revenue for the fiscal year ended March was $ 307 million, up 10% year-on-year, while net income was $ 65 million, up 4%. The family gets most of their wealth from Gujarat Fluorochemicals, a chemical business that has more than tripled its inventory in the last 12 months. The national chain of 154 cinemas in Inox, which was closed after March 2020, has almost been reopened as the state relaxed blockade restrictions.