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SUCCESSOR?

Anant Ambani’s growing presence at Reliance Industries

REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas
All eyes on him.
  • Niharika Sharma
By Niharika Sharma

Reporter

Published

Mukesh Ambani’s youngest child is in the limelight.

On July 5, the 26-year old Anant Ambani was reportedly appointed as a director on the boards of Reliance New Energy Solar and Reliance New Solar Energy, the two companies that have been set up to spearhead Reliance Industries’ billion-dollar bet on the renewables space. Reliance Industries did not respond to Quartz’s query about the appointment news.

Anant has held several positions in his fathers’ other business over the years, but this appointment stands out given Reliance’s massive investment in the new energy segment.

Anant Ambani and Reliance businesses

Anant, who is an alumnus of Brown University in the US, is an additional director on the board of Jio Platforms, the new tech arm of Reliance Industries.

In February, Anant—who is younger than Mukesh’s twins Akash and Isha—was inducted as a director of Reliance’s oil to chemical (O2C) business.

In 2016, Anant made headlines for his tremendous weight loss. He reportedly lost over 100 kilos in less than 18 months.

Who will be Mukesh Ambani’s successor?

Anant’s new role in Reliance’s latest ventures has been reported at a time when there is a growing chorus among the investors over who will be Mukesh’s successor.

This question becomes critical because the Ambani family saw a bitter succession process not too long ago.

In 2002, after the demise of Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of Reliance Industries, there was an intense feud over succession between his sons Mukesh and Anil. The patriarch had not left a will and the family businesses had to be split. Eventually, the elder brother got the oil refining and petrochemicals business, and the younger one got the energy, finance, and telecom units.

Since then, Mukesh’s businesses have been expanding, and Anil has not had much luck. The latter not only lost his billionaire status but his company Reliance Communications also filed for bankruptcy in 2019.

Perhaps to avoid similar drama in the future, speculations are rife that Anant is being groomed to take more responsibility in his father’s businesses. Isha and Akash are already on the board of Reliance Retail Ventures and have been at the forefront during several of the company’s public events.

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