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The Rise Of Gautam Adani

wealthymattersIn September 2003, about a year after Gujarat was ravaged by communal riots under Modi’s watch, the chief minister was seeking approval from the business community. Thus was born the ‘Vibrant Gujarat Summit’, the investment jamboree that Modi has made a biennial political statement since. Back then, though, it was a tentative idea, rising from the ashes of a polarised state and a leader seeking validation.

Some leaders of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the country’s main industry grouping, had criticised Modi for the riots and told him that it would be hard for the state to pull in investments. He needed to prove them wrong,Companies were called to announce large investments in the state. While everyone expected the Ruias and Reliance to make large announcements, Adani surprised everyone by announcing a 15,000 crore investment.

Any reference—good or bad—to Gautam Adani’s sprawling business empire is rarely unaccompanied by his alleged proximity to Narendra Modi, the man who could be prime minister in 2014.There are parallels between the two. Both have their roots in Gujarat. Both have bloomed in their respective spheres in the past decade. Both have created a deep imprint at the state level and are restless for a national footprint. That is the ‘now’. Read more of this post

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Billionaire Matrimonial Alliances

The Serious Business Of Marriage


And should the Big Fat Indian Wedding be your thing,try this blog-Link

Trial By Fire In Patalganga

wealthymatters.comThe Indira Gandhi administration threw open the doors of PFY (polyester filament yarn) manufacturing to the private sector in early 1980. Dhirubhai Ambani  applied for a license to set up PFY manufacturing plant. In spite of stiff competition from Tatas, Birlas and 43 others, Dhirubhai was awarded the licence.To help him build the PFY plant, Dhirubhai pulled his eldest son Mukesh out of Stanford where he was studying for his MBA and dropped the untried, untested twenty-four year-old chemical engineer from Bombay University into the deep end. Read more of this post

Sweet Revenge

wealthymatters,comApril 30, 1982. Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani became famous this  afternoon. However he had no inkling of this when he woke up that morning. The only emotion he perhaps felt that hot summer morning, as the mercury crossed the 33 C mark, was wrath. For the past six weeks, a syndicate of stockbrokers had been hammering his company’s shares on the Bombay Stock Exchange,and he didn’t like it.

April 30 was a Friday, the day he could vent his anger, take his revenge. On the BSE, alternate Fridays were settlement days when all transactions which had taken place the previous fortnight were cleared.Sellers delivered shares to buyers, buyers accepted delivery, or either party asked for the transaction to be postponed to the next clearance day after paying badla or compensation for the delay. This day was one of  the settlement Fridays. It would go down in the BSE’s history as a day of total chaos.

The stage for this drama was set a few days earlier, on March 18, when a selling hysteria shocked the BSE. In twenty-five minutes of panic, starting at 1.35. p.m. the price of blue-chips like Century and Tisco crashed by ten per cent. They fell like dominoes on the back of Ambani’s Reliance Textile Industries which fell from Rs 131 to Rs 121 as 350,000 of its shares hit the market. Read more of this post

Dhirubhaism by A.G Krishnamurthy


A G Krishnamurthy ,the author of ‘Dhirubhaism’,is the founder chairman and managing director of Mudra Communications. Dhirubhaism is an attempt by the author share his  insights into Dhirubhai Ambani’s  management style culled over several interactions with him during their long association.The book lists 15 Dhirubhaisms. The 15 Dhirubhiasms put together bring out the work philosophy of Dhirubhai Ambani and give us a glimpse into the remarkable thinking process and habits of one of India’s most successful entrepreneurs.

The book is a slim 96 page volume and an easy read.The isms may not be unique to Dhirubhaiji .Many people display some of the traits , in their working styles as well, but Dhirubhai was one of those rare people who demonstrated all of them, all the time.To really benefit from the book,the really important thing is not so much to read the book as to practice the Dhirubhaisms on a daily basis till they become second nature.I’ve been trying to do so for a while.I can’t say the isms have become second nature but I am now at the stage where every time I slip up I know almost immediately that I’ve slipped up.

Do read the book In the meantime here is something about the 15 Dhirubhaisms:- Read more of this post

Ek The Dhirubhai – There Was Once A Dhirubhai

Here is a documentary on Dhirubhai Ambani I found on the internet.I’m afraid it is in Hindi and I’m sorry I can’t find a copy with subtitles.

This documentary was apparently aired on News 24 which I don’t have so I missed it when it was first aired.I got to see some rare pictures of  Dhirubhai here.It was also nice to hear his neighbours and associates describe him.What struck me most was how Dhirubhai never discouraged any beginner from starting out in his own field.I would love to have that sort of self-assurance.

Do watch the videos below and enjoy!

Read more of this post

Quotes From Dhirubhai Ambani


Personally I admire Dhirubhai Ambani’s  way of not  letting  other people circumscribe his dreams.I believe that if a person can dream up something he/she can do it.It may take time and effort and persistence but its not impossible. Personally I believe dreams are worth fighting for because they are a representation of out truest self and out innate abilities.Anytime I have self doubts I find that reflecting on incidents from his life gives me courage.After all life has not tested me in the way it did him.And anytime anybody tells me that something is undoable in one lifetime I just tell myself to see how far Dhirubhai came in one lifetime.Following are some quotes from the great man.Use them to spur you on in life.

“Only when you dream it you can do it.”

“For those who dare to dream, there is a whole world to win!”

“I, as school kid, was a member of the Civil Guard, something like today’s NCC. We had to salute our officers who went round in jeeps. So I thought one day I will also ride in a jeep and somebody else will salute me.”

“I am deaf to the word “no”.” Read more of this post

Ambani Family Tree

Here is the Ambani Family tree. It should come in handy while reading about the Ambani Empire.Its interesting to see what role family played in the early years when Dhirubhai was starting out; How family helped with expansion and how the family now distributes the responsibilities of  running of the empire amongst itself.


Cold Steel


‘Cold Steel’ is a mesmerising read.It is a narration of the takeover battle waged by Lakshmi Narayan Mittal against the management of Arcelor to emerge as the Emperor of Steel.

In 2006, the two largest steel-producers in the world-Arcelor and Mittal Steel, are in the middle of  a bitter battle for total market domination

At first Lakshmi Mittal proposes a friendly merger with rival Arcelor, a pan-European company whose interested parties include the governments of Spain, Luxembourg and Belgium.

Arcelor’s mercurial CEO, Frenchman Guy Dollé, firmly refuses,using intemperate language.To quote,“The answer is clearly no…There are two categories of steel. There is premium-quality steel and there is commodity steel. It’s like, there’s perfume, that Arcelor specialises in, and then there’s a sort of eau de cologne which is Mittal’s domain… a lot more technology and grey matter goes into each tonne we sell.” ….. “Part of Mittal’s offer consists, if you’ll excuse the expression, of monnaie de singe.”(literally meaning “monkey money” or “funny money” or tainted money).These same words come back to haunt him later.

The refusal sets the scene for a massive hostile takeover involving billions of dollars of finance and government and shareholder manoeuvring. The corporate battle that ensues takes on epic proportions and becomes  one of the world’s biggest and most hard-fought industry takeovers of recent years. It sends shockwaves through the political corridors of Europe, excites the world’s financial markets, enriches thirty hedge funds and transformes the global steel industry.The participants come from many different continents and include six billionaires, many of the world’s top investment bankers (interestingly with two brothers, pitted against each other, one working for Goldman Sachs and the other for Morgan Stanley),top law firms and public relations outfits , presidents , prime ministers and politicians occupying the highest positions in the current and emerging superpowers. Read more of this post

Dhirubhai Ambani

wealthymaters.comThere is no official biography of Dhirubhai Ambani.In its absence a book like ‘ The Polyester Prince ” has to suffice.That Hamish McDonald was not close to Dhirubhai Ambani is a fact.That is why I kept this article – for the contrast.Here Mukesh Ambani speaks about his father to Pritish Nandy.Enjoy this read!

What were your father’s childhood years like? Does he ever speak to you about them?

Very frequently, in fact. Stories about his childhood have always inspired us, taught us how to cope with life’s vicissitudes.

Papa was always very responsible and enterprising. When he was in school, he went to the foot of Mount Girnar — the famous mountain in Saurashtra, where he grew up in a small town called Chorwad in Junagadh — and opened his own shop. To sell bhajias to pilgrims over the weekend. This is how he earned his own money though his needs were few. Until he left for Aden, he wore only half pants!

Why did he go to Aden? Yemen is not exactly an El Dorado.

He was fond of adventure. I guess Aden provided him an opportunity to experience it. To escape his own background, to see the world. He actually went with a recommendation for a job, like people go to Dubai these days. He had just completed school. SSC at that time. Even that on his second attempt! It was like MABF. Matric Appeared But Failed.

Luckily for him, he had admirers at that young age. One of them liked his spirit of enterprise so much that he sent him off to Aden for a job with an Indian trading company. A pedhi. A pedhi was like a proprietary firm. He started there and then moved on to a job with Shell.

What kind of job?

It began at the petrol pump. Then he went on to logistics. Loading all the ships and airplanes, making sure that the entire fuel logistics for Shell worked in perfect synchronicity. Read more of this post


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