Isha Ambani: New-Age Princess

Isha Ambani is making a difference to India's biggest business conglomerate. That is no mean task, and speaks of her potential

Isha Ambani, 30, Director, Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail -- Photograph by Rohit Chawla Isha Ambani, 30, Director, Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail -- Photograph by Rohit Chawla

Isha Ambani comes from quite a pedigree. As the next generation of India's richest family, the onus of driving the group towards becoming a serious player in the new business forays falls on her shoulders. Of course, she is ably supported by her twin brother Akash in some of these ventures. She (and Akash) played a big role in the launch of Reliance Jio. She formally joined Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail in 2014. It has been widely reported that the $5.7-billion deal struck with Facebook for a 9.99 per cent stake in Reliance Jio Platforms had her complete involvement. Both the telecom and retail businesses have disrupted the status quo in the industry through technological breakthroughs. In the case of retail, the launch of Ajio, a fashion portal, and now e-commerce venture, JioMart, are also said to be conceived by Ambani.

Growing up in Mumbai where she finished her schooling, she moved to Yale University for an undergraduate degree in psychology and South Asian studies. Right after Yale, she worked at McKinsey in New York as a business analyst, before moving to Stanford University for an MBA.

Much of her time is now spent in drawing the blueprint for the next round of convergence play in both retail and telecom. With a large mobile subscriber base and an e-commerce venture, the ability to connect with consumers across India beckons. That really means anything can be launched by Reliance to this large user base. Bringing in the huge base of kirana stores through the e-commerce platform and making them franchise partners is likely to be one approach. By the looks of it, there is a lot to keep Ambani busy for the next few years.