Mukesh Ambani, the most powerful and richest businessperson in the country has been ranked as the most influential Indian executive in CEOWORLD magzine’s global ranking of the world’s most influential chief executives in 2019. Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is the largest private company in India with an annual turnover of more than 6 lakh crore rupees and market capitalization of 8 lakh crore rupees. He was ranked 49th in the Global list which was topped by C Douglas Mamillon, the CEO of American retailing giant Walmart.
“CEOWORLD magazine’s global ranking of the best chief executives for 2019 measured more than 1,200 CEOs across 96 countries. Taking a long view of business performance, the methodology is primarily based on the financial returns for the CEO’s entire tenure, which makes up 60 per cent of the final ranking, as opposed to stock price and the current quarter’s numbers,” said the publication.
ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal was the most highly ranked (third) person of Indian origin in the list. Lakshmi Niwas Mittal was born and brought up in India but his company is based in Luxembourg and he is British National. Therefore he was not among most powerful Indian CEOs.
A total of 10 Indians appeared on the list which is the highest ever tally of total Indians. The other Indians to appear on the list are Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) Chairman Sanjiv Singh (69th), ONGC head Shashi Shanker(77th), State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman Rajnish Kumar (ranked 83th), Tata Motors CEO Guenter Butschek (89th), BPCL Chairman and Managing Director D Rajkumar (94th), Rajesh Exports Executive Chairman Rajesh Mehta (99th), Tata Consultancy Services CEO Rajesh Gopinathan and Wipro Chief Executive Abidali Z Neemuchwala (ranked 118th).
Interestingly, the total of Chinese executives (Seven) on the list is lower than Indians (Ten) despite the fact that the Chinese economy is five times bigger than that of India.
The magazine ranked a total of 121 executives across the world with most of the places occupied by American executives. “Unsurprisingly, Walmart CEO Douglas McMillon came first in the CEOWORLD magazine’s global ranking of the best chief executives across all industries for 2019,” said the magazine.
Mukesh Ambani has taken Reliance Industries to new heights. In 2007, a few months after splitting the family business, Anil Ambani had a net worth of $45 billion according to the Forbes Richest List. His biggest asset was a 66% stake in telecom venture Reliance Communications. Elder brother Mukesh had a net worth of $49 billion. As of now, Mukesh’s worth is more than $59 billion while Anil Ambani is no longer a billionaire. In the period of one decade, while the elder brother has expanded his empire throughout the country, the younger brother could not handle family fortunes and shrunk to the bottom line.
The leadership style of Mukesh Ambani epitomizes the traditional Indian style of 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 nut and bolt. He is a 24X7 businessman with a low profile and a workaholic persona; he hardly interacts with the media except on the company’s annual day functions.
Mukesh Ambani is known to work towards achieving a monopoly in the markets, a style similar to his father’s. In the early days of the business, his father, Dhirubhai Ambani monopolized the yarn business, and now he is himself doing the same in the telecommunication market. Since his company entered the market with 1GB free data and unlimited free calling package throughout India, the prices of calling and data services have crashed significantly. Within a short period of a year, his company captured almost 15 percent of the telecommunications market. Friends and rivals use two words to describe Mukesh: obsessive and ruthless.