Anil Ambai, the scion of one of the richest families in Asia and brother of Mukesh Ambani, has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate, along with Subhash Chandra of the Zee Group, Sameer Gehlaut of Indiabulls Group, Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal, Dheeraj and Kapil Wadhawan of DHFL group and Peter Kerkar of Cox and Kings in the Yes Bank money laundering probe.
These industrialists have taken loans from Yes Bank, and the ED has called them to probe financial irregularities, although nothing has been proved yet against any of them except for the promoters of DHFL group.
Anil Ambani’s Group has taken loan of 12,500 crore rupees and the ED suspects that kickbacks were paid by the group to bank’s management, for the loans.
Ambani, who a few weeks ago declared that, “My net worth is zero after taking into account my liabilities. In summary, I do not hold any meaningful assets which can be liquidated for the purposes of these proceedings”, is obviously not in a condition to pay the loans, but he might be put behind the bars for misdoings.
Yes Bank is not the only financial company which registered huge NPAs due to loans to Anil Ambani group, as majority of the businesses under the group are posting losses and are not in condition to payback the loans.
Anil Ambani has to pay millions of dollars to Chinese banks, but he pleaded in the London court about his poverty and his inability to pay back the loans. The Chinese state-owned banks provided 925 million dollars loan to Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications, which filed for bankruptcy last year. Ambani was ordered to put 100 million dollars into court’s account within 6 weeks and therefore the industrialist had to plead to the court about his poverty, as he has got no money to payback.
Many other banks including country’s largest- SBI- has registered huge NPAs due to loans to Anil Ambani’s companies. Majority of his companies like Reliance Capital, Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Power and Reliance Communications went bankrupt in the last few months. Given the fact that these companies have taken huge loans from state owned banks, the NPAs of these banks moved northwards. Therefore, Anil Ambani tied up many private and public banks of the country around his neck, and jumped into the sea.
Once a constant face on the list of world’s most wealthy individuals, Anil Ambani is now sitting on a heap underperforming companies reeling under debt. Over the past decade, the total worth of Reliance Group of Companies (top 5) has eroded dramatically from Rs 2,36,354 crore in 2008 to just Rs 24,922 crores in February 2019.
Just a few years after the death of Dhirubhai Ambani, the multibillion-dollar business empire was split between the Ambani brothers after a long and emotional family rift. While the elder brother, Mukesh Ambani was given the group’s petrochemical business, the younger sibling Anil, managed to get the new-age telecom business, along with the financial services and energy business.
Today, while Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) group stood at a market cap of around 7 lakh crore, younger brother Group’s market cap is near zero.
The managerial style of both brothers is very different. 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.
Anil, on the other hand, is more like a western businessman. He is flashy, flamboyant, urbane, high-profile and accessible, he is dear to media as he regularly throws lavish parties for them. While his brother is known for keeping a safe distance from politicians at least in public eye, Anil is close to politicians like Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh; he also got a seat in Rajya Sabha from which he later resigned.
He has pioneered many innovations in the Indian capital markets and has had unparalleled success in raising capital from global markets for Reliance. He knows the world’s biggest international financiers by their first names and is the telegenic face of the company. He is known for trusting his managers and going with their opinions rather than involving himself in any project in great detail.
The businesses of Anil Ambani have collapsed and most of the companies in his group have filed for bankruptcy. Whatever be the future of the business, Anil Ambani will go down as a person who could not handle family fortunes.