Dhirubhai Ambani (28 Dec 1932 to 7 July 2002) is a rags to riches story who founded Reliance in Mumbai in the year 1957. He took a public issue of his company in the year 1977 and by the end of 80’s his company had the largest number of share holders in the world. The number of shareholders in his company was so huge that they had to organise their Annual General Meetings in a Football Stadium to accommodate its shareholders
Life of Dhirubhai Ambani
He was born in Gujrat to a school teacher with meagre income. At the age of 16, he went to Yemen and started working as a Petrol Pump Attendant. He had a craving for Trading and it was here on the streets of Yemen that he learnt the art of trading.
As he didn’t have sufficient cash to enter into Trading, he borrowed as much as he could from friends and small Aden shopkeepers on terms nobody had ever offered them. “Profit we share and all loss will be mine” became his motto.
Dhirubhai’s Return to India
Dhirubhai returned to India in 1957 to start his own business with his cousin. He started by importing Polyester and exporting Spices to Yemen. He started expanding his business with the help of Public Issues. Reliance raised cash from the Indian Public a couple of times in the 1980’s through equities and debentures. It was in the 1980’s after Reliance aggressive fund raising plans that the Indian Stock Markets started witnessing some activity.
Zero Tax Company
Such was the Financial Acumen of this man that Reliance never paid a single penny income tax to the Govt. even after 2 decades of its listing in 1977. Reliance showed profits in such a manner that they didnt have to pay any taxes to the Govt but still went on giving Dividends and Bonus to its shareholders. It was only after India introduced MAT Regime that Reliance was forced to pay taxes.
Dhirubhai was surrounded with criticism throughout his life. He has been accused of Excise and Customs evasion, Bribing Politicians, Maneuvering Policies, Stock Market Rigging, Havala among others.
Movie on the Life of Dhirubhai Ambani
Mani Ratnam made the movie- Guru on the Life of Dhirubhai Ambani. The movie picturises Abhishek Bachchan as Dhirubhai Ambani and the movie revolves around this man. This movie was a runaway hit both in India and abroad and opened to full houses.
Books on the Life of Dhirubhai Ambani
Two books have been written on the Life of Dhirubhai Ambani, both by Hamish McDonald. The first book titled ‘The Polyester Prince’ is now banned in India. However, in the year 2010, Hamish McDonald authored another book ‘Ambani & Sons’ which is on stands now.
Dhirubhai Ambani had a distinct identity of his own and to award him for his exemplary achievements, the Department of Post has also released a Rs.5 stamp of Dhirubhai Ambani.