Published: 18th June 2021
#ThrowbackToday: The Ambani vs Ambani battle drew to a conclusion 16 years ago today. Or did it?
In today's #TBT, we rediscover how Reliance Industries was split down the middle after the death of its founder Dhirubhai Ambani and the very public spat that ensued between his two sons over it
If there was ever an example to quote with regards to the importance of leaving behind a will, it'll be that of Dhirubhai Ambani. One of India's biggest business tycoons and founder of Reliance Industries passed away because of a stroke and did not leave a will behind.
Mukesh Ambani became the Chairman and Managing Director while Anil Ambani became the Vice-Chairman. But apparently, there was a storm brewing under the calm and the family feud came into public view in 2004. The brothers washed their dirty linen in public — calling each other out during press conferences, letters to the Prime Minister, the works basically.
But on the anointed day of June 18, 2005, chosen by matriarch and mother of the two brothers Kokilaben Ambani, the deal to split the Reliance empire was announced by her. Do note, though the deal was arrived at much before, the auspicious day on June 18 was chosen to announce out.
So, Reliance Industries, including interests in petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, refining and textiles, went to Mukesh Ambani while Anil Ambani was bestowed with financial services businesses, power, entertainment and telecoms. Anil Ambani declared that his net worth is zero in 2020 while Mukesh Ambani is India's richest man.