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Major milestones in the life of Dhirubhai Ambani

Today is the the 89th birth anniversary of the late Reliance stalwart.

December 28, 2021 / 03:29 PM IST
Dhirubhai Ambani

Dhirubhai Ambani

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Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani, popularly known as Dhirubhai Ambani, was born on December 28, 1932 to Hirachand Govardhandas Ambani and Jamanaben in the village of Chorwad in Junagarh district.

Today is the the 89th birth anniversary of the late stalwart who founded Reliance Industries.

In 1948, Dhirubhai left for the Port of Aden, Yemen to work for A. Besse and Co. along with his brother Ramnikbhai. Dhirubhai's entrepreneurial journey began when his family relocated to Mumbai due to political turbulence in Aden.

He returned to India and started "Majin" in partnership with Champaklal Damani, his second cousin. The company used to import polyester yarn and export spices to Yemen.

In 1966, Dhirubhai formed Reliance Commercial Corporation, which later became Reliance Industries on May 8, 1973.


Ambani took Reliance public in 1977, which was worth $2.9 billion in 2002 upon his death.

Ambani's journey from a gas station attendant to the owner of the giant petrochemicals, communications, power, and textiles conglomerate Reliance Industries is one that has inspired generations.

His success story fired the imagination of a generation of Indian entrepreneurs, business leaders and progressive companies.

Reliance was the first Indian company to feature in Forbes 500 list. The company also was the first Indian privately-owned company to be rated by international credit rating agencies such as S&P and Moody’s.

Dhirubhai’s unique vision redefined the potential of the Indian corporate sector, and he challenged conventional wisdom in several areas.

He was probably the first Indian businessman to recognise the strategic significance of investors and discover the vast untapped potential of the capital markets and channelize it for the growth and development of industry.

He followed a simple corporate philosophy of “Think big. Think differently. Think fast. Think ahead. Aim for the best.”

It was under Dhirubhai’s visionary leadership the Reliance Group emerged as the largest business conglomerate in India, and carved out a distinct place for itself in the global pantheon of corporate giants.

In 1996, 1998 and 2000 Dhirubhai featured among "Power 50-the most powerful people in Asia" by Asiaweek magazine.

In June 15, 1998, he was awarded the Dean's Medal by The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, for setting an outstanding example of leadership. Dhirubhai Ambani was the first Indian to receive the Dean's Medal.

He was conferred "Man of the Century" by Chemtech Foundation and Chemical Engineering World in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the growth and development of the chemical industry in India. In 2001, he achieved The Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence for Lifetime Achievement Award. Dhirubhai was named the "Man of 20th Century" by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

India Post released a postal stamp featuring Dhirubhai on December 28, 2002. In October 2011, he was posthumously awarded the ABLF Global Asian Award at the Asian Business Leadership Forum Awards. In January 2016, he was awarded posthumously awarded the the country's second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan.

He visualised the growth of Reliance as an integral part of his grand vision for India. He was convinced that India could become an economic superpower within a short period of time and wanted Reliance to play an important role in realising this goal. Today, the Group's turnover represents nearly 3 percent of India's GDP.

Disclaimer: Moneycontrol is a part of the Network18 group. Network18 is controlled by Independent Media Trust, of which Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary.

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first published: Dec 28, 2021 03:29 pm
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