After a short slide to the second spot in the list of richest people in Asia, Mukesh Ambani once again holds the top spot. He is officially the richest person in India and Asia once again, and a strong contender to take the title “richest person in the world”. As of 2024, Mukesh Ambani’s net worth is over $110 billion – and growing.

The Indian billionaire businessman is the managing director and chairman of his family business Reliance Industries, but this is not all that contributes to his wealth. He has also invested in various ventures and has plenty of assets in the form of real estate, cars, and more.

Let’s see how Mukesh Ambani earned the title of Asia’s richest person.

Mukesh Ambani’s Net Worth Breakdown:

Ambani’s wealth is very hard to pinpoint, as is expected for the richest man in India and all of Asia. While he is in a constant battle for the first spot on those lists, along with rival Gautam Adani, he currently holds the highest spot. His wealth mostly comes from his stake at Reliance, which is why his net worth fluctuates greatly as the stock grows or decreases in value. Even ~1% moves in the stock price make or lose him billions of dollars.

Even so, he has other wealth sources that contribute to his asset balance, and we’ve managed to track down enough info to build a full breakdown of his net worth.

Asset or Income Source Contribution to Net Worth
Reliance Industries Ltd. stake Approx. 42-50.4% of  $237 billion market cap
Jio Financial Services stake 42%
Reliance salaries 2008-2020 $1.807 million per year
Reliance salary since 2021 $0, with no perks, benefits, or stock options
Mumbai Indians cricket team $111.9 million
Airbus A3019, gift for his wife $60 million
Real estate $1.14+ billion
Car collection $5+ million
Total Net worth $110 billion

Mukesh Ambani’s Early Life and Family

Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani was born on April 19, 1957, in the British Crown colony of Aden, now known as Yemen. He was born into a Gujarati Hindu family to parents Dhirubhai Ambani and Kokilaben Ambani. He has two sisters, Nina Bhadrashyam Kothari and Dipti Dattaraj Salgaonkar, and a younger brother Anil Ambani.

Young Mukesh Ambani spent less than a year in Yemen until the family decided to move back to India in 1958. They started a family trading business where they sold spices and textiles.

For over a decade, the family lived in Bhuleshwar, Mumbai. They lived on a modest income so young Mukesh used public transport and never got an allowance when he was a child. He attended High Grange High School at Peddar Road in Mumbai with his brother and Anand Jain, who would later become a close associate. He later studied at St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai.

While Dhirubhai Ambani worked to grow his business, Reliance Commercial Corporation, later renamed to Reliance Industries Limited, Mukesh was studying to get his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology at the University of Mumbai. Subsequently, he moved to Palo Alto, California to pursue an MBA at Stanford University.

In 1980, Ambani left school after only a year at Stanford University to help his father with the family business.

Five years later, he married Nita Ambani. The couple has two sons, Akash and Anant, and a daughter Isha, Akash’s twin sister.

Mukesh Ambani Net Worth: From a College Dropout to Asia’s Richest Person

After dropping out of Stanford University, Mukesh Ambani left the US and went back to help his father run their family business, then named Reliance Industries Limited. The company had already expanded and was dealing in petrochemicals and refining at the time, along with several products and services in telecommunications and retail.

This decision turned out to be a major step toward growing Reliance Industries since the young entrepreneur transformed the business – and his net worth would go on to reach billions.

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Let’s see how Mukesh Ambani reached his centibillionaire status, as well as learn more about his activities throughout his career.

The Story of Reliance Industries

When Mukesh Ambani returned home in 1981, Reliance Industries had just received its license from the Indian government to produce polyester filament yarn. The Indian government opened up PFY manufacturing to the private sector a year before, and Reliance managed to beat over forty other enterprises to receive the license. This prompted Ambani’s father to pull Mukesh out of his MBA program to help the business.

Mukesh, working alongside his father at first and taking control later alongside his younger brother Anil, was credited with bringing the company into new markets and turning it into the biggest conglomerate in the Indian oil industry today.

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Following the death of the executive director Rasikbhai Meswani and then Ambani’s father’s stroke in 1986, the full responsibility of the business shifted to the two brothers.

The Death of Dhirubhai Ambani and the Brothers’ Feud

On July 6, 2002, Mukesh’s father died without leaving a will, which eventually led to a feud between Mukesh and his brother Anil. The feud lasted for three years, after which the mother intervened and helped them split the company in two, giving Mukesh Ambani control of Reliance Industries Limited and Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited. Anil, on the other hand, held on to the telecoms, power generation, asset management, and entertainment side of the business.

The split was later approved by the Bombay High Court at the end of 2005.

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Mukesh Ambani then set up Reliance Infocomm Limited, Now Reliance Communications Limited, focusing on communications and information technology to expand the business. At the young age of 24, he was put in charge of the construction of the Patalganga petrochemical plant, where the company invested in petrochemicals and oil refineries.

In 2010, Ambani created the world’s largest oil refining complex in Jamnagar, India, with the capacity to produce 660,000 barrels per day, or 33 million tonnes every year.

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Mukesh Ambani’s Work and Progress at Reliance Industries

After 2005, the profits and revenues of Reliance Industries soared under Mukesh’s direction. The company developed the best manufacturing facilities and branched out to new areas including media and 4G wireless broadband. Reliance Retail Ltd., a company subsidiary under the umbrella of Reliance Industries, is the largest retailer in all of India today.

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By 2016, Ambani was ranked as the 36th richest person in the world. He also consistently held the title of India’s richest person, except for the short time when this title belonged to Gautam Adani, the founder of the famous Adani Group.

In October 2020, Ambani had progressed to be ranked as the sixth wealthiest person in the world. At this point, he had surpassed Jack Ma, the executive chairman of Alibaba Group, and became Asia’s richest person as Alibaba stock faltered.

Work of Reliance Industries in Wireless Broadband

In December 2013, Mukesh Ambani hinted that he was considering a collaborative venture with Bharti Airtel at the Progressive Punjab Summit held in Mohali, aimed at setting up digital infrastructure to bring the 4G network to India.

The next year, on June 18, he addressed the 40th AGM of Reliance Industries, sharing that he planned to invest Rs 1.8 trillion ($30 billion) across businesses in the next three years, as well as launch 4G broadband services the following year, in 2015.

In 2015, he followed up on his promise and released a service called Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, also known as Jio, which he used to launch a 4G smartphone brand called LYF. By June, LYF was India’s third-largest-selling mobile phone brand.

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Since its public launch on September 5, 2016, JioPhone has earned a top-five spot in the country’s telecommunication services.

Since this was a major success, Reliance’s shares started increasing at a whirlwind pace, so during the 40th annual general meeting of the company, Mukesh announced that he would be rewarding bonus shares at a ratio of 1:1, the country’s largest bonus issue.

At this same meeting, Jio launched its ‘Intelligent’ 4G Feature phone at a price of Rs 0. The phone came with lifetime free voice calls and 4G data streaming at no cost whatsoever. Mukesh Ambani said that, out of 78 crore phones in India, 50 crore were feature phones that can’t be used for internet usage, but JioPhone would give people an affordable device.

The price of the phone was done in a way so that the effective prices would remain zero for the users. A security deposit of ₹ 1,500 is required at the time of purchase, and that same amount would be refunded after 36 months on the return of the phone.

As the company’s shares grew, Ambani, its managing director, saw his wealth skyrocket. As of February 2018, the Bloomberg Robin Hood Index estimated that his net worth was enough to fund the entire Indian federal government’s operations for 20 days.

In August 2022, Mukesh Ambani announced a $25 billion plan to launch 5G mobile internet services that same year, starting with major cities like Mumbai and New Delhi and then the rest of the country by the end of 2023.

Stake and Earnings at Reliance Industries

While very little is known about Ambani’s salaries at the company, we found that during the fiscal year that ended 31 March 2012, he decided to forgo nearly Rs. 240 million ($4.3 million) from his annual salary as chief of Reliance Industries, even though RIL’s remuneration packages increased during the year. This move reportedly kept his salary at Rs. 150 million for the fourth year in a row, which equaled around $2.7 million per year.

We also found that he opted to forgo his salary altogether since fiscal year 2021 during the COVID-19 outbreak in India, a trend that he also followed in 2022-2023. Between 2008 and 2020, he reportedly earned the same salary.

Reliance Industries has a market capitalization of $236 billion as of 2024 and nearly 440 million people subscribe to Jio, the hit broadband service offered by the company.

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Mukesh Ambani reportedly owns around a 50% stake in Reliance Industries and a 47.2% stake in Jio Financial Services, following a large purchase of Jio shares by the Ambani family trust in October 2023.

These days, Mukesh Ambani’s company is in talks to merge the Indian media businesses with Disney, with Reliance set to pick up a stake between 51% and 54%, valuing the business at $3.5 billion. This deal is yet to go through.

Because of this merger, the stock soared, adding nearly $10 billion to Mukesh Ambani’s net worth. For a while, Gautam Adani had seen his stock increase after a legal battle and became Asia’s richest person, but Mukesh Ambani once again beat him for the spot by a few billion dollars as Reliance’s stock pumped again. Ambani’s wealth reportedly grew by nearly $3 billion in the span of 24 hours after Reliance shares soared on the market.

Board Membership

At Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani holds many functions: chairman and managing director, Member of the Employees Stock Compensation Committee, and Chairman of the Finance Committee. But these are not the only board membership positions he has held over the years. Here are some of the other positions he has previously held:

  • Chairman at Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited
  • Vice chairman at Reliance Petroleum
  • Director and Member of the Credit Committee and the Compensation and Benefits Committee at the Bank of America Corporation
  • Chairman of the board at Reliance Petroleum
  • Chairman of the Audit Committee at Reliance Retail Limited
  • Member of the Board of Governors at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai
  • Chairman of Reliance Exploration and Production DMCC
  • President at Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University at Gandhinagar, Gujarat

Philanthropic Endeavors

Mukesh Ambani and his company have been India’s most generous philanthropists for many years now. According to the Times of India, he donated Rs. 411 crore or $49.5 million to charitable causes in a single year. His philanthropic efforts include contributions to rural development, healthcare, education, and more, and they have made a significant difference to millions of people and the economy of his country in general.

In 2010, Ambani founded the Reliance Foundation, a non-profit organization with a focus on sustainable, scalable solutions that address India’s socio-economic challenges.

Ambani’s foundation has provided rehabilitation support and relief to communities affected by natural disasters, and it provided critical healthcare infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2023, Nita Ambani, Mukesh’s wife, received the Global Leadership Award for Philanthropy on behalf of the Reliance Foundation as its chairperson.

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The Reliance Foundation also received the mBillionth South Asia Award in 2017 for its efforts in the category of Agriculture and Environment. Finally, it also won the India CSR Community Initiative Award in 2017 for supporting the food-affected communities in Madhya Pradesh.

In 2018, Mukesh Ambani established the Jio Institute, an educational institution that aims to provide quality education to Indian students. The Jr. NBA program of the Reliance Foundation entered the Guinness Book of World Records with the participation of over 3,400 students in India.

Awards and Accolades 

As the richest man in India and a very prominent figure in industry, Mukesh Ambani has received many awards and honorable mentions over the years, including:

  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young India in 2000
  • School of Engineering and Applied Science Dean’s Medal from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010
  • Global Vision Award at the Awards Dinner by Asia Society in 2010
  • Ranked fifth best-performing global CEO by the Harvard Business Review in 2010
  • Global Leadership Award by the Business Council for International Understanding in 2010
  • Othmer Gold Medal by the Chemical Heritage Foundation in 2016
  • Foreign associate at the US National Academy of Engineering award in 2016

Ambani’s Assets: Business and Other Investments

Most of Ambani’s estimated net worth comes from his stake and salaries at Reliance. His conglomerate has interests in oil and gas, petrochemicals, refining, retail, media, and telecoms. However, this is not the only thing the billionaire has invested in over the years.

Investments

In 2008, Ambani bought the Indian Premier League franchise Mumbai Indians through Reliance. He is also the founder of the Indian Super League, a football league in his country. He had bought the Indian Premier League Mumbai Indians cricket team for $111.9 million in 2008.

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Some of the companies he owns today, directly or through ownership of Reliance and Jio, include:

  • Reliance Retail Limited – India’s largest retailer in revenue
  • Reliance Power, including Rajasthan Sun Technique Energy Pvt. Ltd
  • Reliance Life Sciences – a biotechnology initiative that deals in medical and plant opportunities
  • Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited – telecommunication network
  • Reliance Petroleum – specializes in energy and oil
  • Network 18 – the home of the biggest media houses and channels in India
  • Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited – financial services company

Real Estate

The Ambani family lives in Antilia, a private skyscraper in Mumbai that took $2 billion to build, the most expensive private residence in the world when it was built. The home has 27 floors and requires a staff of 600 people for maintenance. It comes with a car garage for 160 cars, a fitness center, three helipads, and more.

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In addition to this property, Mukesh Ambani owns a 300-acre country estate near London, England, worth around $60 million.

He also owns a palatial villa in Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, which he bought for $80 million. This was the most expensive real estate purchase in Dubai, possibly even to date.

Cars and Jets

Back in 2007, Mukesh Ambani gifted his wife an Airbus A319 for her birthday, worth $60 million. The family reportedly still owns this private jet, and it adds at least that same amount to their collective wealth.

His car collection is enormous. Some of the vehicles he has include:

  • Rolls-Royce Phantom worth $1.6 million
  • Mercedes-Maybach Benz S660 Guard worth $1.3 million
  • BMW 760Li Security worth around $1 million
  • Bentley Continental Flying Spur worth $903,000
  • Ferrari SF90 Stradale worth $444,000

What Can We Learn from Mukesh Ambani’s Story?

Seeing how Mukesh Ambani grew up in a middle-class household and eventually became the richest man in Asia, we have a lot to learn from the Indian businessman.

While he inherited part of the family business after his father’s death, Ambani had a tremendous impact on how the company grew – as well as his personal net worth. Without his unique leadership, Reliance Industries wouldn’t have achieved the status and wealth it holds today.

Ambani’s ability to innovate and adapt to changing market conditions was crucial for the success of Reliance Industries. After the split of the family business between him and his younger brother Anil, he brought his part of the company to new heights and demonstrated how important it is to stay ahead of industry trends.

Ambani has faced numerous challenges and setbacks throughout his career, but his resilience and determination have been unwavering. He hasn’t been afraid to test new waters in the industry, bringing novelties like 4G and 5G to India before his competitors and being rewarded for it.

Finally, Ambani’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, including initiatives in education, healthcare, and rural development, highlights the importance of giving back to society. This is a reminder of the responsibility that comes with wealth and influence.