India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, 61, is one of the most powerful businessmen, not just in India but also the world. The elder son of legendary business leader late Dhirubhai Ambani is currently the chairman of Reliance Industries, the largest Indian private sector enterprise. According to Forbes, Mukesh’s net worth is USD 51.2 billion.
Born on 19 April 1957, Mukesh Ambani spent his infancy in Yemen before his father decided to move to Mumbai in 1958 to start his own business of spices. The late Dhirubhai Ambani then turned towards the textile business in 1966 and gradually transformed it into the most celebrated enterprise we know of today.
The family of six lived in a modest two-bedroom apartment till the late 1970s in Bhuleshwar, Mumbai. During the earlier years, Mukesh received his secondary education from the Hill Grange High School, Mumbai, along with his brother, Anil. Later he enrolled at the Institute Of Chemical Technology, Matunga and obtained his BE degree in Chemical Engineering.
Then he attended the Stanford University, USA, to earn a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) but later opted out to assist his father in establishing Reliance Industries in 1981. After his father’s death in 2002, Mukesh and his younger sibling Anil divvied up the family empire.
Under his leadership, Reliance Industries made a foray into sectors like petroleum refining, petrochemicals and gas exploration. He also set up Reliance Infocomm Limited (presently Reliance Communications Limited). Today, Reliance Industries is reported to contribute 5% of India’s GDP.
In his successful and enviable business career, Mukesh has gone through some troubled times. For one, his rift with his sibling Anil, another business tycoon and chairman of Reliance ADA Group, hogged media attention post the demise of their father. In recent times, the NDA government slammed a USD 579 million fine on Reliance Industries Limited for gas production shortfall.
Mukesh faced hurdles in the form of business malpractice allegations too. His detractors, including AAP founder Arvind Kejriwal, accused him of interfering in the governance of the country. Reliance Industries Limited as well as Mukesh himself have denied the allegations strongly. The company has also resorted to legal actions over the controversy.
The numerous acquisitions made by Reliance Industries Limited, the acknowledgment from leading business entities, and his firm hold on the throne of India’s richest person has not made him proud.
In 2016, the company sparked a price war in India’s hyper-competitive telecom market with the launch of 4G phone service Jio. The move incurred a whopping 70,000 crore investment in India. Then, it was deemed as an aggressive move by industry analysts at a time when telecom companies are vying for 4G dominance. Within a month of the launch, Jio has signed on 160 million customers by offering free domestic voice calls, dirt-cheap data services and virtually free smartphones.
Mukesh vision resulted in the formation of the world’s largest grassroots petroleum refinery at Jamnagar, India in 2010. The refinery is integrated with petrochemicals, power generation, port and related infrastructure. One of his most notable works also involves the establishment of ‘Reliance Communications Limited’, one of the largest and most complex information and communications technology initiatives in the world.
He received his first recognition, the World Communication Award for the most influential person in telecommunications from Total Telecom, in 2004. Ten years later, he was ranked 36 on Forbes list of the world’s most powerful people. Also, he was bestowed the Asia Society Leadership Award by the Asia Society, Washington D.C., USA.
Personal Life & Legacy
The only businessman in India with Z-category security, Mukesh is a teetotaler and has never tasted the alcohol in his life. He is also a pure vegetarian.
Despite the fact he is the wealthiest individual in India, Mukesh is known for his modest behavior. He enjoys dining in some of the country’s little and less pretentious restaurants that serve traditional cuisine. Additionally, he has absolutely no knowledge of fashion brands and is willing to wear anything that feels comfortable.
All in all, his love for cars has led him to won over 168 of them. This includes BMW 760LI which is completely bulletproof with an armour so strong that it can easily bear a bomb blast. He also owns Mercedes-Maybach Benz S660 Guard, Aston Martin Rapide, Rolls Royce Phantom and Bentley Continental Flying Spur.
Mukesh is married to Nita Ambani and they have three children. Two sons, Akash and Anant and a daughter Isha. He lives with his family in Mumbai in an apartment of a private 27 storeyed building named Antillia. His residence is known to be one of the most expensive residential places ever built in history. It is currently valued at over USD 1 billion.