There’s plenty of analysis done on how people become rich — people study the morning routines of billionaires, they want to know what they eat, and how they spend their free time. But not enough attention is paid to the industries they operate in — choosing your business vertical can have a huge bearing on whether you end up being truly rich. These are the industries which produce the most billionaires across the world in 2023, as per Hurun’s latest billionaires report.
(9.2% of all billionaires)
Consumer goods might not seem like a sexy sector these days, but it still produces 9.2% of all billionaires around the world. And these billionaires had a good year, seeing their wealth grow by 17% in the period. The current richest man in the world earned his wealth from consumer goods — Bernard Arnault, who founded luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton, is now worth $208 billion from selling handbags and perfumes.
2. Financial Services
(9.1% of all billionaires)
They say money makes money, and this is also true in billionaire world. The industry which produces the second highest number of billionaires is financial services. 9.1 percent of all billionaires are from the financial services industry, just behind the 9.2 percent from consumer goods. The richest billionaire from the financial services industry is Bloomberg founder Michael Bloomberg, who’s worth $94 billion.
(8.4% of all billionaires)
They say health is wealth, and it clearly helps produce it too. The third highest number of billionaires made it to the list by running healthcare companies — healthcare businesses alone contribute to 8.4 percent of all billionaires around the world. While this group of people had seen their net worths soar during Covid, they didn’t have the best time last year, and saw their net worths fall by 15 percent. The richest healthcare billionaire in the world is India’s Cyrus Poonawala, who founded Serum Institute of India, which had manufactured Covishield.
(7.7% of all billionaires)
Retail might be one of the oldest business models in the world, but it clearly still works. Retail still accounts for 7.7% of all billionaires around the world. The richest billionaire in retail in Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who had a difficult 2022, but is still worth $123 billion.
5. Food and beverages
(7.6% of all billlionaires)
It might take a while to build food and beverage businesses — Coca Cola is over a century old — but there are still plenty of people who’ve gotten rich selling things to eat and drink. Food and beverage businesses are the main source of wealth for 7.6 percent of all global billionaires. The richest man in China, Zong Shangshan, is the richest food and beverages billionaire, having amassed a net worth of $62 billion selling bottled water.
6. Real Estate
(7.5% of all billionaires)
Not surprisingly, real estate makes to the list, accounting for 7.5 percent of all billionaires around the world. The richest real estate billionaire in the world is Hong Kong based real estate mogul Lee Shau Kee, who has a net worth of $21 billion.
7. Media and entertainment
(7.1 % of all billionaires)
Entertainment is serious business, and accounts for 7.1 percent of all billionaires around the world. Interestingly, because Google makes most of its revenue from ads, it is categorised as a media and entertainment company. Founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are the richest media and entertainment billionaires in the world, with net worths of nearly $85 billion each.
8. Software & services
(5.8% of all billionaires)
Software might make lots of people quite rich, but it ranks only 8th on the list of industries which produce the most billionaires. Software & services are the main source of wealth for just 5.8 percent of all billionaires. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is the richest software & services billionaire with a net worth of $90 billion.
9. Industrial Products
(5.6% of all billionaires)
Industrial products have been around since the industrial revolution three centuries ago, but they’re still going strong. Industrial products were the chief source of wealth for 5.2 percent of global billionaires.
(5.2% of all billionaires)
And you don’t always have to build a product or service to become rich — simply investing in companies who do works too. The 10th biggest industry where billionaires made their money was Investments. The richest billionaire in this category is Warren Buffett, who has a net worth of $106 billion from astutely investing in other businesses.