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.
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.
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.