Business Families in India have risen to a new level of prominence post the 90’s. One of the most prominent ones has been the Ambani Family. What started as a small yarn spinning business in the 60’s after Dhirubhai Ambani returned to India from his sojourn in Yemen has today grown into India’s largest private sector industry and is without doubt, a true corporate behemoth.
Taking over the mantle of running his father’s company, Mukesh Ambani has well and truly transformed Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). Under his leadership, the company has grown multi-fold and expanded into newer territories. Now, with his children entering the corporate world, the next generation of the Ambani family has set in to take over the mantle created by their grandfather.
Mukesh & Nita Ambani’s elder son, Akash Ambani who graduated from Brown with a degree in economics has joined RIL’s subsidiary, Reliance Jio to help launch the conglomerate’s re-entry in telecommunications with Reliance Jio.
Rewind to the eighties when the family was still very much together. Mukesh gave up his management studies at Stanford midway to join Reliance Industries in 1981 when his father called him back. Famed for his project management skills, Mukesh initiated Reliance’s backward integration journey from textiles into polyester fibres and further into petrochemicals and petroleum refining, and upstream into oil and gas exploration and production. In the process he created the world’s largest grassroots petroleum refinery in Jamnagar.
Along with Akash, the two other Ambani children are Isha and Anant. Akash and Anant have been spotted at many Mumbai Indians matches in Mumbai. Like his elder brother, Anant is also attending Brown University. Isha, a graduate of another Ivy League University, Yale University is currently working for global strategy and management consulting firm, McKinsey & Co., in Ney York.
The Ambani cousins are joining their father’s business at a time when a host of other business family scions are already learning the ropes in their respective groups. Clearly, the future of India’s corporate and private sector behemoth is in the hands of these twenty-something’s. For now though, they are being groomed to understand and run the business in the future. After all, this is what their parents learnt many decades ago. In the case of the Ambani Family, business has always been booming and the upward growth curve has never fallen astray. Only time will tell how successful, these young hotshots will be, but the signs and history tells us, that India Inc.’s future is in good hands.