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Dhirubhai Ambani, was an Indian business tycoon who founded Reliance .
11. Tussle with Nusli Wadia
Nusli Wadia of Bombay Dyeing was, at one point in time, the biggest competitor of Dhirubhai and Reliance Industries. Both Nusli Wadia and Dhirubhai were known for their influence in the political circles and their ability to get the most difficult licenses approved during the times of pre liberalized economy.During the Janata Party rule between 1977 1979, Nusli Wadia obtained the permission to build a 60,000 tonnes per annum Di methyl terephthalate (DMT) plant. Before the letter of intent was converted into a licence, many hurdles came in the way. Finally, in 1981, Nusli Wadia was granted the license for the plant. This incident acted as a catalyst between the two parties and the competition took an ugly turn.
12. The Indian Express Articles
At one point in time, Ramnath Goenka was a friend of Dhirubhai Ambani. Ramnath Goenka was also considered to be close to Nusli Wadia. On many occasions, Ramnath Goenka tried to intervene between the two warring factions and bring an end to the enmity. Goenka and Ambani became rivanckinniveols mainly because Ambanis corrupt business practices and his illegal actions that led to Goenka not getting a fair share in the company. Later on, Ramnath Goenka chose to support Nusli Wadia. At one point of time, Ramnath Goenka is believed to have said Nusli is an Englishman. He cannot handle Ambani. I am a bania. I know how to finish him.
As days passed by, The Indian Express, a broadsheet daily published by him, carried a series of articles against Reliance Industries and Dhirubhai in which they claimed that Dhirubhai was using unfair trade practices to maximise the profits. Ramnath Goenka did not use his staff at the Indian Express to investigate the case but assigned his close confidant, advisor and chartered accountant S. Gurumurthy for this task. Apart from S. Gurumurthy, another journalist Maneck Davar who was not on the rolls of Indian Express started contributing stories. Jamnadas Moorjani, a businessman opposed to the Ambanis was also a part of this campaign.
Both Ambani and Goenka were equally criticized and admired by sections of the society. People criticized Goenka that he was using a national newspaper for the cause of a personal enmity. Critics believed that there were many other businessman in the country who were using more unfair and unethical practices but Goenka chose to target only Ambani and not the others. Critics also admired Goenka for his ability to run these articles without any help from his regular staff. Dhirubhai Ambani was also getting more recognition and admiration, in the meantime. A section of the public started to appreciate Dhirubhais business sense and his ability to tame the system according to his wishes.
The end to this tussle came only after Dhirubhai Ambani suffered a stroke. While Dhirubhai Ambani was recovering in San Diego, his sons Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani managed the affairs. The Indian Express had turned the guns against Reliance and was directly blaming the government for not doing enough to penalize Reliance Industries. The battle between Wadia Goenka and the Ambanis took a new direction and became a national crisis. Gurumurthy and another journalist, Mulgaokar consorted with President Giani Zail Singh and ghost wrote a hostile letter to the Prime Minister on his behalf. The Indian Express published a draft of the President s letter as a scoop, not realizing that Zail Singh had made changes to the letter before sending it to Rajiv Gandhi. Ambani had won the battle at this point. Now, while the tussle was directly between the Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Ramnath Goenka, Ambani made a quiet exit. The government then raided the Express guest house in Delhi s Sunder Nagar and found the original draft with corrections in Mulgaokar s handwriting. By 1988 89, Rajiv s government retaliated with a series of prosecutions against the Indian Express. Even then, Goenka retained his iconic stature because, to many people, he seemed to be replaying his heroic defiance during the Emergency regime.
13. Dhirubhai and V P Singh
It was widely known that Dhirubhai didnt enjoy cordial relations with Vishwanath Pratap Singh, who succeeded Rajiv Gandhi as the Prime Minister of India. In May 1985, V. P. Singh suddenly stopped the import of Purified Terephthalic Acid from the Open General License category. As a raw material this was very important to manufacture polyester filament yarn. This made it very difficult for Reliance to carry on operations. Reliance was able to secure, from various financial institutions, letters of credit that would allow it to import almost one full year s requirement of PTA on the eve of the issuance of the government notification, changing the category under which PTA could be imported. In 1990, the government owned financial institutions like the Life Insurance Corporation of India and the General Insurance Corporation stonewalled attempts by the Reliance group to acquire managerial control over Larsen & Toubro. Sensing defeat, the Ambanis resigned from the board of the company. Dhirubhai, who had become L&Ts chairman in April 1989, had to quit his post to make way for D. N. Ghosh, former chairman of the State Bank of India. It is also believed that V. P. Singhs move as Defence Minister came as a direct result of him catching Dhirubhais tax evasion.
14. Reliance after Dhirubhai
In November 2004, Mukesh Ambani in an interview, admitted to having differences with his brother Anil over ownership issues. He also said that the differences are in the private domain. He was of the opinion that this will not have any bearing on the functioning of the company saying Reliance is one of the strongest professionally managed companies. Considering the importance of Reliance Industries to the Indian economy, this issue got an extensive coverage in the media.Kundapur Vaman Kamath, the Managing Director of ICICI Bank was seen in media, a close friend of the Ambani family who helped to settle the issue. The brothers had entrusted their mother, Kokilaben Ambani, to resolve the issue. On June 18, 2005, Kokilaben Ambani announced the settlement through a press release.
The Reliance empire was split between the Ambani brothers, Mukesh Ambani getting RIL and IPCL & his younger sibling Anil Ambani heading Reliance Capital, Reliance Energy and Reliance Infocomm. The entity headed by Mukesh Ambani is referred to as the Reliance Industries Limited whereas Anils Group has been renamed Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG)
A film alleged to be inspired by the life of Dhirubhai Ambani was released on 12 January 2007. The Hindi Film Guru (2007 film), with direction by Mani Ratnam, cinematography by Rajiv Menon and music by A.R.Rahman shows the struggle of a man striving to make his mark in the Indian business world with a fictional Shakti Group of Industries. The film stars Abhishek Bacchan, Mithun Chakraborty, Aishwarya Rai, Madhavan and Vidya Balan. In the film, Abhishek Bachchan plays Guru Kant Desai,a character implicitly based on Dhirubhai Ambani. Mithun Chakraborty portrays Manikda who bears an uncanny resemblance to the real life Ramanath Goenka and Madhvan portrays S. Gurumurthy, who twenty years ago, gained national fame, spearheading virulent attacks against the Reliance group in one of Indias bloodiest corporate wars ever. The film also portrays the strength of Dhirubhai Ambani with the help of the character of Guru Kant Desai. GURUBHAI the name given to Abhishek Bachchan is also similar to the original name DHIRUBHAI.
Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani, famously known as Dhirubhai Ambani, the Indian business tycoon and the founder of Reliance Industries, was born on 28th December 1932 into a Gujarati Family, in Chorward, Junagadh in Gujarat.He was the second son to Hirachand Gordhandas Ambani and Jamanaben. He had two brothers, Ramnikbhai and Natubhai and two sisters+C15, Trilochanaben and Jasuben.His father worked as a village school teacher. They were a reputed family in the village, but they were financially not very strong, since his father was the only earning member in a family of 5 children.
17. Growing Up
Since Dhirubhais father was a village school teacher, he did not earn much. Though he was highly intelligent, he chose to use his physical abilities over cramming school lessons. He was said to be impatient of the oppressive grinding mill in the classroom. Once his mother asked him and his elder brother to support their father financially, after which he began putting up onionpotato fries stall at village fairs and gave the extra money he earned to his mother. He was enthusiastic and impatient about earning money as soon as possible.Dhirubhai wanted to pursue a bachelors degree, but due to his fathers illness he had to take up a job in Aden, arranged by his elder brother, Ramnikbhai and so he could not study further.He came to know about his matriculation examination results through a Gujarati newspaper, when he had already boarded the ship to Aden. He got to know that he had passed his matriculation examinations in second division.
Dhirubhai started working as a clerk in A. Besse & Co. (named after its French founder Antonin Besse) from the very first day he reached there.
Aden was the second busiest trading and oil bunkering port in the world then. A. Besse & Co. was engaged in almost every branch of trading business cargo booking, handling, shipping, forwarding and wholesale merchandising. Initially Dhirubhai worked in the trading section of the firm, later he was transferred to another section that handled petroleum products for the oil giant shell. Dhirubhai had done well at office and hence A. Besse & Co. became the agent for distribution of Shell refinery products to the Shell oil refinery and the first Oil harbor that came up in Aden in 1954. The same year, Dhirubhai returned to Gujarat to marry Kokilaben. Due to his hard work, he was sent on promotion to the oil filling station at the newly built harbour, which was more challenging, unlike the desk work in the commodities section.
In 1957, Dhirubhai returned to India and started
19. The Ideal Beginning
It all started when Dhirubhai started his own individual business, after ending partnership with Mr.Damani, his second cousin in 1965. Dhirubhai was known for his risk taking ability and his belief was in building inventories, anticipating a price rise and making profits.In 1966, sensing good business opportunities he setup Reliance Textiles, his first textile mill at Naroda, Ahemdabad. A brand, named Vimal was started by Dhirubhai, which was named after his elder brothers son. It was such a success that it became a famous household name in India. Franchises were distributed and famous retail outlets would sell only Vimal brand of textiles. In 1975, Reliance Textiles manufacturing unit was visited by a technical team from the World Bank and was certified as excellent even by developed country standards during that period. By the late 1970s, Dhirubhai had a net worth of an estimated Rs.10 lakh.Not only was his textile business a great success, but also his idea of starting equity cult in India. Dhirubhai convinced a large number of investors from rural Gujarat to invest in his company and assured them that being shareholders of his company would be profitable. Reliance Companies was a private sector company and its Annual meetings were held in large stadiums. By the early 1980s Dhirubhai Ambani s net worth was estimated at about 1 billion.
20. Conjugal Relationship
Dhirubhai was married to Kokilaben in 1954 and was blessed with two sons, Mukesh and Anil and two daughters, Nina and Deepti. His sons later took over the Reliance industries after his death.Though Dhirubhai himself could not study much, his sons are highly educated. Mukesh, Dirubhais elder son is a graduate and Anil, his younger son is a post graduate.
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