Bloomberg TV’s Stephanie Ruhle sat down with Brazilian business mogul Eike Batista at the Milken Conference in Los Angeles today to discuss his recent investments and his desire to be number 1… on the list of world’s wealthiest individuals.Batista is currently the world’s 10th richest man with a net worth of $31.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index. Batista’s wealth comes from ownership of 5 public companies in Brazil that focuses on commodities and logistics.
But $31.9 billion means Batista’s still got a bit to go before surpassing Carlos Slim’s fortune of $73 billion, but Batista has given himself until 2015 to reach that goal. “Just give me time, let me work please,” he told Ruhle.
When Ruhle asked Batista what inspired the desire to be number 1 within him, Batista said it was a competitive edge that he acquired in his childhood.
“I suffered very heavy asthma, so my mother threw me in the cold swimming pool,” he said. “So I cured my asthma through discipline, and I saw that you could achieve things by performing, and it’s part of my DNA… I’m very competitive.”
Batista also expressed a desire to repair Brazil’s global reputation through becoming the world’s wealthiest man.
“Brazil lost two generation of Brazilians to the crisis between ’84 and ’97,” he said. “Brazil probably paid $150 billion in extra risk spread [during that time]. The ratings agencies put Brazil in the same level as Nigeria, and today it’s better than Germany.”
You can watch the entire interview here, or watch the clip below for Batista’s story on what made him so competitive: