Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, big Bull of Dalal Street, dies at 63

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Ace stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala died this morning at a Mumbai hospital. He was also the co-founder of Akasa Air, India’s newest airline which began commercial operations last week.

Hours after the death of Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam shared a video on Twitter that shows the ace investor dancing to the Bollywood song ‘Kajra Re’ on the wheel chair surrounded by his friends and family, Both his kidneys had failed and he was on dialysis. His dance video shows that there should be a will to live in all circumstances,” the Congress leader tweeted while sharing the video.

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was rushed to the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai at around 6.45 am after he suffered a cardiac arrest. He was declared dead on arrival by the hospital authorities. He was 62.

Jhunjhunwala was discharged from the same hospital a few weeks ago after being treated for kidney-related issues. He will be cremated this evening at Banganga crematorium in Mumbai.

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The veteran trader-cum-investor, known as the Big Bull of Dalal Street, was reported to have a net worth of around $5.8 billion. He was the 36th richest billionaire in India, according to Forbes’ 2021 listing.

Launched airline Akasa Air last week

He had recently teamed up with ex-Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube and former IndiGo head Aditya Ghosh to launch Akasa Air – which took to the skies last week. He was seen on a wheelchair at the launch of Akasa Air.

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, who held 40 per cent stake in Akasa Air, appeared publicly for the last time at the airline’s inaugural flight between Mumbai and Ahmedabad on August 7.

“Normally, a child is born in nine months. We (Akasa Air) took 12 months. It would not have been possible without the cooperation of the Ministry of Civil Aviation,” Jhunjhunwala had said in his short speech at the Mumbai airport.

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“Nowhere in the world has an airline been conceived and born in 12 months,” he had said.

Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had virtually inaugurated the first flight of the airline from Delhi.

In a statement, Akasa Air condoled Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s death and said that he cared greatly for the well-being of its employees and customers. “Akasa Air will honour his legacy, values and belief in us by striving to run a great airline,” the statement said.

Often dubbed as “India’s Warren Buffett”, Jhunjhunwala was always bullish about the country’s stock market.

Overall, Jhunjhuwala had investments in more than three dozen companies. Titan, Star Health, Tata Motors and Metro Brands were some of his largest holdings. He was also the chairman of Hungama Media and Aptech.

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was born on July 5, 1960. His father worked as an Income Tax officer in Mumbai. A chartered accountant by qualification, Jhunjhunwala began investing with ₹ 5,000 in 1985 when the Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark index Sensex was at 150; it now trades at over 59,000.