Ambani, 65, laid out his succession plan on Monday. informing the shareholders of his Reliance Industries conglomerate that his three children are “first among equals” and “are mentored daily by our senior leaders, myself included.”
“Our next-generation leaders are confidently taking the reins of power,” Asia’s second richest man said at the meeting.
Reliance Industries is now worth Rs 17.8 trillion ($224 billion) based on its market value.
“Akash and Isha have taken on leadership roles at Jio and Retail, respectively. From the very beginning, they have been actively involved in our consumer business,” Ambani said. “Anant has also joined our New Energy business with great zeal.”
Reliance Retail, founded in 2006, is the largest retailer in India by revenue and has over 15,000 stores across the country. They sell everything from smartphones to groceries through various namesake brands including Reliance Fresh, Reliance Digital and Reliance Trends.
The tycoon said on Monday that he is not yet retiring and will “continue to provide practical guidance.”
While there have been many rumors in the Indian media about who will inherit the Ambani empire, this is the first time he has made an official statement about the role his children will play during the transition.
Ambani’s father, Dhirubhai, died in 2002 without a will. His death sparked a bitter feud between the Ambani and his younger brother Anil for control of the empire.
Ultimately, Mukesh Ambani took over the company’s major oil and petrochemical assets, while his brother took over the new ventures, including the telecommunications and digital business.
Mukesh stunned India with the launch of Jio, offering customers six months of free high-speed internet. The move sparked a brutal price war that forced some companies out of the market altogether, including Anil’s Reliance Communications.
Ambani told shareholders on Monday that Jio is investing $25 billion to roll out 5G services across India.
“5G cannot remain an exclusive service, available only to a select few or only to residents of our largest cities,” he said. “Over the next two months, by Diwali, we will launch Jio 5G in several key cities, including the metropolitan areas of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai,” he said, referring to the Hindu festival in October.
Since its inception, Jio — with its ultra-cheap data — has helped connect hundreds of millions of Indians online for the first time. When Ambani launched Jio, there were less than 350 million internet users in India. He now has over 750 million.
“We aim to make India the world’s largest data-driven economy ahead of China and the US,” Ambani said.
On the energy front, Ambani said “Reliance aims to make India a world leader in new energy production and a credible alternative to China” and plans to invest nearly $10 billion in clean energy. production.