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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

As the latest collaboration between Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and the Indian Defense Force, the Indian Navy has taken help from the country’s largest private sector company to shoot underwater videos of the TRV 72.

The TRV 72 is a torpedo recovery vessel that sank on November 6th approximately 38 nautical miles off the coast of Visakhapatnam. 4 persons on this vessel including an officer and 3 sailors are still missing.

RIL’s Role in Assisting Recovery Initiatives of the TRV 72 Wreck

The videos can be taken by deploying a Remotely Operated Vessel (ROV).The chartered vessel of RIL, MV Olympic Canyon that is essentially used for offshore work in the Krishna-Godavari Basin is equipped with a ROV and has the ability of operating even at 1000 meters below sea level.

According to the initial reports, the wreck of the TRV 72 has been looked at in an upright position at the depth of approximately 370 meters. The Indian Navy will now perform an analysis of the video footage and chart out a course of action.

While addressing the media on board INS Jalashwa, about 20 nautical miles of Visakhapatnam coast, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, Rear Admiral A.B. Singh said, “The footage could give us a clue about the missing persons and as well as the reason for the ship’s sinking.” He made this address during the ‘Day at Sea’ programorganized by the ENC, as part of its upcoming Navy Day celebrations.

He added, “About 15 ships and a number of helicopters and planes were used in the operation. We covered a large area and have found some debris to the coast of Mahabalipuram. The current is very strong during this part of the year, and there is all possibility for the debris to drift up to Karaikal.”

The search and rescue operations were called off after the Indian Navy covered a large area of the ocean over a period of 10 days.

Upgrading Defense Infrastructure

While talking about the deployment of the ROV from RIL’s chartered vessel, the Admiral admitted that the Indian Navy is not currently equipped with the technology used for deep sea operations such as salvaging sunken ships. He acknowledged the need to depend on other sources for such infrastructure.

Recently, the Government of India got rid of the foreign investment rule that expected a single Indian entity to hold at least 51% stake in a defense venture. This helped RIL’s Reliance Aerospace to acquire licenses to manufacture weapons and combat aircrafts. The removal of this rule also allows engineering company Punj Lloyd to manufacture rocket launchers, torpedoes and combat vehicles.

In October, the government made an official statement saying that a committee has cleared 19 proposals for licenses of defense manufacturing made by a host of large Indian corporate houses such as the Mahindra Group, Bharat Forge Limited and Tata Group.

Even before the changes in the foreign investment rules, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion had reduced the list of items within the defense sector that required licenses.

Reliance Jio Infocomm has acquired credit facilities valued at $1.5 billion with lenders such as Barclays and Bank of America. This objective of this is to refinance the company’s existing loans.

Refinancing Debt tied in 2010

It is said that the company will make use of these latest credit arrangements to refinance the debt that it tied in 2010. The guarantor of the new loan facilities is Reliance Jio’s parent company, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL).

Reliance Jio, through an official statement said that,” The new credit facility comprises $1 billion facility I, which has a total maturity of 5.5 years and the $0.5 billion facility II, which has a total maturity of 7 years.” The statement further added that this represents the longest average maturity for an unsecured syndicate loan of a similar size in Asia in FY14.

Global Participation of Banks

The facility has been fully underwritten by an initial group of 15 core relationship banks that come together to form the Mandate Lead Arrangers and Bookrunners (MLABs). This includes the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Barclays Bank PLC, Bank of America, The Bank of Nova Scotia, BNP Paribas – Singapore Branch, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ as well as Citigroup Global Markets Singapore Pte. Ltd.

The statement said, “The deal witnessed significant over subscription before it was launched into syndication and two banks joined in as MLAs. The overall bank group saw participation from banks all over the world, including North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and the Middle East. This term loan syndication saw a total of 26 banks participate in the facility.” As per the statement, the strong participants in providing facility included banks from the Middle East, Taiwan and Japan. The 2 MLAs that came before the syndication included the United Overseas Bank Limited and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi P.J.S.C.

The statement also highlighted that the facility witnessed a significant response in syndication and was able to raise over $400 million. In compliance with the guidelines set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the facility saw participation only from International Banks.

Those which joined in the syndication include the Societe Generale SA, Land Bank of Taiwan – Singapore Branch, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Limited – Singapore Branch, Mega International Commercial Bank Co. Ltd, Offshore Banking Branch.

Reliance Jio’s Rollout Plans

Reliance Jio is the only company that holds a pan-India broadband wireless access spectrum for use in providing 4G services. The company has already announced that the commercial 4G telecom services will be launched in early 2015. Currently, the company has commenced testing its services and is on a hiring spree of about 3000 employees on a regional level.

Entailing an investment of INR70,000 crores, the company plans on initially covering about 5,000 towns and cities which account for over 90% of urban India. In addition to this, the phase I will also include launching services in 215,000 villages across the nation. It is Reliance Jio’s target to expand to over 600,000 villages in India.

The retail segment of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has now launched an online service that will home deliver fresh groceries, vegetables and fruits.

E-Commerce in India

Reliance Retail’s entry into the e-commerce space comes after the success of a number of start-ups such as Flipkart and Snapdeal that have generated billions of dollars in funding and are now expanding at an extremely fast pace. In addition to this, the online grocery market in India has also taken off quite well with players such as LocalBanya, BigBasket, MyGrahak and AaramShop.

According to Technopak, a consulting firm, over the next 6 years, it is expected that the Indian e-commerce sector will grow to become a $200 billion industry. Today, this sector is valued at $10 billion. This industry is currently dominated by travel related services and online retailing stands at generating $600 million a year. By 2020 this figure is expected to go up to $70 billion.

The Brick and Mortar versus E-commerce War

The strong growth exhibited by these online stores is proving to be quite a challenge for its physical competitors such as those operated by Future Group’s Big Bazaar and Reliance Retail.

Recently, Kishore Biyani, the Chief Executive Officer of Future Group criticized Flipkart and other e-commerce retailers for the deep discounts they offered in their promotional sales during the festive season. It is his belief that this could significantly hurt other retail channels.

Reliance Retail’s Venture into E-commerce

In spite of growing competition from e-commerce stores, Reliance Retail continues to be known as the biggest retailers in India by revenue. The company’s September quarter revenues went up by 20% year-on-year to INR4,167 crores. Furthermore, its earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITD) doubled to INR186 crores during this quarter.

Its online store is currently restricted to catering to shoppers in South Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. Consumers from these localities are able to order fresh fruits and vegetables by simply logging on to In addition to this, the website also sells dairy products, packaged foods, personal care products and confectionary items. The product offerings will be similar to those made available at the Reliance Fresh and Reliance Mart stores.

A spokesperson from the company said, “We continue to explore newer markets and channels to leverage our solid foundation. The launch of adds the ‘direct delivery’ channel to our network, besides convenience and choice to our valued customers. Over time we will certainly augment the direct delivery model.”

This venture is operating through a subsidiary as a pilot project at the Reliance Corporate Park office in Navi Mumbai. Over the past year, the 10,000 employees here have been availing services through the Reliance Fresh-Project Director website. The company makes its deliveries to customers either through the nearest store or through alternative distribution channels.

While the company is yet to announce when it will extend its home delivery services to other cities, it is expected that it will rollout services to other geographies in phases.

Only a few months away from the scheduled launch of 4G services in March 2015, Reliance Jio Infocomm is expected to go on a hiring spree. The company is believed to be looking to hire about 3,000 people at regional levels for its retail stores and distribution chains.

Reliance Jio acquired its first 4G license along with airwaves in 2010 through an auction. Since then, the company has been working on creating a foolproof go-to-market strategy. The 4G high-speed broadband services are supported by a INR 70,000 crores investment made by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) which includes the INR24,000 crores spent on airwaves.

Reliance Jio has been awarded spectrum in the 2300 MHz band across all 22 circles for its telecom services and the 1800 MHz band for 14 circles.

High Profile Appointments by Reliance Jio

During the lead-up to the rollout, the company had already made some high-profile recruitments. Recently, there was news of the appointment of Rainer Deutschmann from Deutsche Telekom. He will be heading major product and service innovations for the company.

In addition to this, two former executives from Google have also joined Reliance Jio in contributing to the company’s efforts to build a global team with specialized skills in digital media. 6 months ago, former sales head for the Middle East, North Africa & Adriatics at Google Ireland, Neeraj Bansal has joined Reliance Jio as Chief Marketing Officer, Mobility. Also, Google’s former Country Marketing Head (India) Nikhil Rungta joined Reliance Jio as Marketing Head for the fixed-line business that consists of hi-speed broadband, digital services and fibre-to-the-home services.

Shift in Recruitment Priorities

A person familiar with the hiring processes said that while the company has been on a hiring spree in the past, this one is different. Before, Reliance Jio was hiring people with skills in planning and now it is looking for talent capable of executing these strategies. This shift indicates the advancement of the company in the “rolling out” phase of its services.

A Reliance Jio spokesperson said, “As we begin to spread our geographical operations, hiring is an intrinsic part of our build process.” He further added, “It is obvious given the shape and size of our business, we envisage that with our nationwide operations, we will be potentially employing a large number of people.”

In the latest round of recruitments, the company is prioritizing employees with experience in Aditya Birla Group’s Idea Cellular. Idea Cellular took on established players such as Bharti Airteland Vodafone India by starting services in 8 regions only and moving on to expanding pan-India. Candidates that are familiar with new operations and countering incumbents are being given preference.

While Vinay Razdan, the Chief HR Officer at Idea Cellular refused to comment on their competitor’s hiring strategies, he said that Idea Cellular as a philosophy favors cultural comfort over last-minute retention policies. He says, “Even in the peak, when people were quitting after the 2008 period, we changed our policy from half-yearly promotions to annual ones, because we deliver our promise but believe the employees should also believe in Idea.”

In addition to this, Reliance Jio is considering lateral hires from other existing telecom operators as well.

Under the leadership of Chairperson Nita Ambani, Reliance Foundation has been instrumental in addressing a variety of developmental challenges faced by India. By making use of innovative and sustainable solutions, the foundation has been able to contribute significantly towards rural transformation, urban renewal, education, health and the protection of our nation’s heritage, culture and art forms.

By empowering the underprivileged and infusing social transformation, it is the foundation’s vision to become the leading facilitator of social development.

Launch of Sir H.N Hospital and Reliance Foundation Research Center

This facility, located in the heart of South Mumbai, was re-dedicated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 25th. The new hospital consists of two heritage wings along with a 19-story building complete with modern amenities designed to enhance healthcare service delivery.

In a recent interview, Nita Ambani said, “It’s a digital hospital. It’s future ready. Every information can be accessed from your mobile. We use Cloud and 4G for collecting and storing records for all tests and patients. It’s all digitalized but at the same time we haven’t lost the human touch. The CT scan can be completed in one and half seconds and that helps in reducing radiation. Operation theatres are imported from Germany.”

In addition to this, the hospital has also been able to bring back 50 doctors and surgeons from the United States and United Kingdom to work full-time with the facility.

Nita Ambani’s Endeavors in Education

Her journey in the field of education commenced 25 years ago when Reliance Group was setting up the polyester plan in Patalganga. During this time, Nita Ambani worked towards opening her first school for the employees and their children. Today, the foundation runs 13 schools where 16,000 students are educated. In addition to this, the foundation also runs evening classes at the Dhirubhai Ambani School in Mumbai by partnering with NGOs that work with underprivileged children. It is her aim to leverage digital technology to bridge the gap between rural and urban India. Someday, the foundation hopes to organize classes in remote villages through correct use of technology.

Encouraging Sports through Reliance University

In addition to introducing a full spectrum of courses in science, arts and engineering at the much awaited Reliance University, the foundation also intends to leverage this platform to promote sports. Nita Ambani’s entry into the sporting world happened by default first through the Indian Premier League (IPL) and now through the Hero Indian Super League (ISL). With ISL, she hopes to reach out to the country’s youth and encourage them to pursue sports as a profession. It is her ultimate goal to watch India play in the Football World Cup.

Carrying on the Legacy

Inheriting the hardworking approach adopted by Nita Ambani and husband Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), their children Isha and Akash recently joined the family business. The youngest son Anant too exhibits interest in philanthropy through his interest in animals. The family has created a huge space in Jamnagar where the animals that are adopted are kept and taken care of.

After last year’s success, the joint initiative between Reliance Foundation and the National Basketball Association (NBA) went underway on November 11th, at the Dominic Savio School in Mumbai. The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA Program started with a 2 day ‘Train the Trainers’ program. Post its success last year this initiative is now expanding to 8 cities including Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Kochi, Kottayam, Kolkata, Chennai and Delhi.

The Program’s Objective

Under the leadership of Chairperson, Nita Ambani, Reliance Foundation has worked hard towards playing a catalytic role in addressing India’s various development challenges. The foundation’s vision to enhance the country’s sporting culture is evident through its involvement in the Hero Indian Super League.

The NBA is a global sports and media company that is built around the National Basket Association, the women’s National Basketball Association and the NBA Development League.

The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA initiative aims to be known as a comprehensive youth basketball program. With the help of positive values in sports, it works towards engaging and influencing the lives of Indian youth. The focus of this initiative is to inspire students to play the sport, adopt healthy living habits and pursue an active lifestyle. They understand that basketball acts as an excellent form of exercise and helps in inculcating valuable life lessons such as discipline, dedication, teamwork, sportsmanship and sacrifice.

Last Year’s Reception

2013 was the first year this program was deployed. Conducted in three cities, Mumbai, Kochi and Kottayam, the program engaged more than 140,000 students from 225 schools. 40% of these students were female. Last year, over 250 coaches were trained and 4,500 basketballs were distributed among partnering schools. NBA legend MuggsyBogues and WNBA player Swin Cash visited Mumbai and Kochi to conduct coach training sessions, manage player clinics and to show support for the program.

Promoting Basketball at the Grassroots Level

For the next three months, three international NBA certified coaches will set camp in Mumbai to supervise the program, train coaches and work alongside schools to teach the sport to youth across the Maharashtra.

It is expected that 200 physical education coaches from the 200 partner schools which include 100 MCGM schools will receive training from these coaches. In addition to this, turnkey curriculums will be provided on how to go about teaching the sport to the students. The ‘Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA Basketball in a Bag’ kit provided to the local coaches will consist of resources that help them promote the game within communities. This kit consists of an India-specific coaching guide a well as a curriculum for in-school and after-school coaching programs. In addition to this, the kit also contains gear such as basketballs, nets, cones, air pumps and whistles.

The international coaches intend to help support the implementation of this program at each and every partnering school. Here, the local coaches and the physical education instructors are expected to conduct basket-ball led weekly PE classes for students between classes 3 and 10.

In addition to the ‘Train the Trainer’ program, the initiative in Mumbai will include in-school basketball sessions, elite training camps and a city final that features 3X3, 5X5 and shooting competitions.

The long-term issuer rating of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has been affirmed at ‘AAA’. In addition to this, India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra) also affirmed the company’s non-convertible debentures (NCDs) at ‘AAA’, hereby exhibiting a stable outlook.

What does this Affirmation mean for RIL?

This affirmation essentially reflects the company’s diversified and strong presence in the Indian oil and gas sector. It also highlights the vertically integrated and cost-efficient operations across the entire supply chain. RIL’s exploration and production segment currently has stake in 3 operating oil blocks within the country and in some active shale gas assets within the United States.

The company also has stake in 8 domestic and 3 international developing oil blocks. RIL is the second largest refiner in the country by capacity and has the highest production complexity. In addition to this, it is the marketing leader in the country’s petrochemical segment.

RIL’s Performance in FY14

In FY14, RIL’s refining operations contributed 50% to the Earnings before Interests and Taxes (EBIT). Meanwhile, the petrochemicals business earned 31.5% of the revenues and the oil and gas exploration and production business contributed 10.5% to the EBIT.

The decline in contributions from the oil and gas segment was because of the fall in natural gas production in the Krishna Godavari D6 block. In addition to this the decline in gross refining margins per barrel also contributed to this decline.

Production was reduced in the PannaMukti oil block because of a shutdown for maintenance work. Furthermore, the Tapti oil block also posted reduced production owed to reserves that were lower than estimated. This resulted in a fall in the Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) by 1.7% when compared with FY12. The reduction in margins was partly offset by the depreciation of the rupee and improved petrochemical margin.

RIL’s Capacity to Mitigate Risks

Even though the company is exposed to oil commodity price cycles, its diverse and integrated business structure allows RIL to maintain a consistent and stable operating profit. Furthermore, in spite of the volatility in the gross refining margins and petrochemicals segment, profitability is mitigated through the high complexity of the refineries and the highly diversified petrochemical product portfolio.

The Ind-Ra Ratings

The ratings take into account RIL’s strong liquidity due to the company’s ability to constantly earn stout positive cash flow from its operations. The company has been able to maintain an average consolidated cash flow margin of about 9.5% between FY11 and FY14. This is further supported with its strong working capital cycle of 8 days in FY14 along with the robust EBITDA of INR349.4 billion. In addition to this, on 31st March 2014, the company also posted free cash and equivalent of INR893.5 billion along with undrawn committed term facilities of $5 billion.

The ratings also reflect the company’s credit metrics along with the fact that interest income is consistently higher than the interest expenses. The ratings are further supported by the strong access RIL has to the capital markets, its financial flexibility and sturdy refinancing.

On November 19th, 2014 at 9 PM, the much anticipated Epic Channel is scheduled to be launched on television screens across India. This channel is the first of kind, and is categorized as a segmented entertainment channel that will offer rich content based on Indian mythology, folklore and history.

Founders and Promoters

Spearheaded by Managing Director of The Epic Television Networks, Mahesh Samat, this is the first genre specific Hindi entertainment channel that will showcase its content in a unique and contemporary format. Samat was the former managing director of Walt Disney India and currently has 49% stake in the new channel. In addition to this, the promoters of the company include Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited, Mukesh Ambani; Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra and Rohit Khattar, Founder Chairman of Cinestaan Entertainment Private Limited. It is known that Anand Mahindra has 25% holding in this network.

Celebrating India’s Rich Heritage

The Epic Channel aims at celebrating the rich culture and ancient history of India. With the help of awe inspiring tales that will be retold in a manner that is entertaining and complete with a compelling narrative, the channel will target a large audience set and allow them to select content of their liking within this specific genre.

Anand Mahindra said, “The landscape of Hindi entertainment is undergoing a dramatic transformation. In order to appeal to a far more evolved audience, and to sustain their engagement, there is definitely a need for a revolution in the broadcast space. We have all been entertained with the history and mythology of India through books and grandparents’ stories. These stories will now come to life and can be enjoyed on television in a contemporary manner.”

To this, Samat added, “As the day of a new beginning approaches after much anticipation, we launch The Epic Channel with great pride and pleasure. We aim to bring a whole new experience for the television viewers with an innovative segmented Hindi entertainment channel. With a contemporary take on the rich history of India, our objective is to give the audiences an opportunity to consume genre-specific content to suit their liking.”

Exclusive Compelling Content across Genres

The channel will go on air with four of its driver shows, ‘Dharmakshetra’, ‘Siyaasat’, ‘Daanav Hunters’ and ‘Dariba Diaries’. The channel will also be airing a fascinating mix of non-fiction programs such as ‘Adrishya’, a show that revolves around Indian spies and ‘Ekaant’, which will cover stories of abandoned places within the country. In shows such as ‘Kahi Suni’, various myths and legends of our country will be explored, while ‘Raja Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyaan’ will take audiences through an exquisite culinary journey of the Indian royalty.

With a target audience of 25 to 44 year olds of both genders, the innovative programs with high product quality will belong to a variety of genres including drama, supernatural, non-fiction and comedy. The channel is expected to be made available on all DTH and digital cable platforms.

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) along with its partner Pioneer Natural Resources Company plans to divest their joint venture in the Eagle Ford Shale and midstream business. This will not include any of Pioneer’s upstream drilling assets for which RIL is also a joint partner.

This decision arrives at amidst speculations that the recent oil price drops may result in a rise in the volumes of mergers and acquisitions in the already thriving oil and gas sector. A number of other industry players are already looking at restructuring their portfolio of assets.

According Price Waterhouse Coopers, between the months of July and September 2014 alone, a total of 78 oil and gas deals have been signed. With deal values totaling up to $123 billion, an 81% rise has been marked in deal volume and there has been a 640% rise in deal value as compared to the same period last year.

Shifting Focus on Shale Gas Explorations

The US-based Pioneer Natural Resources Company holds 50.1% stake in the joint venture and is also the operator of the project. In a statement, a spokesperson from this company said that the divestment is with an aim to focus more on the shale gas explorations business. RIL that holds 49.9% stake in this venture through its arm Reliance Holding USA is also in the pursuit to sell of its stake.

A spokesperson from RIL in a separate statement to India bourse said, “”Reliance has also agreed to consider a divestment of its shareholding in this joint venture. The current investment in EFS Midstream LLC is $208 million.”

The midstream business of Eagle Ford currently owns and runs 10 gathering plants and about 460 miles of pipelines. This 4 year old joint venture is expected to generate a cash flow of about $100 million in the coming year.

Scott D Sheffield, Chairman and CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources said, “The sale of EFS Midstream would allow us to strategically redeploy capital to our core, oil-rich Spraberry/Wolfcamp assets in the Permian Basin of West Texas, where we are successfully transforming the substantial resource potential we delineated in 2013 into strong production growth,”

He further added, “We currently have no plans to divest our Eagle Ford Shale upstream assets. The sale of EFS Midstream is not expected to impact our ability to export processed Eagle Ford condensate.”

Successful Join Ventures for RIL

On media reports last month regarding RIL’s plans to sell its stake in the Eagle Ford joint venture, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Alok Agarwalhad said, “Eagle Ford is the most successful joint venture and it has gained a very decent amount of valuation in the last 12 months. Our partners and we are looking at what’s best for the JV going forward.” Media reports valued RIL’s stake in this joint venture at $4.5 billion.

In addition to the Eagle Ford joint venture, RIL also owns stakes in 2 other shale ventures within the US. The company owns 40% stake in Chevron’s Marcellus shale asset and 60% stake in the assets of Carrizo Oil and Gas Inc based in central and northeast Pennsylvania.

With the launch of Reliance Jio Infocomm’s 4G services inching closer, the company has approached the Department of Telecom (DoT) for network testing to be conducted along with various security agencies.

An official source said, “Reliance Jio has written to DoT to start test of legal interception and monitoring solution in its network across circles which is conducted along with security agencies and is mandatory before launch of telecom services.”

Since May 2014, the pace of the role out significantly picked up when the installation of Long Term Evolution (LTE) base stations went up to 6500 per month from the original 3000 per month figure. The company already has its infrastructure in place. These tests will help ensure that the services are rolled out seamlessly.

Launch of Much Awaited 4G Services

Reliance Jio intends to launch its 4G services across majority of its telecom circles by March 2015. Through an investment of INR70,000 crores the company intends to cover about 5000 towns and cities. This accounts for over 90% of urban India. In addition to this, Reliance Jio will also initially cover 215,000 villages while its target is to expand to over 600,000 villages in the long run.

According to the licensing rules, 2015 is the last year for companies that won Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum in 2010 to roll out their offerings to at least 90% of the service areas. DoT has the right to withdraw the radio waves of the companies that fail to do so.

To ensure seamless service delivery of its 4G offerings, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has entered into agreements with a number of firms for leasing towers across India. Reliance Jio will be able to leverage the 113,000 towers set up by Indus Towers along with 27,800 towers installed by GTL Infra. In addition to this, similar agreements have been signed with Tower Vision, ATC India, Bharti Infratel, Reliance Communications and Viom Networks that together offer about 142,400 towers on lease.

4G License Holders in India

Reliance Jio is the only company to hold a pan-India broadband wireless access spectrum that can be used to provide 4G services commercially. Reliance Jio also acquired spectrum in the 1800 Mhz band that is typically known as the 2G spectrum. At INR11,054.41 crores, the company won this license for 14 out of 22 service areas in India. It announced that these radio waves will also be used for 4G services.

Apart from Reliance Jio, Tikona Digital, Airtel, Aircel and Augere Mauritius also won BWA spectrum in mid-2010. Out of these, only Airtel and Aircel have been able to partially launch 4G services using BWA airwaves. Airtel is already offering 4G services in Kolkata, Ludhiana, Chandigarh and Bangalore while Aircel’s services are extended in the states of Tamil Nadu, Jammu & Kashmir. Reliance Communications and Vodafone India also plan on launching their 4G services in the coming year.

With so many telecom operators vying for the top position as the leading 4G service provider in India, it is expected that price will be a significant determinant of success.