Mukesh Ambani

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Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani born 19 April, 1957 is an Indian business magnate who is the chairman, managing director and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), a Fortune Global 500 company and India’s most valuable company by market value.  He holds a 44.7% stake in the company.  Reliance Industries Limited deals mainly in refining, petrochemicals, and in the oil and gas sectors. Reliance Retail Ltd., another subsidiary, is the largest retailer in India.As of June 2019, Mukesh Ambani was ranked by Forbes as 13th-wealthiest person in the world, with a net worth of $51.4 billion. In 2016, he was ranked 38, and is the only Indian businessman, on Forbes‘ list of the world’s most powerful people.  

As of 2019, Ambani has consistently held the title of India’s richest person on the magazine’s list for thirteen years.  Through Reliance, he also owns the Indian Premier League franchise Mumbai Indians. In 2012, Forbes named him one of the richest sports owners in the world.  As of 2015, Ambani ranked fifth among India’s philanthropists, according to China’s Hurun Research Institute.

Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani was born on 19 April 1957 to Dhirubhai Ambani (Legendary business leader) and Kokilaben Ambani. He has a younger brother, Anil Ambani, and two sisters, Dipti Salgaoncar and Nina Kothari. The Ambani family lived in a modest two-bedroom apartment in Bhuleshwar, Mumbai until the 1970s.  Dhirubhai later purchased a 14-floor apartment block called ‘Sea Wind’ in Colaba, where, until recently, Mukesh and Anil lived with their families on different floors.He attended the Hill Grange High School at Peddar Road, Mumbai, along with his brother and where Anand Jain, his close associate, was his classmate.  He received his BE degree in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology(UDCT), Matunga.  Mukesh later enrolled for an MBA at Stanford University but withdrew to help his father build Reliance, which at the time was still a small but fast growing enterprise.

In 1980, the Indian government under Indira Gandhi opened PFY (polyester filament yarn) manufacturing to the private sector. Dhirubhai Ambani applied for a license to set up a PFY manufacturing plant. In spite of stiff competition from Tatas, Birlas and 43 others, Dhirubhai was awarded the licence.  To help him build the PFY plant, Dhirubhai pulled his eldest son Mukesh out of Stanford where he was studying for his MBA. Mukesh then continued to work for Reliance and did not return to his university program after that. He’s credited for leading Reliance’s backward integration from textiles into polyester fibres and further into petrochemicals, beginning in 1981.

Mukesh Ambani set up Reliance Infocomm Limited (now Reliance Communications Limited), which was focused on information and communications technology initiatives.

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Ambani founded and led the creation of the world’s largest grassroots petroleum refinery at Jamnagar, India. This was India’s first private refinery, which had the capacity to produce 660,000 barrels per day (33 million tonnes per year) in 2010, integrated with petrochemicals, power generation, port and related infrastructure. Thus, fit put India on the world map for oil and made it possible for India to compete at a global level.In December 2013 Ambani announced, at the Progressive Punjab Summit in Mohali, the possibility of a “collaborative venture” with Bharti Airtel in setting up digital infrastructure for the 4G network in India.

On 18 June 2014, Mukesh Ambani, addressing the 40th AGM of Reliance Industries, said it will invest Rs 1.8 trillion (short scale) across businesses in the next three years and launch 4G broadband services in 2015.

In February 2016, Mukesh Ambani-led Jio launched its own 4G smartphone brand named LYF.  In June 2016, it was India’s third-largest-selling mobile phone brand.

He is the board member of several other groups such as Chairman, managing director, Chairman of Finance Committee and Member of Employees Stock Compensation Committee, Reliance Industries Limited. Governors Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, Former chairman, Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited, Former vice-chairman, Reliance Petroleum, Chairman of the board, Reliance Petroleum, Chairman and Chairman of Audit Committee, Reliance Retail Limited., Chairman, Reliance Exploration and Production DMCC, Former Director, Member of Credit Committee and Member of Compensation & Benefits Committee, Bank of America Corporation, President, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

As of February, 2018, Bloomberg’s “Robin Hood Index” estimated that Ambani’s personal wealth was enough to fund the operations of the Indian federal government for 20 days.

Mukesh is married to Nita Ambani and has two sons, Anant and Akash, and a daughter, Isha.  They live in a private 27-storey building in Mumbai named Antilia valued at US$1 billion and was the most expensive residence in the world at the time of being built.  In an interview with Rajdeep Sardesai in March 2017, Mukesh said that his favourite food continued to be idli sambar and his favourite restaurant remains Mysore Café, a restaurant in Kings circle (Mumbai) where he used to eat as a student at UDCT from 1974 to 1979.

This dynamic business magnate has been honored on many occasions. In 2000, he received Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year award.  In 2010, he received various awards including the ‘Global Vision Award’ by Asia Society, ‘Business Leader of the Year’ by NDTV India, ‘Businessman of the Year’ by Financial Chronicle and ‘Global Leadership Award’ by Business Council for International Understanding. The Harvard Business Review named him as the 5th best performing CEO in the world. He also received the School of Engineering and Applied Science Dean’s medal from University of Pennsylvania. Also, in the same year he received Honorary Doctorate from the M.S. University of Baroda.  In 2013, he was honoured Millennium Business Leader of the Decade by Indian Affairs Business Leadership Awards.  And in 2016 he received two different honours, Foreign member, U.S. from National Academy of Engineering and Othmer Gold Member from Chemical Heritage Foundation.

Ambani spoke at the 83rd general annual meeting of FICCI stating ‘To me, the purpose of business is growth, welfare and enrichment of the nation at large—by creating jobs and generating wealth. And for that, businesses need to constantly innovate and expand-or else it will stagnate and wither away’. And this clearly defines him as a businessman and what has led him to his success.