Akash Ambani’s keeping up the family tradition of breaking into global lists

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Akash Ambani’s keeping up the family tradition of breaking into global lists
  • Akash Ambani is the elder son of one of India’s richest businessmen Mukesh Ambani; and the only Indian to debut on Time Magazine’s Next 100 List.
  • During the 2022 Reliance Industries’ annual general meeting, he announced the launch of Jiofibre and virtual PCs.
  • Akash Ambani will head India’s largest telecom operator and is one of the heirs of Mukesh Ambani’s $80.5 billion empire.
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He may have become the new boss of Reliance Jio – India’s largest telecom operator – recently, but Akash Ambani has been prepping for the top job from birth. As the grandson of Dhirubhai Ambani and son of Mukesh Ambani, the Junior Ambani has always had big shoes to fill, but he seems to be stepping into them quite effortlessly.

He is also keeping the family tradition of breaking into lists by becoming the only Indian to enter the Time Magazine’s Next 100 list. Time’s Next 100 list essentially puts the spotlight on emerging leaders who are shaping the world of business, sports, finance, entertainment, politics, science, health, and activism.

The list also features the likes of American singer SZA, actress Sydney Sweeney, basketball player Ja Morant, Spanish tennis player Carlos Alcaraz, actor and television personality Keke Palmer, and environment activist Farwiza Farhan.

Not surprisingly, the scion of the Ambani family has made it as an A-lister, given the mantle he holds as the Chairman of Reliance Jio with 426 million users. One of the heirs of Mukesh Ambani’s $80.5 billion empire, the 30-year-old has his work cut out, as the company looks to launch 5G services later this year.

Akash is married to Shloka Mehta, who hails from one of the richest diamond families of India. The Ambani family welcomed their first grandchild, Prithvi Ambani, in 2020.

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Reliance Jio has been touted as one of the fastest growing companies in the world and Akash has reportedly played a key role in bringing marquee investors and global giants like Facebook, Catterton, Silver Lake and General Atlantic to the company.

Akash Ambani’s journey of becoming one of the most influential next-gen leaders began only four years ago, when he gave his first public address at the India Digital Open Summit.

“Our chairman believes India is on a path to be a technology innovation leader and technology superpower. We are fortunate to be living in India, where we have a vision for Digital India. At Jio we believe AR/VR will grow at 50% CAGR for next 5 years,” said Akash Ambani, who was 26 years old at the time.

On June 27 2022, Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani handed over the reins of the empire to his eldest son Akash Ambani.

Referring to the next generation Ambanis — Isha, Akash and Anant — Mukesh Ambani said at the company’s 45th annual general meeting, “All three have fully inherited our founder's mindset. They are first among equals in a young team of leaders and professionals who are already doing amazing things at Reliance.”

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Akash Ambani’s ambitious plan to launch virtual PCs in India

Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL), a subsidiary of RIL, is the largest telecom operator in India. From less than 700 professionals a few years ago, the RJIL team has grown rapidly to over 10,000 professionals today.

“With 5G being rolled out in India, the current 800 million connected internet devices will double to 1.5 billion connected internet devices in just a year,” said Akash Ambani at the latest annual general meeting.

The 30-year-old also announced the launch of ‘ virtual PC’ through the launch of Jio AirFiber giving a boost to AI-enabled services in India.

“5G gives ultra-high fibre-like speed over the air without any wires. We are calling it JioAirFiber. With JioAirFiber, it will be really easy to quickly connect your home or office to Gigabit-speed Internet,” he said.

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Investing ₹2 lakh crore, the next-generation Ambani will also head the implementation of 5G services in India – the latest version called standalone 5G sans dependence on 4G network.

Challenges for Ambani junior while heading Reliance

Reliance Jio offers its services at affordable tariffs, a dream that the founder of Reliance Industries had of offering telecom services at the rate of a postcard. While Akash Ambani’s father delivered on that promise, the 30-year old scion will have his job cut out as the company looks to launch its ambitious 5G services this Diwali.

The company faces competition from the Sunil Mittal-helmed Airtel. Interestingly, Airtel is a professionally run company and both of Mittal’s sons pursue their own business interests.

An avid sports nut

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Apart from heading the most ambitious projects in the world, Akash is known to have a keen interest in sports and premium cars.

Akash’s first public appearance was at a Mumbai Indians cricket match as the company bought the team for $111.9 million back in 2008. He is an avid cricket fan and can be seen regularly leading auctions to filter through the players for the Mumbai Indians IPL league.

Ambani Junior is also a fan of the Arsenal football club. In 2016, he got to play in his private football area with Arsenal’s former forward Thierry Henry.

Alongside sports, Akash has a legion of premium cars like Bentley Bentayga, Range Rover Vogue, BMW 5-Series, Lamborghini Urus, Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe and Maybach 62 to list a few.

The passion for fancy wheels comes from both his parents. The road to living up to the name of “industry royalist” is long but Akash Ambani’s blueprint for Reliance is being closely watched by the world.

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