Mukesh Ambani, during his speech at the 45th Reliance Industries’ Annual General Meeting (AGM), held virtually on Monday, gave a clear indication of his succession plans. The business magnate, who is 65 now, plans to hand over a business each to three of his children. The eldest – twins Akash and Isha – have already been inducted into their respective businesses and are spearheading Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail in leadership roles. As Ambani Sr said during his speech yesterday, the youngest, Anant, has also entered the business earmarked for him. On the whole, Mukesh Ambani also lauded the efforts of the younger generation of Reliance.
Mukesh Ambani pointed out that the next generation of leaders are taking the reins of the company quite confidently. “Akash and Isha have assumed leadership roles in Jio and Retail. They have been passionately involved in our consumer business since its inception. Anant has also joined in our new energy business with great zeal. In fact, he is spending most of his time in Jamnagar. All three have fully inherited our founder’s mindset. They are first among equals in a young team of leaders and professionals who are already doing amazing things at Reliance,” said Mukesh Ambani.
Akash Ambani was made the chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, a subsidiary of Jio Platforms Ltd (JPL), in June. However, no official communication has come in yet about the appointments of Isha and Anant, except what was hinted at by Ambani Sr at the AGM yesterday. Moreover, Mukesh Ambani continues to be the chairman of Jio Platforms. He also continues to head Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL) that operates supermarkets offering consumer electronics, food and grocery, fashion, jewellery, footwear, and clothing, as well as online retail venture JioMart. But both Akash and Isha have been on the boards of RRVL and JPL since October 2014.
Ambani Sr said that their current leadership team is also giving greater responsibilities to the young leaders to fulfill. They are all being mentored on a daily basis by the senior leaders, including himself and the board of directors, said Mukesh Ambani.
“Reliance is forever hungry for top-notch talent from India and around the world,” he emphasised, extending an invitation for them to work at Reliance, where, he said, they would find the finest work environment. He said there are professionals of 60 nationalities at Reliance, a pool that will only grow bigger as they expand.
The younger generation of leaders remind him of founder Dhirubhai Ambani, said Mukesh Ambani.
During the announcements, Akash and Isha took to the stage to make major announcements. Akash spoke about Reliance Jio and their 5G plans. He spoke of JioAirFiber, Jio 5G’s ultra-high fiber-like speed over the air without any wires, which can improve the lives of millions in terms of agriculture, healthcare and education. He said that with 5G, the current 800 million connected internet devices will double to 1.5 billion connected internet devices in just a year.
Isha, on the other hand, spoke of Reliance Retail and the achievements it saw in the past year. They served 200 million registered customers at Reliance Retail’s physical stores and digital platforms, she said. Reliance Retail saw a turnover of Rs 2 lakh crore and an EBITDA of Rs 12,000 crore.
JioMart is delivering in 260 towns, she said, further speaking of the WhatsApp-JioMart partnership. Moreover, Ajio sold 43 crore garments last year – enough to clothe the population of US and Canada, said Isha Ambani.
Isha Ambani also spoke of the Reliance Foundation and the Jio Institute. The foundation helped 63 million people across 60,000 villages, she said. Isha Ambani also announced the plans of launching the Nita Mukesh Ambani Junior School as an expansion to Dhirubhai Ambani International School. She also stated that the foundation is working on a 10-year blueprint to become more impactful.
The three businesses of Reliance that Akash, Isha, and Anant, are taking over are almost equal in size.
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