Reliance Industries (RIL) is a leading Indian multinational conglomerate that operates in various sectors such as energy, petrochemicals, telecom, retail, and digital services. RIL is one of the most valuable companies in India and the world, with a market capitalization of over ₹17,35,000 crore ($208 billion) as of November 2023. RIL was founded by Dhirubhai Ambani in 1966 and is currently led by his son Mukesh Ambani, who is the chairman and managing director of the company.
Anant Ambani is the youngest son of Mukesh Ambani and the heir apparent to his father’s business empire. Anant Ambani is estimated to have a net worth of $45 billion, mainly because of the inheritance of his father’s massive fortune of $97 billion.
In this section, we will explore Anant’s current responsibilities at RIL in more detail and analyze his role in shaping the future of India’s economy and society. We will also discuss his vision, achievements, challenges, and opportunities as he leads one of India’s most influential families.
Anant Ambani’s Current Position at Reliance Industries Limited
Anant was appointed as an executive director of RIL on August 28, 2023, along with his siblings Isha and Akash. This is part of his father’s ambitious succession plan to groom the next generation of leaders for the Reliance Group.
As an executive director of RIL, Anant will be involved in all aspects of the company’s diverse businesses, including oil and gas, petrochemicals, telecom, retail, digital services, media, entertainment, new energy, and solar energy. He will also be responsible for leading the group’s global operations in renewable and green energy. Anant will work as one team with his siblings and other directors to provide leadership to the Reliance Group as a whole and guide its growth with a holistic vision.
Anant has held several positions in his father’s other businesses over the years. He was appointed as an additional director on the board of Jio Platforms Ltd., RIL’s new tech arm, in March 2020. He was also appointed as a director on the board of Reliance Retail Ltd., RIL’s retail arm, in May 2022.
In June 2021, he joined the boards of Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd. (RNESL) and Reliance New Solar Energy Ltd. (RNSEL), two companies that have been set up to spearhead RIL’s billion-dollar bet on the renewables space.
Focus Areas for Anant Ambani
New Energy and New Materials
Anant Ambani is the director of Reliance New Solar Energy Limited (RNSEL), a new subsidiary of RIL that has been set up to spearhead the company’s billion-dollar bet on the renewables space. He is also the director of Reliance O2C Limited, the company’s oil-to-chemical business that aims to produce clean fuels and materials of the future.
Anant Ambani is responsible for driving RIL’s foray into renewable energy (solar, wind, hydrogen) and advanced materials like graphene, as part of the company’s vision to become a net-zero carbon company by 2035. He oversees the development and execution of key projects and initiatives under his guidance, such as:
- Establishing four giga factories in Jamnagar, Gujarat, to manufacture and integrate all the critical components of the new energy ecosystem, including solar photovoltaic modules, energy storage batteries, fuel cells, and green hydrogen.
- Investing in domestic and global partnerships and collaborations with leading technology companies, research institutions, and start-ups to accelerate innovation and scale-up in the new energy and new materials domains.
- Developing next-generation carbon capture and storage technologies, creating holistic and circular materials businesses, and maximizing crude to chemicals conversion.
- Targeting to install 100 gigawatts of solar energy by 2030, which would make RIL one of the largest renewable energy producers in the world.
Anant Ambani is also the director of Jio Platforms Limited, the new tech arm of RIL that operates India’s largest mobile network, Jio, and offers a range of digital services and platforms in entertainment, commerce, communication, finance, education, and health.
He is also the director of Reliance Retail Ventures Limited, the holding company of RIL’s retail business, which is the largest retailer in India by revenue and operates across various segments, including grocery, fashion, consumer electronics, and e-commerce.
Anant Ambani plays a key role in spearheading RIL’s digitalization efforts across various sectors, leveraging the power of data, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and 5G. He is involved in the following examples of successful digital implementations:
- Launching JioMart, an online grocery delivery platform that connects millions of customers with thousands of local Kirana stores, offering convenience, quality, and affordability.
- Acquiring a majority stake in Just Dial, India’s leading local search engine that provides information on various products and services across categories.
- Partnering with Google to develop an affordable smartphone, JioPhone Next, that will offer a customized Android operating system and access to various apps and features.
- Collaborating with Facebook to integrate WhatsApp with JioMart and Jio’s other digital platforms, enabling seamless communication and transactions between customers, merchants, and businesses.
- Investing in and acquiring stakes in several promising Indian start-ups and digital platforms, such as Netmeds, Urban Ladder, Zivame, Embibe, Haptik, and Reverie, to strengthen RIL’s presence and offerings in the online pharmacy, furniture, lingerie, education, chatbot, and language technology segments.
Anant Ambani holds memberships on various RIL subsidiary boards, which reflect his strategic importance and contribution to the company’s overall vision and growth. Apart from the ones mentioned above, he is also a member of the following boards:
- Reliance Foundation: It is the philanthropic arm of RIL that works in the areas of rural transformation, health, education, sports, disaster response, arts, culture, and heritage.
- Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited: It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RIL that invests in and acquires stakes in various businesses, such as SaaS, edtech, gaming, and e-commerce.
- Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited: It is another wholly-owned subsidiary of RIL that holds investments in various entities, such as Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, Reliance Retail Limited, Network18 Media and Investments Limited, and Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited.
These board memberships enable Anant Ambani to participate in the decision-making and governance of various businesses and initiatives that are aligned with RIL’s core values and objectives. They also provide him with the opportunity to learn from the senior leadership and gain exposure and experience in diverse domains and sectors.
Key Responsibilities and Achievements
Anant Ambani plays a vital role in forging strategic partnerships with global players in the new energy and technology sectors. He is instrumental in attracting investments from leading sovereign wealth funds, private equity firms, and technology giants into RIL’s digital and retail businesses. Some of the notable partnerships that Anant Ambani has been involved in are:
- Saudi Aramco: RIL has signed a definitive agreement with Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, to sell a 20% stake in its oil-to-chemicals (O2C) business for $15 billion. This deal will help RIL reduce its debt and diversify its portfolio into new energy and materials.
- Public Investment Fund (PIF): PIF, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, has invested a total of $2.1 billion in Jio Platforms and Reliance Retail Ventures, acquiring 2.32% and 2.04% stakes respectively. This partnership will enable RIL to leverage PIF’s expertise and resources in the digital and retail sectors.
- Google: RIL has partnered with Google to develop an affordable 4G/5G smartphone called JioPhone Next, which will run on a customized version of the Android operating system. This partnership will help RIL expand its customer base and offer a range of digital services through Jio platforms.
Innovation and R&D
Anant Ambani is focused on fostering innovation and R&D within RIL, as he believes that they are the key drivers of future growth and transformation. He is leading several R&D initiatives that aim to create world-class capabilities in the production of clean fuels and materials of the future, develop next-generation carbon capture and storage technologies, and maximize crude-to-chemical conversion. Some of the key R&D initiatives undertaken under his leadership are:
- Green Hydrogen: RIL is investing $10 billion over the next three years to build four giga factories that will produce green hydrogen, solar photovoltaic cells, batteries, and fuel cells. Green hydrogen is a clean and renewable source of energy that can be used for various applications such as transportation, power generation, and industrial processes.
- Carbon Fiber: RIL is developing a novel technology to produce carbon fiber from carbon dioxide captured from its O2C plants. Carbon fiber is a lightweight and high-strength material that can be used for various industries such as aerospace, automotive, and construction.
- Recycling: RIL is implementing a holistic and circular materials business model that aims to recycle plastic waste into value-added products such as polyester, fabrics, and garments. This initiative will help RIL reduce its environmental impact and create a circular economy.
Anant Ambani is committed to sustainability and his leadership in implementing sustainable practices across RIL’s operations. He is spearheading RIL’s vision to become a net zero carbon company by 2035, by reducing its carbon footprint and preserving biodiversity. He is also involved in various social and environmental causes through Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of RIL.
Some of the specific sustainability goals and achievements under his guidance are:
- Renewable Energy: RIL is targeting to establish and enable 100 GW of solar energy by 2030, which will make it one of the largest renewable energy producers in the world. RIL is also investing in other forms of renewable energy such as wind, biomass, and hydro.
- Water Conservation: RIL is implementing various water conservation measures such as rainwater harvesting, wastewater treatment, and water recycling across its plants and facilities. RIL is also supporting various water-related initiatives such as Jal Jeevan Mission, Paani Foundation, and WaterAid through Reliance Foundation.
- Biodiversity Protection: RIL is undertaking various biodiversity protection initiatives such as afforestation, wildlife conservation, and marine ecosystem restoration. RIL is also partnering with various organizations such as WWF, Wildlife Trust of India, and Reef Watch Marine Conservation through Reliance Foundation.
Future Outlook and Potential Impact
Anant Ambani, the youngest son of Mukesh Ambani, is the head of the new energy sector at RIL. He has a vision to make RIL a clean and green energy leader, based on four pillars: clean fuels and materials, carbon capture and storage, circular materials, and crude to chemicals. He is developing four gigafactories in Jamnagar, Gujarat, to produce solar modules, energy storage systems, green hydrogen, and green fuels.
His leadership could impact the Indian economy and the energy and technology landscape. He could make RIL a key player in the hydrogen economy, help India achieve its climate goals and energy security, and spur innovation and collaboration in the energy and technology domains.
He might face challenges in the regulatory and policy environment, the reliability and safety of the new energy technologies and operations, and the competitiveness and market position of RIL. He might explore opportunities in new markets and segments, new products and services, and new partnerships and alliances.
Anant Ambani’s story at RIL transcends titles and becomes a narrative of audacious vision and meticulous execution. He embodies the future of Indian business, where sustainability, tech, and inclusivity aren’t mere trends, but guiding principles. As RIL strides towards a cleaner, digitally-powered future, Anant steers the wheel, not just as an executive director, but as an architect of change, leaving an indelible mark on RIL and the Indian landscape.
This condensed version retains the key message of Anant’s impact while streamlining the language and imagery. It emphasizes his role as a transformative leader shaping the future of business in India.