Anil Ambani, the Chairman of The Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) is the younger son of the founder of Reliance Industries, Dhirubhai Ambani, and younger brother of Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries. The sons inherited their fortune from their late father. But due to growing disputes between them, their mother brokered a peace settlement and broke up the family’s assets, in the year 2005. According to the Forbes' 2009 list of the world’s billionaires, Anil Ambani is at the 34th position with a net worth of $10.1 Billion. His biggest asset is his around 66% stake in telecom venture Reliance Communications.
Anil was born on June 4, 1959 at Mumbai. He completed his Bachelor of Science from K C College, Mumbai. Subsequently, he went to the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, USA to pursue his degree in Masters of Business Administration. After completing his education, Anil joined his father's company, Reliance, in 1983 as the co-Chief Executive Officer. He managed the marketing activities of the company, and was instrumental in its efforts to raise funds to aid in its growing infrastructure development.
Anil steered India's first venture into overseas capital markets with international public offerings of global depository receipts, convertibles and bonds. Starting from 1991, he led Reliance in its efforts to raise, around US$2 billion from overseas financial markets. Under Anil's efficient stewardship, the 100 year Yankee bond issue was launched in January 1997. After this successful venture, people began to regard Anil Ambani as a financial wizard.
With his hard work and a keen sense of business, Anil created a solid niche for himself in the Reliance Empire. He oversaw a total investment of over Rs. 36,000 crores in the Reliance Group to develop its various divisions. Anil and his elder brother, Mukesh, together steered the Reliance Group to its glorious status as one of India's leading textiles, petroleum, petrochemicals, power and Telecom Company.
Anil successfully held the post of Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the company. After the split in Reliance Group, Anil Ambani founded The Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) in 2005. At present, the ADAG is among India’s top three private sector business houses on all major financial parameters, with a market capitalization of Rs. 325,000 crores (US$ 81 Billion), net assets in excess of Rs. 115,000 crores (US$ 29 Billion), and net worth to the tune of Rs. 55,000 crores (US$ 14 Billion).
Anil Ambani's business interests include financial services, communication, entertainment, energy, power and health care. The ADAG has a customer base of over 100 million, the largest in India, and a shareholder base of over 12 million, which is among the largest in the world. Through its various products and services, the company touches the life of 1 in 10 Indians every single day, in some way or the other. It has a business presence that extends to over 20000 towns and 4.5 lakhs villages in India, and 5 continents across the world.
Anil is the Chairman of all listed Group companies, which include: Reliance Communications, Reliance Capital, Reliance Energy and Reliance Natural Resources Limited. The Reliance communications is one of the largest telecommunications company in India. It was considering a merger deal with South African Telecom Company MTN. However, the deal was called off.
Anil Ambani doesn't believe in doing things the small way and this approach is reflected not only in the aggressive expansion plans of his flagship company Reliance Communications, but also smaller entities like Reliance Big Entertainment (RBE). The RBE has entered into contracts with leading production houses in the movie world. It has signed a deal worth of Rs. 1500 crores with Amitabh Bachchan and family. Currently, the RBE is in talks with the Hollywood icon Steven Spielberg for a possible Joint venture deal where RBE will invest $600 million in Spielberg's Dream Works. One of Anil's major achievements in the entertainment industry is the takeover of Adlabs, the movie production to distribution to multiplex company that owns Mumbai's only dome theatre.
On personal front, Anil's lifestyle is flamboyant and colourful. Parties and get-togethers with celebrity friends are common. He is married to former actress Tina Munim, and has two children. Anil's friends list consists of many famous personalities in the political and film circles. Amar Singh, general secretary of Samajwadi Party, is one of Anil’s close friends.
Anil was the member of Uttar Pradesh Development Council (this council has now been scrapped). He is also the Chairman of Board of Governors of DA-IICT, Gandhinagar and a member of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He is a member of the Board of Governors, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He is also a member of the Central Advisory Committee, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission. In June 2004, Anil was elected as an Independent Member of the Rajya Sagha, the Indian Parliament’s Upper House, with the support of the Samajwadi Party. But he resigned in March 2006. Anil has received much distinctive recognition for his contribution to the growth of his company. He was conferred the 'Businessman of the Year 1997' award by India's leading business magazine 'Business India’. In 2001, he was 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. In 2002, he was conferred 'The Entrepreneur of the Decade Award' by the Bombay Management Association. Anil was rated as one of 'India's Most Admired CEOs' for five consecutive years in the Business Barons in July 2003. He was voted as 'MTV Youth Icon of the Year for 2003'. He was adjudged as the CEO of the Year at the prestigious Platts Global Energy Awards for 2004. In 2006, Anil was voted the 'Businessman of the Year' by Times of India. In the 2009 India Today Power List, Anil was voted the 3rd most powerful person in India.
Ironically, Anil recently topped the "biggest loser" list of the 2009 Forbes World Billionaire list. Among the business leaders who lost money in the late 2000s recession, Anil Ambani was the first name, losing $32 billion in 2008. Last year's biggest billionaire gainer became this year's biggest loser, as shares in Reliance Communication, Reliance Power and Reliance Capital all crumbled.
Despite all odds, Anil Ambani continues to pursue his dreams, and at the same time lives up the reality. He arrives at his office in a helicopter and works 12 hours a day. He likes to go jogging every morning to keep fit. Anil runs 18 km daily and also takes part in the Mumbai Marathon. He is a vegetarian and does not drink or smoke. His aggressive style of business has already won him accolades. Known for his optimism and a positive attitude towards life, Anil has become a role model for the youngsters in India.