President Joe Biden will host Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a state dinner at the White House on Thursday, a lavish event with a guest list featuring at least six billionaires—including the richest person in India and Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The wealthiest person in the room appears to be Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, whose $90.8 billion fortune makes him the richest person in India and the 13th richest person on Earth, according to Forbes’ estimates.
ZScaler founder Jagtar Chaudhry ($8.3 billion) is also on the White House’s guest list—Chaudhry has lived in the United States for over 40 years, but he grew up in a small village in India’s Himalayas that didn’t get running water until he was in 10th grade.
Two other billionaires from India made the list: Mahindra & Mahindra conglomerate chairman Anand Mahindra ($2.2 billion) and brokerage firm founder Nikhil Kamath ($1.1 billion).
U.S.-based billionaire Cook ($1.9 billion) appears on the guest list, along with equestrian and Cargill heiress Gwendolyn Sontheim ($4.1 billion).
Other business titans in the room include Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella—both of whom grew up in India—as well as OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Boeing CEO David Calhoun and several other executives.
The guest list included James Murdoch, the son of conservative Fox Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, whose family has an estimated net worth of $17.1 billion.
The second-wealthiest person in India—Modi ally Gautam Adani—did not make the cut. Adani’s net worth stands at $52.3 billion, but the Adani Group chairman has faced financial and reputational pressure since short-selling firm Hindenburg Research accused him of running a “corporate con” earlier this year—allegations the Adani Group says are false.
Several politicians were invited, like Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and McCarthy’s predecessor Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Vice President Kamala Harris—whose mother hails from India—is on the list. Members of the first family will also attend, including the president’s son, Hunter Biden, who agreed to plead guilty to federal tax charges this week. And Indian-American filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan and tennis star Billie Jean King made the cut.
It’s not unusual for the rich and famous to receive invites to White House state dinners. The swanky functions typically include a mixture of celebrities, politicians and businesspeople with ties to both the U.S. and the guest country. The second-wealthiest person on Earth—LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault—attended a White House dinner with the French president, and a dinner for South Korea’s president featured billionaire Hyundai chairman Euisun Chung along with celebrity home renovators Chip and Joanna Gaines.
The state dinner caps off a busy trip to the United States for Modi, who met with Biden and addressed a joint session of Congress earlier Thursday. The United States and India have sought closer economic and security ties amid a common rivalry with China, though India has been more reluctant to join other U.S. allies and sever its trade ties with Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Modi’s human rights record—including his historical treatment of India’s large Muslim minority—is also a point of tension, with some progressive U.S. lawmakers refusing to attend his joint session of Congress.