Reliance Industry chief Mukesh Ambani and Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg were in a conversation on Tuesday at the Facebook Fuel for India 2020 event. The duo spoke about a range of topics from connectivity in the times of a pandemic to India's digital mission. Zuckerberg at a point praised Dhirubhai Ambani, who in a way, was at the root of the Reliance Jio story.
"You know, going back to Reliance, one of the great business stories in history, your father founded Reliance Industries and he has this incredible legacy here in India. And now I've read that, he once held up a postcard in his office and said, if every Indian could speak with each other at the cost of this postcard, where will India be? And now your father clearly had a vision for where things were heading in the country, and because today Indians can communicate with one another for less than the cost of a postcard, and that's what we've tried to do with messaging," said Zuckerberg to Ambani.
"But I am curious, before we get into UPI and more on that, what's the most important thing that you learned from your father and his legacy, that has helped you build these amazing businesses and get to where they are today?" asked the Facebook chief.
Ambani replied and said that Dhirubhai Ambani in 2000 motivated them all to make voice calls at the same cost as a postcard. "In 2020, we're very proud that Jio has pioneered free voice. So, all the 400 million people are a tribute to his vision. They are on our network and have a free voice," he said.
He then went on to say that his father was the son of a school teacher. Dhirubhai Ambani came to Mumbai with Rs 1,000 in his pocket in 1960. He established Reliance with the belief that he would invest in the businesses of the future and in talent.
Ambani said that there are three learnings from building Reliance that he has had. "One is, for entrepreneurs, it's important to have courage and self-belief. There can be no better person to demonstrate that in the last couple of decades than you, Mark," he said. Ambani said that entrepreneurs don't succeed at the first attempt and self-belief comes only when you fail.
"The second piece that he started and he's instilled into all of us is that, while you succeed, it's important to always have empathy and creativity in everything that you do. And by empathy, I mean, put yourself in the other's shoe, and make sure that how you make them feel is how you would want to feel," said Ambani, further adding, "And the final thing that I have learned from my father, is really the importance of relationship, trust, and loyalty. The whole of Reliance right now, with hundreds of thousands of people, is one big family. We're not related by birth, but we are really woven together by passion, purpose, and conviction. We have faith in one another."
"That's what we believe at Reliance and for all of us at Reliance, he will still be the founder, if we follow his vision in terms of investing in businesses of the future," said Ambani.