Dhirubhai Ambani Biography – The man behind Reliance Industries
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Dhirubhai Hirachand Ambani is popular as Dhirubhai Ambani. He was born on 28th December 1932.
He was an Indian business tycoon, a founder of Reliance Industries. He took Reliance public in 1977 and was worth $25.6 billion until his death on 6th July 2002.
He was honoured by India’s second-highest civilian award Padma Vibhushan for his contributions in trade and industries.
Dhirubhai’s father was Hirachand Gordhanbhai Ambani. He was a schoolteacher, by cast he was Modh Baniya. Her mother’s name was Jamnaben Ambani.
He was born in Chorwad, Junagadh district, Gujarat on 28th December 1932. He studied from Bahadur Kanji School. He left for the port of Aden A. Besse and co. with his brother in 1948.
His first son Mukesh was born in Aden in 1957, and after two years Anil was born. In 1958, he left Aden to try his hand at his own business in India in textiles market.
The founding of Reliance Industries:
After returning India Ambani started “Majin” in partnership with Chambaklal Damani. He was his second cousin.
He lived with him in Yemen. “Majin” means to export spices and import polyester yarn from Yemen.
They set up their first office of the Reliance Commercial Corporation at the Narsinatha Street, Masjid Bunder. It was only 350 sq. ft. room with basic facilities like a phone, one table fan and three chairs.
Initially, they had two assistants. The Ambani family stayed in a two-bedroom apartment in Bhuleshwar at that time. Chambaklal Damani and Dhirubhai Ambani ended their partnership in 1965.
In 1966, he formed Reliance Commercial Corporation, which became Reliance Industries on 8th May 1973. During this time he launched brand “Vimal” and start selling sarees, shawls, suits and dresses.
Dhirubhai Ambani’s control over stock exchange:
Franchise retail outlets were started to sell “Only Vimal” brand of textiles. During 1975, a technical team from World Bank visited “Reliance Textiles” manufacturing unit.
Reliance Industries came up against a rights issue regarding partly convertible debentures in 1988. It was rumoured that the company was making efforts to ensure their stock price did not slide.
A stockbrokers group from Calcutta started to sell the reliance shares and to counter that friends of Reliance started to buy short sold shares.
To find a solution to this situation, The Bombay Stock Exchange remains closed for three business days.
Authorities from The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) intervened in the matter and brought down the “Unbadla” rate. It was learned that Dhirubhai himself supplied those shares to Bear Cartel and earned a healthy profit.
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After this incident, his detractors and the press raised many questions. People were not able to understand how a yarn trader was able to get a huge amount of cash flow during a crisis period. Pranab Mukherjee provided the answer to this.
He informed that Non-Resident Indian had invested up to 220 million in Reliance during 1982-83. Crocodile, Lota and Fiasco were registered in Isle of Man. All the promoter or owners had a common surname, Shah.
In February 1986, Ambani suffered a stroke and at that time he had paralyzed right hand. Dhirubhai was admitted to the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai on 24th June 2002 after he suffered a major stroke. He was in a coma for more than a week. He died on 6th July 2002.
On his death, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said, “The country has lost iconic proof of what an ordinary Indian fired by the spirit of enterprise and driven by determination can achieve in his own lifetime.”
Former Governor of Maharastra, P C Alexander said,” This new star, which rose on the horizon of the Indian industry three decades ago, remained on the top until the end by virtue of his ability to dream big and translate it into reality through the strength of his tenacity and perseverance.
I join the people of Maharashtra in paying my tribute to the memory of Ambani and convey my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.”
Reliance Industries after the death of Dhirubhai Ambani:
Ambani handed over control of Reliance to his sons Mukesh and Anil after his first stroke in 1986. In November 2004, Mukesh Ambani admitted that he is having differences with Anil on the ownership issue.
He also said that the differences “are in the private domain”. After the death of Dhirubhai, the group was split into Reliance Industries limited (Mukesh) and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group.
As of 2017, the company had more than 250,000 employees. Reliance Industries was one of the two Indian companies to ranked among the top 100 in the Fortune 500 list of the world’s largest companies by revenue in 2012.
In popular media: Dhirubhai Ambani Book:
In1988, an unauthorised biography of Dhirubhai “The Polyester Prince” Hamish McDonald outlined all his political and business conquests. That book was not published in India because Ambanis threatened legal action.
But then the updated version went on sale under the title “ Ambani and Sons” in 2010. There is no legal action against the publisher so far.
Mani Ratnam released a Hindi film Guru was inspired by Dhirubhai Ambani on 12th January 2007. That shows the struggle of a man striving to make his mark in the Indian business world.
The Biography of Dhirubhai Ambani is a learning curve for all entrepreneurs. His Biography is a big inspiration for all of us.
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