How Did Mukesh Ambani Get So Rich?

Mukesh Ambani is one of the wealthiest people in the world. As the largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Ltd., a business left to him by his father, Ambani holds a rare position. The company went public in 1977 by his tycoon father Dhirubhai Ambani, but he didn’t just rely on his inheritance. So, how did Mukesh Ambani get so rich?

He’s more than just a shareholder – Ambani is his company’s chairman and managing director. After withdrawing from an MBA program at Stanford, he spent a lot of time helping his father’s burgeoning business.

By that point, it was already a conglomerate, which he subsequently helped to expand into a variety of ventures, including owning a team, the Mumbai Indians, and the entire Indian Super League football league. This makes him one of the wealthiest sports owners in the world, above Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

PricewaterhouseCoopers recognized him as one of the world’s most respected business leaders in the early 2000s.

Here’s what you need to know about this ambitious Indian billionaire.

What Business Is Mukesh Ambani in?

Reliance industries generates over $70 billion in revenue each year. The company has stakes in oil, gas, and petrochemicals, along with telecom, retail, and more.

The firm began more humbly as a small textile manufacturer. In fact, Ambani’s father started as a simple yarn trader and gas station attendant.

It started telecom giant Jio in 2016 and sparked a 4G price war in India. Then it sold a third of the company to investors for $20 billion in the lockdown, with big companies like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) among the group.

When his father died, Ambani’s feud with his brothers split the company between them. He grew the petrochemical, gas, and oil business into a global enterprise to become a rupee trillionaire.

Mukesh Ambani Net Worth

When their father died, each Ambani was bequeathed $42 billion. It’s easy to complain that generational wealth isn’t earned, but holding onto it is an achievement. This was made clear when brother Anil Ambani reported his net worth dropped to $0, showing not everyone in the family has the same business acumen.

These days, Mukesh Ambani’s net worth is just under $100 billion, thanks to the surge in his business and its market cap during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Two other siblings exist besides the two brothers – sister Nina Kothari’s net worth is unknown, but she is regarded in India as a successful businesswoman in her own right. The youngest sibling is Deepti Salgaonkar, who lives in a million-dollar mansion.

Between them, they’re one of the wealthiest families in the world. But unlike the Waltons with relatively similar individual net worths, there’s a $100 billion gap between the Ambani siblings. Clearly, being born into privilege isn’t a guarantee that it will be maintained for life.

How Mukesh Ambani Got So Rich

Mukesh Ambani became $22 billion richer in 2020 alone from the sale of a minority stake in his Jio wireless network. With big names like Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates involved in the purchase, it wasn’t long before his wealth translated to fame in the United States.

Google is spending $10 billion to help upgrade the company’s infrastructure over the next few years as the world races to 5G wireless. That type of expansionist view is what propelled Ambani’s wealth into the stratosphere.

Oil and petrochemicals were just the foundation – it was Mukesh who made many of the massive acquisitions that cemented him as a hometown celebrity. He opened 700 grocery stores and brought the largest 4G network to India, sparking a wireless price war and acquiring around 400 million subscribers in a relatively short timeframe.

His entire family is in the public eye because of it. 

Who Is Mukesh Ambani’s Wife?

Nita Ambani is Mukesh’s wife since 1985 and is heavily involved in the family business. In fact, she’s been listed several times by local publications as one of the most powerful people in India and Asia. She’s also a co-owner of the cricket champions, Mumbai Indians.

They live together in a private, $1 billion, 27-story building in Mumbai with a maintenance staff of hundreds. Imagine Donald Trump living alone in Trump tower with his family – it’s basically that and more.

The couple have two sons and a daughter who all work for the family company. Before joining, they earned their degrees from Ivy league schools like Yale and Brown University. With such a dominating business and extravagant lifestyle available, it won’t be a surprise to see their offspring inherit the family business when Ambani passes away.

Is Ambani the Richest Person in the World?

Despite his wealth, Ambani is not the wealthiest person in the world. Of the over 2,750 billionaires in the world, he’s comfortably in the top 10 though. His wealth is comparable to the likes of Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, along with Larry Ellison and Amancio Ortega.

This elite company of billionaires adds to a list of the 10 wealthiest people in the world who hold over $1 trillion in combined net worth.

Social media continues to fawn over this elite power family. Ambani is not the richest person in the world, but he is the richest person in Asia. Two Chinese billionaires (Zhong Shanshan and Ma Huateng) were below him since the pandemic skyrocketed his wealth.

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