Mukesh Ambani has held the title of ‘the richest man’ in India for 10 years straight. He has been included in the list of Forbes’ most powerful people and he runs the most valuable company in India. Mukesh Ambani was born on April 19, 1957. His father was an entrepreneur who started several businesses eventually creating a company called Reliance. When Mukesh was older he joined his father in his business that mainly dealt with textiles, polyester fibres, and petrochemicals. Mukesh expanded the company into the field of communications technology and he has also led the creation of the world’s largest grassroots petroleum refinery. When Mukesh’s father died in 2002, he took over the majority of the business and became the chairman, managing director, and the largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Limited. His net worth as of 2017 is 31.1 billion dollars. Here are 15 things you didn’t know about Mukesh Ambani brought to you by The Second Angle.
- He owns an armored BMW 760i: Being the richest man in India Mukesh feels the need to secure himself as much as possible. He values security so much that he is willing to part with 1.4 million dollars for a customized armored BMW 760i, specially designed in Germany. The car is bulletproof and can protect against explosions.
- Mukesh’s parents set him up with his future wife: Mukesh’s wife Nita could not have imagined that one dance would change her life so much. Nita has a passion for dance and was dancing in a cultural show when she captured the attention of Mukesh’s parents. They were so convinced she would be a good match for their son, that they got Nita’s phone number. When Mukesh’s father called her Nita thought it was a prank and hung upon him. His father kept calling back until Nita finally realized he was who he said he was. It was then the courtship between Mukesh and Nita began.
- He is a vegetarian: Mukes is a strict vegetarian. At times this is conflicted with his business, for example, in 2013 Reliance had plans to launching a fast-food chain called ‘Chicken Came First’ that was similar to ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken’ but the vegetarian stock holders protested instead he ended up banning all non-vegetarian product from his Reliance retail chain which effected about one hundred storms.
- He proposed to his wife in his car: Mukesh and Nita were taking a drive in Mumbai as they usually did when Mukesh suddenly stopped the car in the middle of the road. As cars were backing up behind them he turned to Nita and asked her to marry him. She stared at him in stunned silence, so he said tell me now or I won’t start the car. She said yes and she later joked that she only agreed to avoid a traffic jam.
- He owns the most expensive home in the world: Mukesh built the 27 stories residential skyscraper; he named Antilia, with a building cost of 1 billion dollars. It is the most expensive home in the world as long as you don’t count Buckingham Palace. It has a multi-storied garage that can hold up to 168 cars and it has 3 helipads on the roof.
- His favourite vacation spot is in South Africa: When Ambani takes a break from his busy work life he likes to spend his time with his family at Kruger National Park, South Africa. He loves animals and this park is one of Africa’s largest game reserves that hold hundreds of species including the so-called big five; lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalos.
- He dropped out of Stanford: After receiving his BE degree in chemical engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, Mukesh came to the United States and enrolled in an MBA program at Stanford. However, he dropped out of Stanford to help his dad build up his company Reliance.
- The Indian navy and the Environment Ministry objected to his home: Mukesh’s house caused a lot of controversies when it was built. Some of the objections were in regards to the great show of wealth in such an impoverished nation. Other official objections came from the Indian navy, who stated they would not permit the construction helipads on Mumbai buildings. The environment Ministry also objected to the helipads, saying they would violate local noise laws. There have also been concerns that 168 cars garage constitutes an illegal car park.
- His company contributes almost 5% of the total tax revenue in India: Reliance Industries has been incredibly successful conglomerate that has recently become the most valued firm in terms of market valuation. As of 2017, the company has assets totalling 100 billion US dollars. The company is vital to the economy of India especially since they contribute 5% to the total tax revenue in India.
- He was not born in India: Although most people assume that Mukesh was born in India, he was actually born in Yemen. His father moved the family to Bombay the year after Mukesh was born so that he could work on starting his own spice business.
Now that you have learned more about Mukesh Ambani, do you think it is wrong for him to live so extravagantly when there is so much poverty in his country?