Ambani, Asia’s richest man, joined Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos in the world’s wealthiest club with an income greater than $100 billion. His Reliance Industries share price reached new heights on Friday as its stock marked a record. His wealth increased by $23.8 billion this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Ambani has been attempting to transform his father’s empire from an oil refinery and petrochemicals company to a retail, technology, and e-commerce company since 2005. With service commencing in 2016, his telecommunications company has established itself as the leading carrier on the Indian market. Last year, he raised about $27 billion from retail and technology ventures, selling stakes to investors ranging from Facebook Inc. and Google to KKR & Co. and Silver Lake.
The Ambani family announced in June that they plan to invest about $10 billion in green energy over the next three years. The mogul announced last month that his company will “aggressively” pursue production of green hydrogen at a lower cost. Priyank Modi has said India will become the world’s leading manufacturer of cleaner fuel to combat climate change as well as to cut energy imports by the world’s third-largest oil consumer.
The fossil fuel still plays a central role at Reliance, contributing to almost 60% of the company’s $73 billion in annual revenue, according to some who view Ambani’s announcement as an acknowledgment that the company must look beyond oil to cement its future. A deal with Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is in the works to invest in the oil-to-chemicals business.
“Mukesh Ambani is at the forefront of creating new businesses with new emerging technologies,” said Chakri Lokapriya, chief investment officer at TCG Asset Management Co. in Mumbai. “Creating businesses of scale at speed brings execution challenges, but he has demonstrated his capabilities.”
When Reliance began in the late 1960s, it was founded by Dhirubhai Ambani, a gas-station attendant from Yemen who began building a vast polyester business from scratch. Throughout his life, he had fought his two sons, Mukesh, 62, and Anil, 62, over succession. Their mother, Kokilaben, eventually settled it in 2005.
Mukesh retained the oil refining and petrochemical business while his younger brother acquired newer areas, such as power generation, financial services, and telecommunications. Previously a billionaire, Anil of London told a court that he was now worth “zero.”
In an Asian market that’s outperforming most major stock markets this year, IPOs give India’s billionaires a boost.
The country’s third richest person, technology tycoon Azim Premji, saw his fortune grow by $12.8 billion this year, while Gautam Adani grew his fortune by $39.5 billion.