Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani (born 19 April 1957) is an Indian billionaire businessman, and the chairman, managing director, and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), a Fortune Global 500 company and India’s most valuable company by market value.[4] According to Forbes, he is the richest person in Asia with a net worth of US$90.3 billion[5][6] and the 10th richest person in the world, as of 12 February 2022.


Early life[edit source]

Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani was born on 19 April 1957 in the British Crown colony of Aden (present-day Yemen) to Dhirubhai Ambani and Kokilaben Ambani. He has a younger brother Anil Ambani and two sisters, Nina Bhadrashyam Kothari and Dipti Dattaraj Salgaonkar.

Ambani lived only briefly in Yemen, because his father decided to move back to India in 1958[7] to start a trading business that focused on spices and textiles. The latter was originally named “Vimal” but later changed to “Only Vimal”.[8][9] His family lived in a modest two-bedroom apartment in BhuleshwarMumbai until the 1970s.[10] The family’s financial status slightly improved when they moved to India but Ambani still lived in a communal society, used public transportation, and never received an allowance.[11] Dhirubhai later purchased a 14-floor apartment block called ‘Sea Wind’ in Colaba, where, until recently, Ambani and his brother lived with their families on different floors.[12]

Education[edit source]

Ambani attended the Hill Grange High School at Peddar Road, Mumbai, along with his brother and Anand Jain, who later became his close associate.[13] After his secondary schooling, he studied at the St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.[14] He then received a BE degree in chemical engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology.[15][16]

Ambani later enrolled for an MBA at Stanford University, but withdrew in 1980 to help his father build Reliance, which at the time was still a small but fast-growing enterprise.[15] His father felt that real-life skills were harnessed through experiences and not by sitting in a classroom, so he called his son back to India from Stanford to take command of a yarn manufacturing project in his company.[11]

Ambani has been quoted as saying that he was influenced by his teachers William F. Sharpe and Man Mohan Sharma because they are “the kind of professors who made you think out of the box.”[15]

Career[edit source]

In 1981 he started to help his father Dhirubhai Ambani run their family business, Reliance Industries Limited. By this time, it had already expanded so that it also dealt in refining and petrochemicals. The business also included products and services in retail and telecommunications industries. Reliance Retail Ltd., another subsidiary, is also the largest retailer in India.[17] Reliance’s Jio has earned a top-five spot in the country’s telecommunication services since its public launch on 5 September 2016.

As of 2016, Ambani was ranked 36 and has consistently held the title of India’s richest person on Forbes magazine’s list for the past ten years.[18] He is the only Indian businessman on Forbes‘ list of the world’s most powerful people.[19] As of October 2020, Mukesh Ambani was ranked by Forbes as the 6th-wealthiest person in the world.[6] He surpassed Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Group, to become Asia’s richest person with a net worth of $44.3 billion in July 2018. He is also the wealthiest person in the world outside North America and Europe.[20] As of 2015, Ambani ranked fifth among India’s philanthropists, according to China’s Hurun Research Institute.[21] He was appointed as a Director of Bank of America and became the first non-American to be on its board.[22]

Through Reliance, he also owns the Indian Premier League franchise Mumbai Indians and is the founder of Indian Super League, a football league in India.[23] In 2012, Forbes named him one of the richest sports owners in the world.[24] He resides at the Antilia Building, one of the world’s most expensive private residences with its value reaching $1 billion.[25]

Timeline[edit source]

1980s–1990s[edit source]

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. Obtaining the license was a long-drawn-out process requiring a strong connection within the bureaucracy system because the government, at the time, was restricting large-scale manufacturing, making the importation of yarn for the textiles impossible.[26] In spite of stiff competition from Tatas, Birlas and 43 others, Dhirubhai was awarded the license, more commonly addressed as License Raj.[27] To help him build the PFY plant, Dhirubhai pulled his eldest son out of Stanford, where he was studying for his MBA, to work with him in the company. Ambani did not return to his university program, leading Reliance’s backward integration, where companies own their suppliers to generate more revenue and improve efficiency, in 1981 from textiles into polyester fibers and further into petrochemicals, which the yarns were made from.[4] After joining the company, he reported daily to Rasikbhai Meswani, then executive director. The company was being built from scratch with the principle of everybody contributing to the business and not heavily depend on selected individuals. Dhirubhai treated him as a business partner allowing him the freedom to contribute even with little experience.[11] This principle came into play after Rasikbhai’s death in 1985 along with Dhirubhai suffering a stroke in 1986 when all the responsibility shifted to Ambani and his brother.[28] Mukesh Ambani set up Reliance Infocomm Limited (now Reliance Communications Limited), which was focused on information and communications technology initiatives.[29] At the age of 24, Ambani was given charge of the construction of Patalganga petrochemical plant when the company was heavily investing in oil refinery and petrochemicals.[30]

2000s–present[edit source]

On 6 July 2002, Mukesh’s father died after suffering a second stroke,[31] which elevated tensions between the brothers as Dhirubhai had not left a will for the distribution of the empire in 2004.[32] Their mother intervened to stop the feud, splitting the company into two, Ambani receiving control of Reliance Industries Limited and Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited, which was later approved by the Bombay High Court in December 2005.[33][34]

Ambani directed and led the creation of the world’s largest grassroots petroleum refinery at Jamnagar, India, 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.[35] 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.[36] On 18 June 2014, Mukesh Ambani, while addressing the 40th AGM of Reliance Industries, said he will invest Rs 1.8 trillion (short scale) across businesses in the next three years and launch 4G broadband services in 2015.[37]

Ambani was elected as a member into the National Academy of Engineering in 2016 for engineering and business leadership in oil refineries, petrochemical products, and related industries.[38] In February 2016, Ambani-led Jio launched its own 4G smartphone brand named LYF.[39] In June 2016, it was India’s third-largest-selling mobile phone brand.[40] The release of the service Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, commonly known as Jio, in September 2016 was a success, and Reliance’s shares increased.[41] During the 40th annual general meeting of RIL, he announced bonus shares in the ratio of 1:1 which is the country’s largest bonus issue in India, and announced the Jio Phone at an effective price of ₹0.[42] 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.[43]

In February 2014, a First Information Report (FIR) alleging criminal offenses was filed against Mukesh Ambani for alleged irregularities in the pricing of natural gas from the KG basin.[44] Arvind Kejriwal, who had a short stint as Delhi‘s chief minister and had ordered the FIR, has accused various political parties of being silent on the gas price issue.[45] Kejriwal has asked both Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi to clear their stand on the gas pricing issue.[46][47] Kejriwal has alleged that the Centre allowed the price of gas to be inflated to eight dollars a unit though Mukesh Ambani’s company spends only one dollar to produce a unit, which meant a loss of Rs. 540 billion to the country annually.[48][49]

Board memberships[edit source]

Awards and honors[edit source]

Year of Award or HonorName of Award or HonorAwarding Organization
2000Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year[51]Ernst & Young India
2010Global Vision Award at The Awards Dinner[52]Asia Society
2010Business Leader of the Year[53]NDTV India
2010Businessman of the Year[54]Financial Chronicle
2010School of Engineering and Applied Science Dean’s Medal[55]University of Pennsylvania
2010ranked 5th-best performing global CEO[56]Harvard Business Review
2010Global Leadership Award[57]Business Council for International Understanding
2010Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Science)[58]M. S. University of Baroda
2013Millennium Business Leader of the Decade at Indian Affairs India Leadership Conclave Awards 2013)[59]India Leadership Conclave & Indian Affairs Business Leadership Awards
2016Foreign associate, U.S. National Academy of Engineering[60][61]National Academy of Engineering
2016Othmer Gold Medal[62][63]Chemical Heritage Foundation

Personal life[edit source]

He married Nita Ambani in 1985 and they have two sons, Akash and Anant, and a daughter, Isha, who is Akash’s twin.[3][64] They met after his father attended a dance performance which Nita took part in and thought of the idea of arranging a marriage between the two.[65]

They live in Antilia, a private 27-storey building in Mumbai, which was valued at US$1 billion and was the most expensive private residence in the world at the time it was built.[25][66] The building requires a staff of 600 for maintenance, and it includes three helipads, a 160-car garage, private movie theater, swimming pool, and fitness center.[67]

In 2007, Ambani gifted his wife a $60 million Airbus A319 for her 44th birthday.[68] The Airbus, which has a capacity of 180 passengers, has been custom-fitted to include a living room, bedroom, satellite television, WiFi, sky bar, Jacuzzi, and an office.[69]

Ambani was titled “The World’s Richest Sports Team Owner” after his purchase of the IPL cricket team Mumbai Indians for $111.9 million in 2008.[70][71]

In an interview with Rajdeep Sardesai in March 2017, he said that his favourite food continued to be idli sambar and his favourite restaurant remains Mysore Café, a restaurant in King’s Circle (Mumbai) where he used to eat as a student at UDCT.[72] Mukesh Ambani is a strict vegetarian and teetotaler.[73] He is a very big fan of Bollywood movies, watching three a week because he says “you need some amount of escapism in life.”[11][32]

During the fiscal year ending 31 March 2012, he reportedly decided to forgo nearly ₹240 million from his annual pay as chief of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). He elected to do this even as RIL’s total remuneration packages to its top management personnel increased during that fiscal year. Mukesh Ambani holds a 50.4% stake in the company.[74] This move kept his salary capped at ₹150 million for the fourth year in a row.[75]

In early 2019, a court in Mumbai held his younger brother, Anil Ambani, in criminal contempt for non-payment of personally guaranteed debt Reliance Communications owed to Swedish gearmaker Ericsson. Instead of jail time, the court gave Anil a month to come up with the funds. At the end of the month, Mukesh bailed out his younger brother, paying the debt.[33]

See also[edit source]

References[edit source]

  1. ^ L. Nolen, Jeannette. “Mukesh Ambani”Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  2. ^ “The Rediff Business Interview/ Mukesh Ambani” 17 June 1998. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  3. Jump up to:a b Karmali, Naazneen (6 April 2016). “Meet Nita Ambani, The First Lady of Indian Business”Forbes. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  4. Jump up to:a b “Mukesh Ambani :: RIL :: Reliance Group of Industries”Reliance Industries Limited. Archived from the original on 16 April 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  5. ^ “Mukesh Ambani”Forbes. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  6. Jump up to:a b “Real Time Billionaires”Forbes. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  7. ^ Majumdar, Shyamal (14 January 2015). “How Dhirubhai Ambani changed the style of doing business in India” Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  8. ^ Pandey, Piyush (22 June 2012). “RIL set to part with ‘Only Vimal’ brand”The Times of India. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  9. ^ “Life story of Mukesh Ambani” 23 February 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  10. ^ “Reliance didn’t grow on permit raj: Anil Ambani” 11 May 2002. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
  11. Jump up to:a b c d Giridharadas, Anand (15 June 2008). “Meet Mukesh Ambani: India’s Richest Man”The New York Times. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  12. ^ Yardley, Jim (28 October 2010). “Soaring Above India’s Poverty, a 27-Story Home”The New York Times. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  13. ^ Bhupta, Malini (17 January 2005). “Anand Jain: A bone of contention between the Ambani brothers”India Today. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  14. ^ Fernandes, Kasmin (2 January 2010). “St. Xavier’s is the Indian Hogwarts”Mid-Day. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  15. Jump up to:a b c “Mukesh Ambani on his childhood, youth” 19 January 2007. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  16. ^ Ambani, Mukesh (2001). “Re-Orienting Education at UDCT”The Bombay Technologist50 (1): 33–35. ISSN 0067-9925. Archived from the original on 12 June 2020. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  17. ^ Kumar, Abhineet (17 August 2013). “Ambani tops retailer list, too”Business Standard. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  18. ^ “Bill Gates richest man in world, Mukesh Ambani at 36th: Forbes”The Economic Times. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  19. ^ “The World’s Most Powerful People”Forbes. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  20. ^ “Billionaire Mukesh Ambani topples Jack Ma as Asia’s richest person”The Times of India. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  21. ^ Balachandran, Manu (5 January 2015). “India’s biggest philanthropist is seven times more generous than the next”Quartz India. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  22. ^ “Mukesh Ambani appointed Bank of America as director”The Economic Times. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  23. ^ Hiscock, Geoff (14 December 2010). “Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani backs new soccer league”Herald Sun. Archived from the original on 10 August 2021. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  24. ^ “Richest Owners in Sports: Mukesh Ambani”Forbes. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  25. Jump up to:a b Magnier, Mark (24 October 2010). “Mumbai billionaire’s home boasts 27 floors, ocean and slum views”Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  26. ^ Agarwal, Neeraj (30 March 2016). “India Before 1991: Stories of Life Under the License Raj”Spontaneous OrderArchived from the original on 30 March 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  27. ^ “Reliance Industries Ltd. – Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Reliance Industries Ltd” Advameg Inc. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  28. ^ “Mukesh Ambani – In His Own Words”wealthymatters. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  29. ^ “Reliance Infocomm Ushers a Digital Revolution in India”Press Release by Reliance InfocommReliance Communications. 27 December 2002. Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  30. ^ Poza, Ernesto J. (29 January 2009). Family BusinessCengage LearningISBN 978-0324597691.
  31. ^ Bagchi, Pradipta (7 July 2002). “Dhirubhai Ambani passes away”The Times of India. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  32. Jump up to:a b “An insight into Mukesh Ambani’s empire and how he became Asia’s richest man”The National. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  33. Jump up to:a b Altstedter, Ari; Sanjai, P. R. (3 June 2020). “Mukesh Ambani Won the World’s Most Expensive Sibling Rivalry”Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  34. ^ Badkar, Mamta (26 May 2011). “The Full Story of the Massive Feud Between The Billionaire Ambani Brothers”Business Insider. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  35. ^ “Mukesh Ambani :: Reliance Group :: Reliance Petroleum Limited :: Reliance Industries”Reliance Industries Limited. Archived from the original on 4 April 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  36. ^ “Mukesh Ambani hints at venture between Reliance Industries and Bharti Airtel”The Indian Express. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  37. ^ “Reliance 4G services to be launched in 2015: Mukesh Ambani”ABP News. 18 June 2014. Archived from the original on 19 June 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  38. ^ “Mukesh Ambani elected to National Academy of Engineering, one of only 10 Indians”Firstpost. 8 February 2016. Archived from the original on 20 September 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  39. ^ Gloria Singh, Surbhi (15 May 2016). “Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm’s LYF mobile: A whopping $1 billion brand?”Financial Express. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  40. ^ Agarwal, Sapna; Pathak, Kalpana (29 June 2016). “How Reliance Jio’s LYF became India’s third-largest selling phone brand”Mint. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  41. ^ Sundria, Saket (13 July 2018). “Analysis | Who Is Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s Newest Richest Man?: QuickTake”Bloomberg. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  42. ^ Verma, Swati (7 January 2018). “Macro cues, Q3 earnings, and oil prices to sway market this week”The Economic Times. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  43. ^ Strauss, Marine; Lu, Wei (11 February 2018). “What If the World’s Richest Paid for Government Spending?”Bloomberg. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  44. ^ “Arvind Kejriwal rakes up K G Basin gas pricing, orders FIRs against Moily, Deora, Mukesh Ambani”The Indian Express. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  45. ^ Nair, Anisha (23 February 2014). “Arvind Kejriwal calls BJP, Congress puppets of Mukesh Ambani”Oneindia. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  46. ^ “Arvind Kejriwal’s letter to Mukesh Ambani on gas pricing”NDTV. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  47. ^ Ghosh, Deepshikha (21 February 2014). “Clear your stand on Mukesh Ambani: Arvind Kejriwal tells Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi”NDTV. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  48. ^ “Arvind Kejriwal fires on all cylinders, now writes to Rahul Gandhi over gas prices involving Mukesh Ambani”India Today. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  49. ^ “Arvind Kejriwal asks Narendra Modi to come clean on gas pricing”DNA. 21 February 2014. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  50. ^ “Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani, Reliance Industries: Profile and Biography”Bloomberg. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  51. ^ “Entrepreneur of the Year – 2000 Winners”Ernst & Young. Archived from the original on 20 March 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  52. ^ “Asia Society Awards Dinner Honors Mukesh Ambani, Jeffrey Immelt, and NY Philharmonic”Press Release on Asia SocietyAsia Society. 4 November 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  53. ^ “Winners of the NDTV Profit Business Leadership Awards”NDTV Convergence Limited. Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  54. ^ T. Joseph, Anto (30 December 2010). “FC Businessman of the Year: Mukesh Ambani”Financial Chronicle. Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  55. ^ “Mukesh Ambani awarded the Dean’s Medal by University of Pennsylvania”Forbes India. 9 January 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  56. ^ T. Hansen, Morten; Ibarra, Herminia; Peyer, Urs (January 2010). “Mukesh D. Ambani – 100 Best-Performing CEOs in the World”Harvard Business ReviewHarvard Business Publishing. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  57. ^ “BCIU Presents Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Awards to Mukesh D.” Bloomberg. 11 November 2010. Archived from the original on 29 July 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  58. ^ “MSU doctorate for Mukesh Ambani”The Economic Times. 30 September 2007. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  59. ^ “Priyanka Chopra, Manish Malhotra, Dr. Mukesh Batra, Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani, Dr. Laud, Dr. Mukesh Hariawala, Dilip Surana Among Others to Receive Prestigious India Leadership Conclave Awards 2013”indiainfoline.comIndia Infoline. 20 June 2013. Archived from the original on 3 February 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  60. ^ “Four Indian American Engineers Among Newly Elected NAE Members”India West. 9 February 2016. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  61. ^ “Mr. Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani”National Academy of Engineering. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  62. ^ “Mukesh Ambani awarded Othmer Gold Medal for Entrepreneurial Leadership”NetIndian News Network. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  63. ^ “Othmer Gold Medal”Science History Institute. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  64. ^ “India’s young billionaire heirs and heiresses”India TV. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  65. ^ Vartak, Priyanka (24 November 2017). “Nita Ambani’s story, from school teacher to India’s wealthiest woman, is worth a read!”The Free Press Journal. Archived from the original on 24 November 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  66. ^ Kwek, Glenda (15 October 2010). “India’s richest man builds world’s first billion-dollar home”The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  67. ^ Hanrahan, Mark (18 May 2012). “Antilia: Inside Mukesh Ambani’s 27-Story Mumbai Residence, The World’s First $1 Billion Home (PHOTOS)”HuffPost. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  68. ^ “Mukesh Ambani gifts wife jet on birthday”Reuters. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  69. ^ “Mukesh Ambani gifts Rs 240 cr jet to wife” 3 November 2007. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  70. ^ “Big business and Bollywood grab stakes in IPL”ESPNcricinfo. 24 January 2008. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  71. ^ Badenhausen, Kurt (7 March 2018). “The World’s Richest Sports Team Owners 2018”Forbes. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  72. ^ D’Mello, Yolande (16 October 2011). “Number munching at Cafe Mysore”Mid-Day. Archived from the original on 29 July 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  73. ^ “Mukesh Ambani is India’s richest man for the second year in a row” 1 June 2010. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  74. ^ Chu, Patrick; Idayu Ismail, Netty (5 March 2012). “Mukesh Ambani Backed by India Power Holdings Proves Asia’s Top Billionaire”Bloomberg. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  75. ^ “Mukesh Ambani forgoes Rs 23.82 crore from his pay package”The Times of India. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2022.