Business Today

2004: Brothers up in arms

Dalal Street had been abuzz with rumours of a rift between the Ambani brothers after their father's death in 2002.

Print Edition: Jan 9, 2011

Dalal Street had been abuzz with rumours of a rift between the Ambani brothers after their father's death in 2002. But the differences were out in the open when Mukesh made a public statement about "ownership issues" in the Reliance Group. This triggered off a bitter battle, fought in full media glare, between the siblings for control of the family businesses. Their mother Kokilaben was finally forced to intervene and play the peacemaker. This culminated in the split of the Reliance empire in 2005. Flagship Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) went to Mukesh, while the younger Anil got Reliance Energy, a power generation and distribution company, Reliance Infocomm (now Reliance Communications) and Reliance Capital, a non-banking finance company.

The brothers, though, were at loggerheads again in 2009. This time over the price of the natural gas which RIL had agreed to supply to Reliance Power's Dadri plant. After a pitched legal battle, the Supreme Court ruled in what was broadly interpreted as a victory for Mukesh and made it clear that RIL does not have to supply gas at a previously agreed price to Anil's companies.

Broadband policy unveiled
An ambitious broadband policy was rolled out in 2004 by the Department of Telecom to deepen the then negligible broadband penetration in the country. The policy de-licensed the 2.40-2.48 GHz frequency band for broadband services and also allowed direct-to-home, or DTH, television operators to give one way Internet connections. But the policy failed to deliver. Against the target of 20 million broadband subscribers by 2010, India today has just nine million connections.

Biocon IPO debuts
It was one of the most-awaited IPOs. Biotechnology was emerging as a fastgrowing business and the IPO by the Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw promoted Biocon was the first by a company in the sector. While the company raised over Rs 300 crore, the issue was oversubscribed 33 times. Because of the long gestation of products in its business, Biocon's stock has not had a spectacular run on the bourses. But biotechnology has emerged as a focus area for the bluechip pharmaceutical companies.

Did you know?
The Indian manufacturing sector fi nally showed signs of revival growing at a rapid 8 per cent plus, almost matching the pace of growth of the services sector.

Quote of the year
There are issues, which are ownership issues. These are in the private domain.
Mukesh Ambani

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