Reliance Industries Limited, the Mukesh Ambani led conglomerate has been finally crowned the biggest company in India in all three major indicators – Revenue, Profit and Market Capitalization. The company achieved the top position under late Dhirubhai Ambani’s son Mukesh Ambani. The more interesting fact is that Reliance Industries got the crown by toppling public sector company – Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) which posted revenue 6.17 lakh crore rupees. In the fiscal year 2018-19, RIL reported a total turnover of 6.23 lakh crore rupees which is more than the GDP of Punjab (5.77 lakh crore rupees) for FY 19. If ranked in the Indian states by GDP, RIL would be on 13th place, ahead of Punjab, Bihar, Odisha, Assam an many other small states.
The revenue of the company grew exponentially in the last few years on burgeoning telecom and retail services. The market capitalization of the company is 8.52 lakh crore rupees, miles ahead of TCS, the second biggest company with a cap of 7.85 lakh crore rupees. RIL is also the most profitable company in the country and posted profit of 39,588 crore rupees compared to 17,274 crore rupees of Indian Oil Corporation. A decade back, Reliance Industries was half the size of IOC but through new successful ventures in telecom, retail, and digital services and able leadership of Mukesh Ambani, the company took over IOC.
Ambani brothers parted ways in 2007 and Mukesh Ambani got the Reliance Industries Limited. Under his tenure, the company recorded a 14 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the last decade as compared to 6.3 percent of IOC. In the last fiscal year, the company recorded revenue growth of 44 percent which is the highest for any company of such scale.
The leadership style of Mukesh Ambani epitomizes the traditional Indian style running a Hindu undivided family business. He involves himself in every large-scale project and is known for his ability to visualize, conceive and implement mega projects down to the last screw and nail. He has planned and overseen some of the country’s grand projects, including the Rs. 15,000 crore Reliance Petroleum plant in Jamnagar, the single biggest investment in post-liberalization India. He is a 24X7 businessman with a low profile and workaholic persona; he hardly interacts with media except on company’s annual day functions. He is known to work for monopoly in the markets, similar to his father.
In the early days of the business his father monopolized thread-making business, and now he is himself doing the same in the telecommunication market. Since his company entered the market with a 1GB free data and unlimited free calling package throughout India, the prices of calling and data services have crashed. He was being compared to the freebie distributing Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu but he was doing it with his own money, not the taxpayers’ money. Within a short period of a year, his company captured almost 20 percent of the telecommunications market. His style of doing business is the same in other markets too. Friends and rivals use two words to describe Mukesh Ambani: obsessive and ruthless. Of late, another description has been floated: controlled freak, but of the positive kind.