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Aug 29 – Mukesh Ambani has stated that he intends to spend the next five years as chairman of India’s most valuable company nurturing his children to transform Reliance Industries Ltd. into a digital and green energy juggernaut.
The firm said in a statement on Monday that the three children of Asia’s richest man have been appointed as non-executive directors, while his wife, Nita, will stand down from the board “to devote more of her time to the Reliance Foundation” charity, where she serves as founding chairperson. Ambani assured shareholders at Reliance’s annual general meeting that Nita will continue to attend all board meetings as a permanent invitee.
In Mumbai trade, Reliance’s shares erased earlier gains and were down 1% at the close, the lowest since July 7.
“I shall continue to perform my duties and responsibilities as chairman and managing director for five more years, with greater vigour,” Ambani said. “I shall groom and empower all the next-gen leaders at Reliance and prepare them for the challenges and opportunities of the future.”
The board changes are part of Ambani’s larger efforts to provide a clear future leadership plan for the oil-to-consumer giant after a messy family power battle following his father’s death more than a decade ago. Ambani highlighted his children’s growing roles in the business three years ago, handing up senior positions at Reliance’s core energy, retail, and digital services sectors.
“I shall especially mentor Akash, Isha and Anant so that they can provide collective leadership and dependably take Reliance to greater heights of growth and value in the decades ahead,” Ambani said.
Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of Reliance Industries, died without a will in 2002, sparking an unpleasant and public feud between Mukesh and his younger brother, Anil, who were both involved in the business at the time. The squabble finally escalated, and their mother was obliged to interfere and divide the two boys’ enterprises.
Ambani has subsequently developed Reliance into India’s largest firm by market value, and the oil-to-chemicals giant is now aiming to diversify into consumer and technology companies, as well as renewable energy.
The tycoon described the leadership announcements as “an emotional moment,” recalling how his father established the company in a single-room office in a busy Mumbai market area.
“It reminds me of that day in 1977, when my father inducted me into the board of directors,” he said during the once-a-year investor speech, which has evolved into an eagerly anticipated platform for announcing new initiatives at India’s largest corporate, similar to Warren Buffett’s annual letters to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. “Today, I see both my father and me in Isha, Akash, and Anant.”