Mukesh Ambani and Sachin Tendulkar – Champions on the Field

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.



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