Mukesh Ambani controls Reliance Industries, owner of the world’s largest oil refining complex. The Mumbai-based conglomerate’s other businesses include a 4G wireless network across India. The billionaire also owns a residential property worth more than $400 million and the Mumbai Indians professional cricket team.
The majority of Ambani’s wealth derives from a 42% stake in publicly traded Reliance Industries. The Mumbai-based company has the largest oil refining complex in the world, according to its website.
The shares are held by a promoter group, which includes holding companies, trusts and family members, according to a June 2023 filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange. They’re all credited in this analysis to Ambani to reflect his status as founder, chairman and managing director. A stake held by his mother is excluded.
Jio Financials Services was spun-out of Reliance Industries on July 20, 2023 on a 1:1 distribution to shareholders. He owns about 45% of the company directly and through a promoter group, according to the company’s 2023 prospectus.
The billionaire’s Mumbai mansion, Antilia, is valued at more than $400 million, according to a September 2014 analysis by property surveyors. The valuation is lower than unverified media reports which say Ambani has spent more than $1 billion on the 27-story property.
He has collected more than $3 billion in dividends, according to Bloomberg data. The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of those proceeds, share transactions, as well as taxes, market performance and family investments.
Tushar Pania, a spokesman at Reliance Industries, declined to comment on the valuation of his personal assets and the calculation of his net worth.
Education: Institute of Chemical Technology, Stanford University
Father Dhirubhai Ambani got his start as a clerk at the trading company A. Besse & Co. in Aden, Turkey. He struck out on his own in 1958 trading spices and yarn with Yemen and eventually built Reliance Industries into a fabrics, textiles and energy empire. The company, which began trading in India in 1977, often had its annual meetings in stadiums.
Mukesh Ambani moved to Palo Alto, California, in 1979, to attend Stanford Business School. He was summoned home a year later by his father to oversee construction of a polyester mill. The Ambanis began to buy up suppliers as well as petrochemical plants and oil refineries. Dhirubhai died of a stroke in 2002 without leaving a will, causing a fraternal feud between Mukesh and brother Anil.
Three years later, in a settlement brokered by their mother, the brothers split the family business. Mukesh retained control over refining, petrochemicals, oil and gas and textiles operations, while Anil took the telecommunications, asset management, entertainment and power generation businesses. The duo settled a legal dispute over sharing natural gas and dissolved the noncompete pacts in 2010. Three years later, the brothers announced a $220 million pact to share a fiber-optic network, their first deal since splitting the Reliance business empire. Mukesh told shareholders in June 2014 his company plans to start a $12 billion telecommunications network.
Mukesh built a 27-story mansion in Mumbai that holds six residents: Ambani, his wife, three children and his mother. The 48,000-square-foot building has room for 600 servants, three rooftop helipads, parking for 168 cars on six floors, a 50-seat movie theater, a grand ballroom with crystal chandeliers, three floors of Babylon-inspired hanging gardens, a yoga studio and a health spa and fitness center.
- 1977 Reliance Textiles Industries sells shares in a public offering.
- 1996 Ambanis invest $6 billion in the construction of an oil refinery complex.
- 2002 Discovers India’s largest natural gas field in Bay of Bengal.
- 2002 Dhirubhai Ambani suffers a stroke and dies.
- 2005 Feud with brother Anil leads to split of Reliance Group.
- 2011 Sells stakes in India oil and gas blocks to BP for $7.2 billion.
- 2013 Announces first deal with brother since splitting Reliance Group.
- 2015 Says $16 billion phone network to start operations in December 2015.