Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani, born on April 19, 1957, is a highly successful Indian businessman who is the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd., a company listed on the Fortune Global 500 and valued as India’s most valuable company based on its market value.
Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani was born on April 19, 1957, in Aden, Yemen, to a Gujarati Hindu family. His father, Dhirubhai Ambani, and mother, Kokilaben Ambani, raised him along with his younger brother Anil Ambani and two sisters, Nina Bhadrashyam Kothari and Dipti Dattaraj Salgaonkar. In 1958, the family moved back to India where Dhirubhai started a trading business that dealt with spices and textiles.
Growing up, Ambani lived in a modest two-bedroom apartment in Bhuleshwar, Mumbai and traveled by public transportation. Despite the family’s improved financial status, they still lived in a communal setting. Eventually, Dhirubhai purchased a 14-floor apartment building called Sea Wind in Colaba, where Ambani and his brother lived with their families on different floors.
Mukesh Ambani went to Hill Grange High School in Mumbai with his brother and a close associate, Anand Jain. He then pursued a degree in chemical engineering from St. Xavier’s College and the Institute of Chemical Technology. After enrolling in an MBA program at Stanford University, he decided to leave and return to India to assist his father in building Reliance Industries, which was then a small but rapidly growing company. Ambani was motivated by his professors at Stanford, William F. Sharpe and Man Mohan Sharma, who encouraged him to think creatively.
Mukesh Ambani married Nita Ambani in 1985, and together they had three children: two sons, Akash and Anant, and a daughter, Isha, who is Akash’s twin. They met when Mukesh’s father attended a dance performance that Nita was a part of, leading to the idea of arranging their marriage. They reside in Antilia, a 27-story building in Mumbai valued at $1 billion that was once the most expensive private residence in the world. The building requires 600 staff members for maintenance and features various luxurious amenities, such as three helipads, a movie theater, swimming pool, fitness center, and a 160-car garage.
In 2007, Mukesh gifted his wife a $60 million Airbus A319 for her 44th birthday, which was custom fitted with a living room, bedroom, satellite television, Wi-Fi, sky bar, jacuzzi, and an office. He was named “The World’s Richest Sports Team Owner” after purchasing the Mumbai Indians cricket team in the IPL for $111.9 million in 2008.
Mukesh is a strict vegetarian and does not drink alcohol. In the fiscal year ending 31 March 2012, he voluntarily decided to forgo almost ₹240 million from his annual salary as the CEO of Reliance Industries Ltd.
Mukesh Ambani joined his father, Dhirubhai Ambani, in running Reliance Industries Ltd. in 1981. The company, which initially dealt in refining and petrochemicals, had expanded to include retail and telecommunications industries by that time. Reliance Retail Ltd. is India’s largest retailer, and the company’s telecommunication subsidiary, Jio, is a top five player in the country.
Ambani has held the title of India’s richest person for ten years, according to Forbes magazine, and was ranked as the 36th richest person in the world in 2016. He is the only Indian businessman on Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful people and has been listed as the 6th-wealthiest person in the world by Forbes as of October 2020.
Ambani is also the wealthiest person outside of North America and Europe, and he was named as one of the richest sports owners in the world by Forbes in 2012. He is a Director of Bank of America and is known for his philanthropy, ranking fifth among India’s philanthropists according to China’s Hurun Research Institute. Ambani is the owner of the Mumbai Indians Indian Premier League franchise and the founder of the Indian Super League. He resides in Antilia, one of the world’s most expensive private residences valued at $1 billion.
On July 6, 2002, the passing of Mukesh Ambani’s father following a second stroke, led to tensions between Mukesh and his brother. Their mother ultimately intervened, and the family’s empire was split into two, with Mukesh receiving control of Reliance Industries Ltd. and Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd.. This division was approved by the Bombay High Court in December 2005.
Under Mukesh’s leadership, the world’s largest petroleum refinery was built in Jamnagar, India, with the capacity to produce 660,000 barrels per day. In December 2013, he announced the possibility of a collaboration with Bharti Airtel to build digital infrastructure for 4G networks in India. At the 40th annual general meeting of Reliance Industries, he announced plans to invest Rs 1.8 trillion across various businesses and launch 4G broadband services.
Mukesh was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2016 for his contributions to engineering and business in the oil and petrochemical industries. In 2016, he launched the 4G smartphone brand LYF, which became India’s third largest-selling mobile phone brand. The launch of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. was a success and Reliance’s shares increased. During the 40th AGM of Reliance Industries, he announced a bonus issue and the release of the Jio Phone at an effective price of ₹0. As of February 2018, Mukesh’s personal wealth was estimated to be enough to fund the operations of the Indian federal government for 20 days.
In August 2022, Mukesh announced a plan to launch 5G mobile internet services worth $25 billion in the next two months, starting in major cities like New Delhi and Mumbai and expanding to the rest of the country by the end of 2023.
Mukesh Ambani’s net worth was estimated to be around $93.5 billion USD, making him one of the richest people in the world.
Some awards that Ambani has received include:
His board memberships include: