Mukesh Ambani – Profile

October 25th, 2010 - by admin
Mukesh Ambani - CMD, Reliance Industries Ltd.

Mukesh Ambani - CMD, Reliance Industries Ltd.

Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani – business tycoon, industry icon, respected leader… Many are the adjectives that can be associated with the Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited, India’s largest private sector company.

FAMILY
Born on April 19, 1957 in Yemen, Mukesh Ambani is the elder son of the legendary Dhirubhai Ambani. He grew up with 3 siblings, Anil, Dipti and Nina. The passion of their father was balanced by the softness and love of their mother, Kokilaben and the prudence and practicality of Mukesh Ambani’s wife, Nita. In subsequent years, daughter, Isha, and sons, Anant and Akash, were beloved additions to their home.

EDUCATION
Mukesh Ambani did his schooling from Abaay Morischa School, Mumbai and went on to earn a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from UDCT, Mumbai. His choice of education reflected his father’s philosophy of investing in businesses of the future.

To prove to the world that Mukesh Ambani could do whatever he put his mind to, he applied and got accepted by some of the top universities when he applied for their Master of Business Administration course. Eventually, he chose Stanford University as his alma mater, but his growing entrepreneurial instinct urged him to drop out and help his father with his polyester plant.

Even while pursuing the challenging chemical engineering course, Mukesh Ambani was actively involved in his father’s company. As soon as he joined the company formally in 1981, he became one of the main impetuses for the company’s gargantuan progress.

EMERGENCE OF THE ENTREPRENEUR
Reliance’s backward integration from textiles into polyester fibers and further into petrochemicals was Mukesh Ambani’s brainchild. Reliance’s Jamnagar Refinery in Gujarat, which is now the world’s largest grassroots petroleum refinery, was directed under his watchful gaze. He was the force behind the creation of 51 new, world-class manufacturing facilities encompassing diverse technologies that increased its annual manufacturing capacity from less than a mission tons to over thirteen million tons. Currently, the refinery has a manufacturing capacity of 60,000 barrels per day.

Dhirubhai’s dream project, Reliance Infocomm, which is looked after by brother, Anil Ambani, after the company split in 2005, was also entrusted to Mukesh Ambani in its earlier stages.

Mukesh Ambani’s next strategy is to take a giant leap into the retail with stores across the country.

ACHIEVEMENTS AND ACCOLADES
Mukesh Ambani’s popularity clearly shone forth in 2007, when he was selected as Businessman of the Year by a public poll conducted by NDTC. In the same year, he was presented the United States-India Business Council (USIBC) Leadership Award for Global Vision in Washington D.C., USA as well as the Chitralekha Person of the Year Award by the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi. The same year also saw him recorded as India’s first trillionaire.

Rewinding his life, Mukesh Ambani was chosen as Economic Times Business Leader of the Year in 2006 and ranked 42nd among the World’s Most Respected Business Leaders and 2nd among the four Indian CEOs featured in a survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and published in the Financial Times, London in 2004.

He was also conferred with the World Communication Award for the Most Influential Person in Telecommunications by Total Telecom and chosen Telecom Man of the Year by Voice and Data magazine in 2004. He ranked 13 in Fortune Magazine’s Asia’s Power 25 list of the Most Powerful People in Business and topped the Power List published by India Today for the second consecutive year.

LOCAL KING
In spite of managing the country’s biggest private sector company, Reliance Industries Ltd., Mukesh Ambani’s sight is currently on the Indian market alone. His vision is clear – he wants to expand rapidly within the country and change the lives of its people for the better. However, his focus extends beyond merely size increase to value generation and upscaling.

The MODERN INDIAN PHILANTHROPIST
Mukesh Ambani is regarded as the ‘modern day philanthropist’, whose paragon actions have inspired and cultured a socially sound community today. As the saying goes, ‘A man’s true wealth here-after is derived by the good he does in this world’; Mukesh Ambani has persistently held social welfare through corporate social responsibility (CSR) and charitable deeds in high esteem. He believes in industrious innovations that transform society; and that unless a business has a larger purpose that serves the millions readily, sustainable growth is impracticable.
The Reliance Foundation, spearheaded by Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita Ambani, is one of India’s largest corporate run social organization that addresses social development imperatives of India; namely quality, formal and vocational education, affordable high-quality health care, meaningful rural development and urban renewal, and protection and promotion of India’s priceless heritage of arts and culture.

The VALUE CREATOR

Mukesh Ambani run Reliance Industries Limited has been accorded with the second position in the list of world’s 10 biggest ’sustainable value creators’. By generating the largest shareholder value in terms of market capitalization, Mukesh Ambani and Reliance Industries Limited, both, are held as the finest corporate entities of the world today.

Mukesh Ambani has for long regarded ‘value-addition’ process as primal to any business establishment. He affirms that unless a business admits value; in regards to its products, services, work force, shareholders and end users, a business’s worth is futile. With the influx of this belief into tangible action at RIL, Mukesh Ambani’s conviction has been proven true as Reliance climbs high on prosperity charts, becoming India’s most trusted and value-rich brands today.

THE STORY WITH NO END
Mukesh Ambani dons a cap with many feathers, but he carries them with grace and panache. At 53 years, his sheer energy is enough to take one’s breath away. Having achieved so much, Mukesh Ambani remains hungry for more. So, he continues to create, continues to build and continues to shine brightly on India’s business horizon.

The Reliance Digital store at Moments Mall Kirti Nagar, in the city of Delhi is all set to welcome actor Imraan Khan, Katrina Kaif and Ali Abbas Zafar today(5th September 5, 2011) at 5:00 PM. The actors and their team will visit the store for the promotion of their latest flick Mere Brother ki Dulhan. The cast is expected to interact with the crowd and media at the promotion event.

This Reliance Digital Store is the latest addition to the electronics chain. The store was launched on 3rd September. As a part of special launch festivities, Reliance Digital has put in place exclusive launch offers which range from price-offs and discounts to exchange offers. As a part of the ‘Mismatch Exchange’ scheme, customers can bring in their old refrigerators, washing machines and television sets in exchange for any of the latest electronic product from the store. Reliance Digital is also offering a special purchase scheme where customers can take home any product of their choice at an easy EMI of just Rs. 51. And every purchase will be backed by Reliance Digital’s customer support team at ‘Reliance resQ’, available 365 days a year.

About Reliance Digital:
Reliance Digital is a one stop shop with cutting edge technology for the entire range of household electronics, appliances, computers, gaming and telecom products. Reliance Digital Stores house over 150 international and national brands and over 4000 products. The range at Reliance Digital spans, Audio and Video products (TV’s, DVD players, Car Audio players), Electronic Musical Instruments and Digital Cameras, Gaming Consoles, Computers and Peripherals, Mobile and Fixed line instruments, Durables like, Air Conditioners, Refrigerators, Water Purifiers, Kitchen and Home Appliances.

Mukesh and Nita Ambani’s daughter, Isha Ambani has joined a North American Office of global consulting firm McKinsey & Co as a Consultant. Isha is an alumnus of Yale University where she majored in South Asian Studies and Psychology.

Many expect Isha’s stint at McKinsey to be a stepping stone for a bigger role at RIL. Sources close to the Ambani family say that Isha has a keen interest in the environment aspect of RIL. Her brother, Akash Ambani, another Ivy League Graduate (Brown University) is currently working on Mukesh Ambani’s ambitious telecom project, Reliance Jio. At the same time, the youngest son of Nita & Mukesh Ambani is studying at an Ivy League University too.

Reliance’s Growth

The past few years have seen Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and Mukesh Ambani aggressively investing into businesses that are customer focused. These include RIL’s retail Chains which have been doing phenomenally well. The retail chains are focused on food, groceries, apparel and footwear, lifestyle and home improvement products, electronic goods, etc. Now, RIL is all set to launch Reliance Jio marking the return of Mukesh Ambani to the mobile industry after nearly a decade.

Consulting – A Great Ground for Learning

Consulting is one of the best industries for fresh college graduates or even MBA’s with experience because it offers some unique challenges and compels people to solve problems in a unique manner. It also offers exposure to multiple functions such as operations, finance, strategy, etc. No surprise then that some scions of India’s and indeed the world’s large business houses have a stint at a global strategy consultant’s office before continuing on in their family-built business.

NandiniPiramal, daughter of Swati and Ajay Piramal, worked with McKinsey as a business analyst before joining her family concern in 2006. Krishna Mahesh, an Harvard Business School alumnus also spent time with McKinsey before joining his family business TVS as did SubbiahVellayan and LavanyaNalli. RishadPremji, another HBS alumnus worked in the London Office of Bain & Co., part of the so-called MBB cluster (Which includes, McKinsey, Bain and Boston Consulting Group).

It is proven that children of business families learn more if they work outside family companies in their initial stages, says P Thiruvengadam, senior director, Deloitte India. “Many promoters tell us that their children pick up the dynamics of how an organisation works far better in external companies.

Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Brands Limited (RBL) completed four years of operations in April 2014. From humble beginnings with just 30 employees and one store, RBL has gone on to become a critical part of Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL) retail venture with more than 1000 employees and 150 stores. The number of brands has also increased to 40 and these include some of the most revered names in the world of fashion such as ErmenegildoZegna& Stuart Weitzman. Reliance Brands’ CEO Darshan Mehta says that the company is continuously looking to get more fashion brands including luxury ones to India in addition to solidifying the position of the existing ones. Also, RBL is looking to invest in Indian fashion labels.

The Way Up

While Reliance Brands has made significant inroads into the Indian fashion market, Mehta says that the company is still in investment mode as they continue to launch new brands and expand existing partnerships. The long-term target is to create great value in the fashion business. Because RBL has the backing of the entire top management at RIL, there exists an incredible amount of optimism in the brands journey to the top.

After four years, one of the most significant achievements of the chain is that they are now operating at a profit level at the store level. Most stores have been set a target of breaking even with 18 months of their launch.

Investing in Indian Fashion:

India is moving up in the fashion sector. Every year more Indian designers are seen at the top fashion shows in Paris, Milan and London. This and the amount of interest shown by consumers in couture from India is evidence that here is a value to be created by investing here. Mehta remains optimistic about the rise of Indian Fashion and maintains that if there is homegrown Indian talent which has a certain genre of design, aesthetics, business vision and scalability, then RBL would certainly be a strategic investor. What’s more the retail chain will provide supply chain infrastructure, marketing & sales support, other than putting money, unlike a private equity investor.

Also, the chain’s commitment towards the brands it sells in its store is a rarity in today’s time. “We have so far not got rid of a single brand,” says Mehta proudly. What if they do invest in an Indian Brand? “There are a handful of people, may be three or four. I have met everyone at some point in life. If we invest, it would be for a lifetime. Indian fashion is an interesting space. If we find something we will go there.” Clearly, things are looking up.

India’s already crowded telecom market is about to get a new entrant – Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL). The Mukesh Ambani owned company after investing over $11 Billion is all set to be the first company in India to launch nationwide fourth-generation or 4G services. RJIL, a unit of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has commenced installing backend infrastructure to support nationwide services as September ’14 looks like a likely date for the launch. In February, the company spent $1.8 billion to buy airwaves to compete with Vodafone Group Plc (VOD), the world’s No. 2 by users, and billionaire Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Airtel Ltd.

India’s Huge Potential

India 893 million subscribers are set to grow as gaming and social networking on mobile continues to grow at break-neck speed. While this is immensely promising for companies entering or looking to enter the market, the other side of story is far more daunting. Bharti Airtel’s ambitious expansion has left the Sunil Mittal owned company with $9.3 billion in net debt and shrunk its profit by 75%. Nevertheless, Reliance Jio is continuously investing and looking to expand as it seeks to be the number one data provider in India. This also marks the return of India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani to the mobile market after nearly a decade.

Infrastructure Build-Up

RIL is a conglomerate in the true sense of the word. The company, started by DhirubhaiAmbani in the 1960’ as grown from being a supplier of polyester yarn to one of the world’s biggest oil & gas companies in addition to spearheading a retail revolution and owning a sports team – Mumbai Indians.

Reliance Jio already has access to 1,69,000 towers through deals and sharing agreements signed with Bharti Infratel, Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications and Viom Networks, a JV between Tata Teleservices and SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd. In addition, manpower at the company is going to increased substantially. The total strength at present looks set to be tripled to 10,000 as the rollout nears.Also, RJIL has placed an order of 10,000 lithium batteries to SaftGroupe SA (SAFT), a French battery maker. Lithium batteries are used to contain the fuel pilferage that is prevalent in diesel-powered towers. This is being tested at 11 locations in Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

A Sign of Things to Come

Mobile is growing in India. Analysts continue to be optimistic about the overall market as they feel the Indian market is still untapped to a great extent. Smartphone shipments to India increased by more than 160% from 16 million to 44 million in 2013 as compared to 2012. The bigger picture however is that the overall percentage of smartphone users in India grew from 10% in 2012 to 22% in 2013; and this is growing every month. Many analysts including those at IDC feel that smartphone shipments to India will exceed those of China soon.

Data usage too has risen with the average user using between 200MB – 500 MB each month. In the coming months, expect India to be at par with the West as each user may average up to 1GB.

Investment

No one could have predicted how much the Mukesh Ambani owned company would invest in such a short time. With already $8 Billion invested, it’s likely to invest 300 Billion Rupees ($5 Billion) more in the coming months on account of higher spending on network infrastructure. In June 2010, Reliance had paid 48 billion rupees for the control of Infotel Broadband Services Ltd., hours after the company bid for nationwide wireless broadband licenses. Deep-pockets indeed!

According to post-quarterly results filed in December 2013, RIL had cash and equivalents of over $14.7 Billion – enough for its initial round of investments. While the operating income from the Oil & Gas sector, which contributes significantly to its yearly revenues shrank on account of unsurmountable hurdles in the KG-D6 basin, the numbers are still quite optimistic and investors remain upbeat about Mukesh Ambani’s company.

The Oil Ministry of India is looking to petition before the Cabinet to allow Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) to remain in control of three gas blocks in the KG-D6 Basin. These blocks worth $1.45 Billion are located in the eastern offshore KG-D6 blocks. This comes on the back of the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) seeking to bar RIL from these wells on account of the Mukesh Ambani company’s inability to prove their commerciality.

The Oil Ministry, looking at the bigger picture is rather wary about holding a fresh auction for these wells this would lead to a delay in the development of the reserve which holds 345 billion cubic feet of gas reserves. As a result, it’s seeking relaxation of rules towards RIL. This along with the high probability of RIL going for arbitration could lead to additional delay and increase costs further is what the Ministry is concerned about.

RIL is in a great position because it already has infrastructure in place at many other wells in the KG-D6 basin. As a result, these wells under scrutiny can be put into production sooner than expected. Going by the current price of $4.2 per British thermal unit, they hold reserves worth $1.45 billion. With regards to inter-ministerial consultations, the Oil Ministry headed by VeerappaMoily is likely to seek approval from the Election Commission. After comments are received from the finance and law ministries besides the planning commission, it will be put to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for approval.

While the Oil Ministry has rightly sided with RIL in the greater interest of increasing production substantially, it however is refusing to budge on the Drill-Stem Test (DST) on the D29, D30 and D31 discoveries. Additionally, only half of the $93 million will be allowed to be cost recovered. If the Cabinet does approve this, the same can be expected to be applied for RIL’s North-East Coast Block, NEC-0sn-97/1 which holds a staggering 1.032 cubic feet of reserve.

The KG-D6 area has seen the government interfere with RIL on many occasions. Apart from the recent gas price issue, the Centre has also allowed RIL and its partners British Petroleum (BP) and Niko Resources to retain only 1, 4462.12 square kilometres of the total area of 7,645 kilometres. Further, the area that was taken away contained five discoveries – D4, D7, D8, D16 and D23. Strangely, the DGH was of the opinion that RIL had missed deadlines for submission of investment plans. The five discoveries together had 0.805 Tcf of reserves, or about one-fourth of the restated reserves in the currently producing Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1&D3) fields in KG-D6 block.

Mumbai, 15th April 2014: Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) commissioned its new Polyester Filament Yarn (PFY) facility at Silvassa.

The entire production from this facility has been successfully placed in the domestic and international markets.

With the commissioning of this ultra-modern Polyester Filament Yarn Facility, Reliance’s total PFY capacity, including the Malaysian facilities, is in excess of 1.5 MMTPA.

This expansion further strengthens RIL’s position as the world’s largest producer of Polyester Fibre and Yarn.

The new PFY plant at Silvassa is the most automated and one of the most environment- friendly plants globally. It is co-located with RIL’s existing texturizing facility at Silvassa eliminating the packaging and logistics costs. This coupled with integration with PTA will make the Silvassa facility amongst the lowest cost Polyester Filament Yarn producing sites globally.

The commissioning of this facility marks the beginning of the mega petrochemical expansion of Reliance Industries Ltd.

About RIL

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is India’s largest private sector company on all major financial parameters with a turnover of INR 371,119 crore (US$ 68.4 billion), cash profit of INR 30,505 crore (US$ 5.6 billion) and net profit of INR 21,003 crore (US$ 3.9 billion) as of March 31, 2013.

RIL is the first private sector company from India to feature in Fortune’s Global 500 list of ‘World’s Largest Corporations’ and currently ranks 107th in terms of revenues and 128th in terms of profits in 2013. RIL ranks 68th in the Financial Times’ FT Global 500 list of the world’s largest companies. RIL is ranked amongst the ’50 Most Innovative Companies – 2010′ in the World in a survey conducted by the US financial publication – Business Week in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In 2010, BCG also ranked RIL as the second highest ‘Sustainable Value Creators’ for creating the most shareholder value over the decade in the world.

Key Contact:

Tushar Pania

Reliance Industries Ltd.

+91 9820088536

tushar.pania@ril.com

Mukesh Ambani’s telecom company – Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) is set to recruit 500 professionals at various positions as it aims to strengthen its backline in time for a September 2014 launch. The Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) owned entity has been creating waves in the telecom sector since news first broke that they had acquired pan-India 4G licenses. A source inside RJIL said that around 300 lateral hires will be placed in senior positions. Also, the company is negotiating with several candidates to hire circle heads, i.e., persons who are going to be heading a city, state or in a few cases, a group of provinces. So far, it has managed to hire seven circle heads.

One of the most critical decisions from an organizational perspective that RJIL took was to go with a very centralized organizational structure. This means that all major decisions will be taken from the company’s headquarters in Mumbai. The key personnel here include Chairman Mukesh Ambani, ManojModi, a close confidant, Group President Sandip Das and Managing Director Sanjay Mashruwala. Others include AVP Kiran Thomas and Matthew Oomen, President of Strategy. The company is also looking for two more hires – an Indian with considerable knowledge of the Indian Telecom Market and an expat who could advise the company on their international operations.

Road to the Top:

RJIL has come a long way since starting off many years back. The company has secured pan-India 4G licenses for Rupees 12,847 Crore. Also, with a view to expand operations, RJIL has signed agreements with other majors in the telecom sectors such as Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Airtel and Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications on inter-city and intra-city optic fibre sharing, as well as telecom towers. Under the pact, RJI will be able to utilise multiple fiber pairs across RCom’s 1,20,000 km inter-city fiber optic network to provide 4G services. RJI started first trial of its 4G services in Delhi, Mumbai and Jamnagar. The Department of Telecom (DoT) has allocated 22 million numbers for launch of its services.

Many analysts believe that RJIL’s ascent to the top could signal a fresh tariff war in the already competitive Indian telecom market. The most obvious beneficiaries of this would be the consumers and many analysts expect RJIL to have a profound impact on the market as a whole.

In India’s cricket crazy environment, football is fast catching up in terms of popularity; at least with the urban crowd. Now, things are about to heat up even more as the Reliance Foundation and IMG owned Indian Super League (ISL) announced the winning bids for eight football franchises on Sunday, 13th April 2014. The winning bidders included actors Ranbir Kapoor, John Abraham and Salman Khan; former Indian cricket team captains Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly; and industrialists Harshavardhan Neotia, Sanjeev Goenka and Venugopal Dhoot.

The eight franchises selected will take part in the inaugural Indian Super League scheduled to kick off in September this year. The highlight of the league will be the presence of international stars such as Michael Owen, Hernan Crespo, Thierry Henry and many others. Naturally, this has garnered the attention of many and sources say over fifteen bids were submitted for eight franchises in the IMG-Reliance and Star India backed ISL.

The franchises that won the final bids will be hosting their home games in cities such as – Kochi, Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Guwahati, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore. The people owning these franchises are diverse – Bollywood Actors such as Ranbir Kapoor, Salman Khan and John Abraham, cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly and business houses with some like, DattarajSalgaocar and Shrinivas V Dempo already owning clubs in the I-League. Tendulkar along with PVP ventures will own the Kochi Franchise while a consortium of Sourav Ganguly, Atletico Madrid, Harshavardhan Neotia, Sanjeev Goenka and Utsav Parekh has won the bid for football-crazy Kolkata whereas, Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh are owners of Mumbai.

The average annual franchise cost of an ISL team will be Rupees 15 crore, 25 per cent more than the base price. While the franchise fees for the winning bids are not known, sources close to the development said the territories like Mumbai, Goa, Kolkata and Pune could have got a hefty premium on the base price of Rupees 12 crore a year. These figures are tame compared to those seen with Indian Premier League (IPL) Teams, but cricket is a completely different ball game in India.

The excitement from the owners has been heartening. The little master, Sachin Tendulkar commented, “The Indian Super League presents an opportunity to develop a platform for youngsters to learn and enhance their talent to develop into outstanding players.”Ranbir Kapoor took a similar view stating, “It is a moment of great pride for me to be a part of the Indian Super League and to represent Mumbai. Football has never been far away from my daily life since childhood.”The league’s inception had a lot to do with impetus from Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani. Now, with the ISL on the cusp of putting India on the world footballing map, this could be the catalyst for making football the number one sport in India.

The Indian Super League (ISL) has already garnered a lot of attention from both the press and the fans of the beautiful game alike. The league will feature eight teams from eight different cities in India. Interested parties were invited to bid for teams some time back. Anticipation around the tournament grew when the organizers, IMG-Reliance received a hugely positive response from more than 30 interested parties for its ‘Invitation to Bid’ tender. The bidding closed on March 27th. While the actual identities of individuals and entities bidding for teams isn’t known, it’s one of the worst kept secrets that among that highly selected group are cricket legends, Bollywood stars and a host of corporates.

Football’s growing popularity in India coupled with Reliance Foundation’s investments in sport mean that the Indian Super League could be a instant hit purely on the format. However, the real icing on the cake is the presence of global superstars such as ex-Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke, former Argentina forward Hernan Crespo and England’s Michael Owen. With the backing of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and with Star India backing IMG Reliance, it’s no surprise that a franchise property in sports in India has elicited such a response from the business as well as sports and Bollywood community. IPL, in the year 2007, had 11 bids out of which eight won the franchises.

The nine cities in the reckoning are Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune, out of which eight will be shortlisted. Earlier, the Indian national coach said he was not sure if players would be practicing with their I-League clubs during the ISL. India coach Wim Koevermans said he wasn’t certain how the new venture would pan out for the national team.

A total of eight cities from Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune will be chosen to host the league. The only dampener so far has been the concern of national coach Wim Koevermans over the impact of the league on the national team. “Our (National Team) first opportunity now is to play is in September. But we have to see if the I-League clubs have already started some sort of pre-season because it might affect the preparation of the national team,” said Koevermans “The ISL league will probably start in September but the I-League only starts in December.

One sensational story that has grabbed a lot of headlines is the one involving former Indian Cricket Captain Saurav Ganguly and the club taking the UEFA Champions League and European Football as a whole by storm, Atletico Madrid. Many analysts believe this tournament would mark the perfect time for big European Clubs to enter the Indian Football Market through a partnership or joint venture with an Indian individual or entity.

Mumbai Indians, defending champions of the Indian Premier League (IPL) have announced that legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar will be the team’s ‘icon.’

Tendulkar’s entire career in the IPL was spent with the Mumbai-based franchise that was bought by Mukesh Ambani some years back. Nita Ambani, co-owner of the Mumbai Indian’s commented, “Sachin has been an integral part of Mumbai Indians and a source of inspiration for the team ever since the inception. It was a fitting finale to Sachin last season, when we dedicated the IPL as well as CLT20 trophies as tribute to the legend.”

Tendulkar spent 25 years with the Indian Cricket Team breaking pretty much every record in the book. He is widely regarded as one of, if not the greatest batsmen in cricket history. He retired from cricket after playing a record 200th testin his home ground, the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Being the ‘icon’ of the IPL team, Mrs. Ambani expects the up and coming players signed by the franchise to benefit immensely from the little maestro’s wisdom. “We are very happy to recognize him as the Mumbai Indians Icon. I am sure the youngsters in the team will be delighted to have him around for guidance, and so would be the Mumbai Indians fans,” said Nita Ambani.

Tendulkar’s legendary status elevated him to a pedestal hitherto unchartered by lest a sportsman, but even a politician or a revolutionary figure. For his service to India’s favorite game, the Government of India honoured him with the highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna after his retirement. As a member of the Upper House in the Parliament, the Rajya Sabha since June 2012, the Mumbai cricketer has pledged to garner the attention of the politicos to the plight of sportsmen and women.

Tendulkar confirmed during last season’s IPL that he would not play for the franchise any longer. Fittingly, the Mumbai Indians won the tournament for the first time that season.

Commenting on his first role in the dug-out, Tendulkar remains optimistic and is eager to work with the support staff and the young talent waiting for a chance to shine. “I have been a part of the Mumbai Indians team since its inception and am delighted to continue my association. This season with Mumbai Indians will be a different experience for me and I look forward to closely interacting with the experienced support staff and sharing my learnings with the exciting youngsters in the team,” Tendulkar said.

Lastly, Tendulkar, also known for his affable demeanor and humility has also been the face of the ‘Education for All’ initiative. Led by Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani, it stands for equal and rightful education opportunities for underprivileged children and has been able to meaningfully impact over 30,000 children through various NGOs.

The KG-D6 Basin in the middle of a political battle right now. Even as the decline in output from the Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL) owned blocks has been alleged to have been perpetrated by the company itself, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has come and categorically stated that all approvals were given to RIL and its two foreign partners in KG D6 as per the production sharing contract (PSC) and that the time-lines had been followed. This comes on the back of a claim made by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) that the DGH had absolutely no reason to award these blocks to RIL and classify them as ‘commercially viable.’ In fact, the DGH was quoted as having made the following statement, “The inference drawn by CAG relating to discovery area, continuity of exploration activities and appraisal programme in the contract area are incorrect and contrary to the provisions of the PSC.”

Wells in the KG-D6 Basin are operated by Mukesh Ambani owned-RIL and their business partners, BP (British Petroleum) and Canada’s Niko Resources. The regulator, in this case, DGH had allocated the status of ‘commercial’ on the D1, D3 and other blocks, which were discovered in 2002; meaning that the entity which had been awarded the contract could monetize the hydrocarbons present there.

CAG’s Claim:

The Comptroller and Auditor General claims in its draft audit report that the during FY09 to FY12, DGH gave the green light to RIL to extract gas from the D1 & D3 basins, classifying them as ‘commercial.’ It claims that RIL was given the go-ahead to operate these wells in the block KG-DWN-98/3 without sufficient appraisal, as per the mandate of the PSC. CAG also claims that the operator moved directly from discovery to ‘commercial discovery,’ while there should have been an appraisal exercise to validate the claims before commerciality was endorsed.

DGH Counters CAG’s Claims:

The DGH has strongly objected to the claims made by the CAG. It has stated that the exploration period of the KG-DWN-98/3 was from June 2000 to July 2008. Crucially, during this period the entity awarded the contract was obligated to only complete the minimum amount of work as per agreed in the PSC. And the operator, RIL did complete the work programme as per the PSC, the DGH iterated.

It was in May 2004 that RIL submitted an initial development plan (IDP) that envisaged an output of 40 mmscmd from 34 weeks. This was given the go ahead on November 5th of the same year. Oil production was expected to start from August 2006. During this time, RIL submitted an ‘addendum’ to the IDP that the production could possibly plateau at 80 mmscmd by mid-2008.

According to information submitted to the CAG, RIL was obligated to drill, connect and put on stream 22 wells. This was done to 18 wells but the remaining four, which were drilled from August 2010 to 2011 didn’t have enough deposits to merit linking them to the other 18. This, says the CAG should have raised flags at the DGH and has since led to allegations of under-production at KG-D6. As a result, both parties, have appointed arbitrators and the Supreme Court is considering the request for an umpire auditor by RIL.