Archive for January, 2010

Mukesh Ambani, Laxmi Mittal on Forbes Power List

January 29, 2010

Two Indians, energy mogul Mukesh Ambani and steel czar Lakshmi Mittal, have made it to the Forbes list of ‘World’s Most Powerful Billionaires’ combining massive fortunes with political clout.
“Through his industrial might, Mukesh Ambani, ranks eighth,” in the US business magazine’s annual list topped by Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City. Mittal ranks 13th on the list.
Bloomberg also “lords over the media, finance and fashion capital of the US and arguably the world”.
“Mukesh Ambani controls oil and gas conglomerate Reliance Industries. With a market value of more than $73 billion, the firm is India’s biggest independent company.”
Compatriot Lakshmi Mittal – India’s second wealthiest with a net worth of $30 billion – heads ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel maker, and ranks 13th on the list. The steel giant operates in 60 countries and has market value of $65 billion.
Mukesh Ambani, Forbes noted, has grown his section of the business inherited from father Dhirubhai’s massive industrial empire with brother Anil in 2002. Anil leads banking and telecom companies while Mukesh controls energy entities. Reliance Industries Ltd, let by Mukesh Ambani is a power to reckon with in oil, gas and petroleum exploration and production along with several solar energy initiatives under the banner of Reliance Solar Group.”
Mittal started in the family steel business in the 1970s, broke out on his own in 1994 and is now planning joint iron venture in Liberia and Guinea with miner BHP Billiton, it noted. “Bought 12-bedroom mansion in Kensington for more than $100 million in 2004; was London’s most expensive home at the time.”
Billionaire Sebastian Piñera who won Chile’s presidential election, defeating incumbent Eduardo Frei in a runoff vote is ranked 15th on the list which has two other billionaires currently running countries.
“Media and banking titan Silvio Berlusconi is prime minister of Italy and ranks second on Forbes list. Billionaire industrial heir, Saad Hariri, who was appointed prime minister of Lebanon Iast June, ranks fifth.
Rounding out the top five: Mexican telecom titan Carlos Slim and Russian oil magnate Vagit Alekperov.
Apple’s Steve Jobs ranks as the 18th most powerful billionaire in the world. Billionaires falling from the ranks this year include Oprah Winfrey, Roman Abramovich and Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud.


Mukesh Ambani: India at the doorstep of development

January 28, 2010

Reliance Industries Ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani said that Mumbai belongs to all Indians and its cabbies are trapped in the licence raj. “We are all Indians first. Our cities—whether Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata or Chenna—belong to all Indians. There should be equal opportunities. We, in corporate India, have got out of the licence raj but the poor taxiwallah is still trapped (in the licence raj),” he said.

Ambani was participating in a panel discussion at the launch of Not by Reason Alone: The Politics of Change in India, by Rajya Sabha MP and former bureaucrat NK Singh, organised by The Express Group and LSE India Observatory in association with Reliance Industries Ltd, Tata Group, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), NDTV, HT Media Limited & Penguin Books India.

The book is published by the Express Group and Penguin.

Amidst a disastrous global downturn, Mukesh Ambani said, India’s balancesheet is strong, consumer numbers are growing and the consumer is debt-free. “Therefore Indian economy should have a 9% default growth rate but our potential really is a high double-digit growth,” he said.

“What we have seen so far is the announcement that the old world, as we knew it, has come to an end. The world as a whole will restructure itself. I personally believe that this is an opportunity to rebalance the world and within that India is at the doorstep of a new developmental model. And this will take time and we should not rush into things. India’s strengths in this new world are going to be its soft skills,” he said.


Mukesh Ambani: Davos represents a reverberating vista

January 27, 2010

THE CII has formed a partnership to represent India at the forthcoming World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting, from January 25 to 29, in Davos, Switzerland.

The “India Everywhere” project, which is the largest ever Indian participation at WEF, would include the presence of senior representatives from the Government and business leaders from different sectors including the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, the Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Kamal Nath, the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, and the Minister of Tourism, Ms Renuka Chowdhury, along with three Chief Ministers, Delhi’s Ms Sheila Dikshit, Rajasthan’s Ms Vasundara Raje, and Kerala’s Mr Oommen Chandy.

The Government team will be joined by prominent business leaders such as Mr Y.C. Deveshwar, Chairman, ITC and CII President, Mr Mukesh Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director, Reliance Industries and co-chair of the WEF Annual Meeting, and Mr Nandan Nilekani, CEO, President & Managing Director, Infosys Technologies.

The other corporate honchos include Mr Rahul Bajaj of Bajaj Auto, Mr Hari Bhartia of Jubilant Organosys, Mr Ramond Bickson of Taj Hotels, Mr Gunit Chadha of Deutsche Bank, Mr Tarun Das, CII’s Chief Mentor, Mr J.N. Godrej of Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co, Mr Naresh Goyal of Jet Airways, Mr Vijay Mallya of UB Group, Mr Sunil Bharti Mittal of Bharti Enterprises, Mr Lakshmi N. Mittal of Mittal Steel and Mr Malvinder Singh of Ranbaxy among others.

The annual event would witness 2000 global leaders congregating to shape global, regional and industry agenda to find solutions to global challenges. India sees the Davos meet as an opportunity to engage with world participants that comprise a cross-section of political, social and business leaders.

To focus on the country, the India Brand Equity Foundation and Ministry of Tourism are spearheading a communication campaign to showcase Brand India at Davos through special events and promotions. Mr Y.C. Deveshwar, said, “Every CEO needs to grasp the forces that are shaping the world. And the Davos meet is a quick way of engaging with the world community and all its diversities.”

Commenting on the marketing strategy of `India Everywhere’, Mr Nandan Nilekani stated, “Today, India’s appeal stretches from Wall Street to Broadway; from Capitol Hill to Cannes. Policymakers, economists, businessmen and journalists – all are univocal in their opinion – India is everywhere.” He added that the prevailing global environment and sentiment towards India presents a unique opportunity to secure disproportionate attention towards the country, from the global business and political communities, alike. “The time to leverage this opportunity is now,” he added.

Centred on the theme of `The Creative Imperative’, the five-day meet would touch on a diverse range of topics from hardcore business issues such as global economy, setting the business agenda, technology to softer issues such as culture, religion and leadership vision.

Mr Mukesh Ambani, said, “For India, poised to seize global opportunities in the knowledge age, Davos represents a reverberating vista to mirror its strengths and aspirations.”


Reliance Solar Group Middle East and Africa Exclusive Distributors is PTL Solar

January 25, 2010

Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, inaugurated the first exclusive international Reliance Showroom at the Dubai Creek Towers in Deira. Rabindra Satpathy, President of Reliance Solar Group was also at inauguration ceremony and informed that PTL solar is appointed as exclusive distributors for the Middle East and Africa region for Reliance Solar Group which is a part of Reliance Industries Ltd controlled by CMD, Mukesh Ambani.

PTL Solar, experts in solar street lighting solutions and part of Green Energy, has become the exclusive distributor in the Middle East and Africa for Reliance Solar Group, part of Reliance Industries, one of India’s largest private sector enterprises. PTL Solar is highly commended and appreciated at the Power Generation and Water Solutions Middle East Awards 2009 for ”ENERGY EFFICIENCY” AND “POWER GENERATION AND WATER SOLUTIONS INNOVATION OF THE YEAR AWARD 2009“:. The company is also expert in solar street lighting solutions and part of Green Energy LLC.

Business partners, suppliers, and customers of PTL Solar, as well as a few members of a delegation from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) also attended the event. Prabissh Thomas, Managing Director of PTL Solar, briefed guests about the offerings of the showroom and the details of the distributorship agreement with Reliance Solar Group.

Reliance Solar Group specialises in solutions ranging from solar lanterns, home lighting and street lighting to water purification, refrigeration and solar air conditioners — all based on solar energy.

As part of its campaign to transform the existing lighting system into solar-based applications, PTL Solar has supplied its solar energy outdoor lighting units GRENlite to Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) as well as Tecom Investments’ Dubai Outsource Zone and Dubai Internet City.

In addition, the company has installed solar car park lights for Nakheel in the Waterfront project, as well as illuminated the first automotive factory in the UAE for heavy vehicles assembled by Scania.

Son Rise

January 21, 2010

Sons of two of the biggest Indian business empires made their presence felt at the auction. Mumbai Indians owner Nita Ambani had son Akash besides her on the auction table. She let him hand-over the envelope with the biding amount for Kieron Pollard to Lalit Modi. He sure was lucky as they grabbed Pollard for an undisclosed sum.

Bangalore Royal Challengers owner Vijay Mallya had son Siddhartha with him. They were seen involved in pensive discussions during bidding.


Mukesh Ambani and Sachin Tendulkar – Champions on the Field

January 20, 2010

Talk about India’s achievement in cricket and one cannot help mentioning the name Sachin Tendulkar, while Mukesh Ambani’s mention is inevitable when talking about India’s energy sector or Reliance’s strategic backward integration. Both are eminent personalities, who have crossed paths many a times, the most recent example being, the presence of Sachin Tendulkar at the ceremony wherein Mukesh Ambani was honored with a Dean’s Medal from the University of Pennsylvania in Mumbai. Sachin Tendulkar also happens to be a part of the cricket team ‘Mumbai Indians’, which is owned by Reliance Industries Ltd. through its wholly owned subsidiary IndiaWin Sports.

Just as Sachin Tendulkar’s contributions to the field of cricket have helped shape India’s reputation in the world of sports, so has Mukesh Ambani’s contributions to Reliance Industries and its key strategy of backward integration helped put India on the corporate map of the world. While Sachin Tendulkar has won millions of hearts with his indisputable cricket skills, Mukesh Ambani has grabbed attention for commissioning gas production from one of the world’s largest deepwater gas projects in a record of six and a half years in the Krishna-Godavari basin. Natural gas production has been commissioned from the Krishna-Godavari D6 Block in record time as against the world’s average of 9-10 years for similar facilities.

While Sachin Tendulkar completed 20 years of his career in international cricket in 2009, Mukesh Ambani was ranked as the richest man in India according to the Forbes annual rich list. 2009 was also special for the CMD of Reliance Industries as the design capacity assessment for the KG-D6 block was completed, which currently produces 60 million standard cubic metres of gas. Both the masters had an early start in their respective careers. While the ‘little master’ had an early beginning at the age of 16 in Test match cricket in 1989, Mukesh Ambani joined Reliance Industries in 1981 to assist his father Dhirubhai Ambani. Sachin Tendulkar then went on to make and break numerous records including being the only player to be featured in the top 10 ICC rankings for 10 years.

Sachin Tendulkar is the only player to take 150 wickets and score more than 15,000 runs in ODIs, and to take 40 wickets and score more than 11,000 runs in Test cricket. Sachin Tendulkar is also the only batsman to have 100 hundreds to his credit in first class cricket. On the other hand Mukesh Ambani is the only Indian who can be credited for the strategic application of backward integration in business that took Reliance from textiles to into fibers, petrochemicals, petroleum refining and most recently oil and gas exploration and production. While the ‘master blaster’ has led the Indian cricket team on various occasions, Mukesh Ambani has successfully led the Reliance Group which is now a global leader in polyester, petrochemicals and refining, and not to mention the world’s largest petroleum refinery complex at Jamnagar.

Both champions have made the nation proud on national as well as international fronts. Mukesh Ambani’s efforts and leadership was recognized by the Honorable Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he bestowed with the first NDTV Profit Global Indian Leader award and the Economic Times’ Business Leader of the year award in 2006. He has also been honored by the Defence India Excellence Award in 2007 and the Indian of the Year Award by NDTV for his contributions towards the betterment of the nation. Sachin Tendulkar too has been honored and recognized for his achievements on the sports front by being the only cricketer to be bestowed with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (India’s highest honor in sports), the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri by the Government of India.


Reliance Footprint to breakeven in 2 years

January 19, 2010

Reliance Footprint has become cash-positive at the chain store-level and the company expects to breakeven in the next two years.

Mr G. Sankar, Chief Executive, Reliance Footprint, said the company’s plans to take the number of stores from 16 now to 100 by March 2012 would enable it to break even. The footwear chain has 1.07 lakh sq ft and plans to take the store count to 30 by June 2010.

The footwear market in the country, currently estimated at Rs 14,000 crore, is expected to go up to Rs 25,000 crore in the next four years. About one-third of the market is in the organised segment, he said.

Reliance Footprint has tied up with ASICS Corporation of Japan to bring the 60-year-old sports brand into India. The footwear chain will sell the Japanese brand through Footprint stores and open exclusive brand outlets (EBOs) across the country. The first one would be launched in Bangalore soon and would have 10 EBOs in the first year, Mr Sankar said.

Reliance Footprint would not be averse to opening EBOs for other brands, especially in the men’s footwear segment, said Mr Sankar. The chain sells footwear, handbags and accessories totalling 20,000 SKUs across 50 brands. “We are also looking at launching footwear for specialised segments such as for diabetics and for the disabled,” he said.