Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, the Indian billionaire, the Big Bull or Warren Buffett of India, died at 62 on 14th August this year.
He started investing in 1985 with a meagre sum of ₹ 5000, when he was hardly 25. He earned his first big profit
(₹ 5 lac) the very next year in 1986. Then he never looked back. He had chartered his career path. He entered the Boards of Directors of many companies, and in 2021, he co-founded Akasa Air, a low-cost airline in India.
He was indomitable, full of life, wits and insights. Spinning money became his habit and then an intoxication. Thereafter, intoxication for good life, food and drink followed, but health had taken a back seat. A combination of sedentary lifestyle plus lack of physical activity and mental stress proved to be a deadly combination for him.
In the process his blood sugar went haywire, he developed a bad diabetic foot and finally ESRD ( End-Stage Renal Disease), surviving on HD ( haemodialysis) till his ultimate demise.
He was unable to rise from his chair, when the Prime Minister Modi once met him, for which he was trolled badly, until the real reason was made known.
A few years ago his doctors had advised him to pay attention to his health and do some physical movement. But he himself had admitted in an interview that he was a lazy man, and somehow used to avoid it, but his love affair with drinks and cigarettes continued. He used to consume 6 pegs and smoke 25 cigarettes daily. So in a way he had written his own destiny.
He grossly ignored his heath while amassing immense wealth, more than ₹ 41000 crore that comes (approx. $ 5.8 billion), but this large booty couldn’t add any extra minute to his life. Unfortunately, not a penny he could carry with him during his final journey.
Ironically he had invested a large sum (3.1%) in Star Health and Allied Insurance Company from which people take insurance policies for their medical needs.
But he left behind a precious message for every single one of us that health is the ultimate wealth, which one can not buy, it has only to be earned and maintained, to enjoy the life with money earned.
Beyond a few millions, wealth is just a number, though most people are worried about running out of money and not about running out of time. But time waits for none, and certainly not for those who don’t know how to invest in it.