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nil Dhirubhai Ambani was born in Bombay in June 1959. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Bombay and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He returned to India to join the family company and became co-chief executive officer in 1983, when he began to earn a reputation for financial innovation. Under their father, Mukesh was charged with project management while Anil took care of marketing and fund raising.
Regarded as one of the foremost corporate leaders of contemporary India, Anil D Ambani, 48, is the chairman of all listed companies of the Reliance ADA Group, namely, Reliance Communications, Reliance Capital, Reliance Energy and Reliance Natural Resources. He is also the president of the Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Gandhinagar
The eventual succession battle took seven months to resolve, when their mother brokered a deal. As part of the settlement in 2005, Anil received about 30 per cent of Reliance’s assets, principally its telecoms arm, now known as Reliance
Communications, and its financial services and energy divisions.
Since 2005 he has pursued bold initiatives. These include India ’s biggest initial public offering, the $3bn listing of Reliance Power, in January to a $1bn deal, announced this month, to make films with illustrious Hollywood groups from George Clooney’s Smokehouse Productions to Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment. When he took over the group in 2005, its market capitalisation was about $5bn. Now it is $75bn.
Some interesting facts about Anil Ambani
Anil â€“ Tina Ambani marriage photo
Anil Ambani and Bollywood Stars at Mumbai marathon 2009
The Bollywood connection is not just business. He is at ease in the vibrant social set and close friends with the family of Amitabh Bachchan, the Bollywood superstar. He is also married to Tina Munim, a former Bollywood actress, with whom he has two children.
The family lives in south Mumbai in one part of an apartment block he shares with Mukesh, (the latter is, however, building a $2bn, 27-storey home, which could erase fears of ever invading each other’s personal space). The two estranged brothers work different hours, so rarely meet in the elevator. Anil arrives at work by helicopter at his business park by 9.30am and returns about 12 hours later. Mukesh starts at midday and finishes by midnight.
Anil is a devout Hindu and never drinks or smokes. Although described as “a health freak”, he likes his food spicy hot, so much so that one person remarked he has food with his chilli, not vice versa. After being teased about his weight, he took up marathon running and often runs 100km a week. He has become a familiar sight in his Wharton T-shirt running a 15 km loop along Marine Drive, the half-moon boulevard that defines south Mumbai’s seafront. “He runs on a treadmill at a speed of some 14km per hour and on the streets of Bombay at a speed of 12km per hour, so frankly, he’s a man in a hurry,” says the person who knows the brothers.
Anil Ambani biggest loser in 2008 - Forbes
Ambanis come together on New Yearâ€™s Eve
Mumbai gets world-class hospital from Anil Ambani Group
He is not immune to the allure of fast cars. He was a fan of Porches and Lamborghinis, but today prefers his Range Rover, more practical for Mumbai’s pot-holed roads. He retains a love of driving and asks his chauffeur to move aside and sit in the passenger seat whenever he has time to take the wheel.
For all the blistering corporate activity, Anil’s critics argue that he has yet to prove he can build businesses as well as his brother Mukesh, who some see as a genius at executing large projects, compared with Anil who is better known as a gifted and articulate presenter. “He has an unbelievable grasp of facts and numbers, he’s something of a financial genius and a genius at understanding capital markets”, said one executive from a rival company.
Anil’s competitors also charge him with being too close to regulators, with his businesses benefting from regulatory loopholes, such as in building his mobile network. He has strong political ties and was elected in 2004 as an independent member of the Rajya Sabha, Upper House, in June 2004. He resigned in 2006.
Moreover, not everything has gone right. Reliance Power, after its blockbuster IPO in January, plummeted 17 per cent on its trading debut the following month amid the credit crisis. Worried that the fall could damage Reliance’s reputation for always rewarding shareholders, Mr Ambani compensated them by issuing them with free shares from his personal stock holdings.
The IPO also revealed continued tensions with his brother. Some joked they were competing to top the Forbes billionaires list. Mukesh finished one notch higher, at number five with $43bn. This could change if Anil secures MTN (he would be the first brother to make a big overseas acquisition). So far this is sibling rivalry that has proved constructive and productive; but Mr Ambani still needs to prove he can catch his hunted quarry.
Awards and Achievements
- Voted â€˜the Businessman of the Yearâ€™ in a poll conducted by The Times of India â€“ TNS, December 2006
- Voted the â€˜Best role modelâ€™ among business leaders in the biannual Mood of the Nation poll conducted by India Today magazine, August 2006
- Conferred â€˜the CEO of the Year 2004â€™ in the Platts Global Energy Awards
- Conferred ‘The Entrepreneur of the Decade Award’ by the Bombay Management Association, October 2002
- Awarded the First Wharton Indian Alumni Award by the Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) in recognition of his contribution to the establishment of Reliance as a global leader in many of its business areas, December 2001
- Selected by Asiaweek magazine for its list of ‘Leaders of the Millennium in Business and Finance‘ and was introduced as the only ‘new hero’ in Business and Finance from India, June 1999