Tributes were pouring in for billionaire investor and market bull Rakesh Jhunjhunwala who passed away early August 14. Often referred to as India's Warren Buffet, Jhunjhunwala was brought to Mumbai Breach Candy hospital at 6.45 am where doctors declared him dead, reports said.
Jhunjhunwala was 62. He was suffering from a kidney ailment and ischemic heart disease, which is caused by a narrowing of arteries. The cause of death was cardiac arrest, Breach Candy hospital told CNBC-TV18.
With a net worth of over $5 billion, Jhunjhunwala's latest venture low-cost carrier Akasa Air, took off exactly a week ago with a Mumbai-Ahemadabad flight. Jhunjhunwala was also the promoter of Star Health and Allied Insurance.
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Investors, business leaders, politicians and members of public shared their grief and their memories on social media. Twitter has been flooded with multiple hashtags such as #RakeshJhunjhunwala and #RIPRakeshJhunjhunwala after news of his death broke.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first to tweet his condolences, calling the investor “indomitable, full of life, witty and insightfull”. The PM also lauded his “indelible contribution to the financial world”, adding that Jhunjhunwala was “very passionate” about India’s progress.
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was indomitable. Full of life, witty and insightful, he leaves behind an indelible contribution to the financial world. He was also very passionate about India’s progress. His passing away is saddening. My condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti. pic.twitter.com/DR2uIiiUb7
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 14, 2022
Industrialist Gautam Adani tweeted, "Extremely saddened by the untimely passing away of the most legendary investor that India has had. Shri Jhunjhunwala inspired an entire generation to believe in our equity markets with his brilliant views. We will miss him. India will miss him but we will never forget him. RIP" (sic)
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While Naveen Jindal expressed shock and sadness, adding: "An ace investor and a simple straightforward man, Shri Jhunjhunwala leaves behind a legacy that will continue to inspire many. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones. Om Shanti"
Uday Kotak posted: "Rakesh Jhunjhunwala: my school and college mate. One year my junior. Believed stock India was undervalued. He is right. Amazingly sharp in understanding financial markets. We spoke regularly, more so during Covid. Will miss you Rakesh!"
Vikas Sethi, Managing Director of Sethi Finmart, tweeted, "End of an era. The Big Bull and an eternal optimist on India passes away. My heartfelt condolences to his family. May the departed soul rest in peace. Om Shanti”
Capital Mind founder Deepak Shenoy also wrote on Jhunjhunwala’s death, “RIP Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. A trader, investor and legend that inspired many. He played the short and long side, and made his peace with the market. He will be remembered fondly. Condolences to his family. No matter what, the mother of all bull markets was ahead of us, he would say. And he's always been right." (sic)
G Chokkalingam, Founder and MD of Equinomics Research, said Jhunjhunwala’s passing is very sad. “I firmly believe that God should allow such passionate people in any profession to live much longer. His ability to spot deep value stocks at very early stage and also to assess turnaround stories successfully brought him a great success. These skill sets are lessons to equity investors and even to professionals like us who are in markets for decades,” Chokkalingam said.
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Manish Chokhani, Director of Enam Holding, remembered Jhunjhunwala as an “extremely astute and clear-headed investor, and a perennial India bull”. “He was a larger than life, kind and large hearted soul. He will be missed by our entire community. My thoughts and prayers with Rekha bhabhi and the entire family. May his soul rest in peace. Om shanti,” he added.
Cofounder of StockEdge & Elearnmarkets.com Vivek Bajaj called Jhunjhunwala a change agent. “...some humans (who) are change agents as they drive a major milestone in human evolution”. “Rakeshji is one of them who not just created enormous wealth from stock markets, but made everyone believe in the same. His body may have left us, but his energy stays forever,” Bajaj said.
While Zerodha's Nikhil Kamath tweeted a simple but heartfelt: "There will never again be someone like you, RIP." (sic)
Marketing maven Suhel Seth posted a picture of himself and Jhunjhunwala, adding: "His last supper at my home in Gurgaon…a fine man and astute too a tee but what was most amazing was his empathetic side! RIP Rakesh Jhunjhunwala."
Akasa competitor Jet Airways also posted a tribute to Jhunjhunwala: "We are deeply shocked and saddened by the passing of Mr Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, a man whose love for country and passion for aviation, is an inspiration to us all. Our deepest condolences to his family, loved ones, colleagues, and admirers. May his soul rest in peace." (sic)
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Union Minister Piyush Goyal wrote that he is "deeply anguished at the demise of veteran investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala." Goyal said: "He was an inspiration for wealth creation for crores. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and admirers. Om Shanti." (sic)
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman posted: "Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is no more. Investor, bold risk taker, masterly understanding of the stock market, clear in communication- a leader in his own right. Fondly remember several conversations we’ve had. Had strong belief in India’s strength and capabilities. Condolences" (sic)
Civil Aviation and Steel Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia took to Twitter to praise Jhunjhunwala as “not only an astute businessman but also passionately invested in India’s growth story”. “He will be remembered for giving India its new airline Akasa Air after more than a decade. My deepest condolences to his family & loved ones." (sic)
Essel Group chairman and former MP Subhash Chandra said Jhunjhunwala’s “confidence and belief in India Inc. contributed immensely to its growth” He added: “Not just one Street, but many across the Nation will miss you, forever! Rest in Peace Rakesh Jhunjhunwala Om Shanti."
Former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya tweeted: "My Shradhanjali to Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, the Great Finance Capital Market Authority. Several Year back He use to tell Sensex shall cross 60,000. We will always remember, His contribution towards development of Indian Capital Market which further helped Growth of Indian Economy.” (sic)
Maharashtra cabinet minister Chandrakant Patil said: "Saddened to learn about the untimely demise of Billionaire veteran investor and Akasa Air founder Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. May the departed soul rest in eternal peace & God gives strength to his family members and loved ones to bear this irreparable loss. "
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt also remembered Jhunjhunwala on Twitter. "RJ, I owe him big time. My first day in Bombay 23 years back was a visit to his office. Took his blessings & started an office. Looked up to him. Even a few weeks back he responded to my WhatsApp messages with humility & kindness. A rare soul. Loved always and Lives forever (sic)," he wrote.
Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag also condoled Jhunjhunwala’s death, calling it an “end of an Era”.