Who is Mukesh Ambani?
Mukesh Ambani is chair and managing director of oil at Reliance Industries Limited, one of India’s most valuable companies. Founded as a small textiles business in 1966 by Ambani’s father, Dhirubhai, the Reliance conglomerate is now a presence in myriad segments of India’s economy, including refining, oil and gas, petrochemicals, telecom, retail and media.
Development of Reliance
Mukesh Ambani spearheaded Reliance’s ventures into new areas, moving the company from its textile roots into new segments. Most of Reliance’s success has not come by way of innovation, but rather by utilizing the most advanced technologies and systems to implement a dynamic supply chain to achieve significant economies of scale.
Under Ambani's direction, Reliance has developed best-in-class manufacturing facilities that have raised the company’s profile, particularly in the petrochemicals space. The company’s facilities in Jamnagar in Gujarat combine to make the world’s largest petroleum refinery. He also took the company into retail by developing and implementing a pan-India retail network that includes multiple formats and supply chain infrastructure.
The company’s efforts in retail have made the company India’s largest and most sophisticated retail player. As of September 2018, Reliance Retail operated 9,146 stores in over 5,800 cities. CNBC reported that the company is also planning to launch an e-commerce platform similar to Alibaba in that it will allow small grocery stores to sell goods online. The marketplace will compete with Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and Walmart Inc's (WMT) Flipkart.
In digital, the company’s 4G phone service, Jio, has allowed it to solidify and expand its customer base. Jio is one of the world’s most comprehensive 4G broadband wireless networks. It offers end-solutions that cut across the digital value chain, touching on key areas throughout the Indian economy such as education, healthcare, security, financial services and entertainment. The company’s digital entry created something of a price war in India’s telecom market, one of the world’s most competitive. Free domestic phone calls, inexpensive data plans and nearly free smartphones have made Reliance a significant player in the industry.
Mukesh Ambani’s Credentials
Mukesh Ambani, a chemical engineer by training, graduated from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai. Prior to coming home following his father’s passing to run the family’s businesses, he pursued but did not complete an MBA from Stanford University. His successes with Reliance positions him as a leading voice in both the Indian and world economies. He is a member of several prominent national and international boards that help inform India’s emerging economy and its role in the global economy, including the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry, Government of India, and the Board of Governors of the National Council of Applied Economic Research, India. He is also on the board of the Interpol Foundation and is a member of The Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum.