Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani (28th December 1932 - 6th July 2002)

The actual and complete name of Dhirubhai Ambani is Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani. He was famously referred to as Dhirubhai Ambani because of his triumphant venture into the markets. This man, who had a humble start, made a great impact in the world with his intelligence and creativity. Dhirubhai Ambani was the sole individual who caused a major transformation in the Indian industries and was an incredibly successful entrepreneur.

His understanding of the stock market and its influence on the economy allowed him to propel India onto the world stage with his business activities. His power and influence in the market place has earned him the title of business tycoon in the eyes of many for his economic prominence. Mukesh Ambani, the founder of Reliance Industries, has ventured into many business opportunities since its foundation. Even long after his passing, his legacy is one that still holds great power and strength.


Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani (28th December 1932 - 6th July 2002)

Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani (28th December 1932 - 6th July 2002)

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On December 28th, 1932, Dhirubhai Ambani was born to Hirachand Gordhanbhai and Jamnaben Ambani in his mother's native place of Chorwad, which was located in the Junagadh State at the time, but is now part of the Gujarat state in India. His father was a school teacher in the village and, like him, he is a part of the Modh Baniya community. He had two brothers and one sister, making him the third of the three sons. His siblings include his two brothers, Ramaniklal Ambani and Saurabh Patel, as well as his sister Trilochana Ben.

Dhirubhai Ambani spent his childhood living with his parents and siblings in a simple and modest lifestyle. He was very studious and had strong leadership qualities even in his early years and he achieved his primary education from Bahadur Khanji school. His younger days were marked by his participation in the protests against the Nawab of Junagadh who had planned to join the Muslim community in Pakistan after India's independence.

Dhirubhai Ambani, then only sixteen years old, left his home in 1948 to work at A. Besse and Co. in Port Aden, Yemen. Alongside his brother Ramaniklal, he was employed as a clerk in a company that was one of the biggest transcontinental trading firms in the East of Suez, Egypt during the 1950s. During his career in the industry, he learnt the fundamentals of trading and accounting. Throughout the years he gradually improved his skills. His business understanding was already evident in his younger years, as he made strides to realize his ambitions of generating more wealth. Silver bullion, which was widely sought after in those days for its popularity, was frequently sold in its raw form.

With the idea of making the most out of the precursor of the bullion, he took it a step further by considering the process of melting down the silver. He was able to sell the pure silver for a higher price than anticipated. He had an uncanny ability for managing finances and was a master of the subject. His friends often remarked that he was an incredibly friendly and easy-going person with a pleasant nature and an infectious cheerful personality.

His ambition and determination to succeed was always evident. Over the course of a few years, he was involved in working with the Shell Oil as Agents. At the age of 23 in 1955, Dhirubhai Ambani married Kokilaben, who was just 21 years old and was from Jamnagar. During the later years of her life, Kokilaben often referred to the support her husband had provided her during her difficult times away from her family in India and expressed how much she cherished the moments they spent together in the early years of their marriage.

In Aden in 1957, Kokilaben Ambani and her husband Dhirubhai Ambani had their first child together, and his name was Mukesh Ambani. In 1958, Dhirubhai, together with his family, relocated to Mumbai, India, to establish their residence. In addition to their successful business, they were also blessed with three children: Anil Ambani, Nina Ambani and Dipti Ambani. When they initially moved to Mumbai, they were living in a two-bedroom apartment situated in the tiny neighborhood of Bhuleshwar.


Business Developments

During the initial years of his business, he partnered with his second cousin, Champaklal Damani, and gradually other relatives and friends were included in the export of spices to the Eastern and Asian countries. He was a risk-taker by nature, starting the business with a meager 15000 and making it from nothing.

During the early years of its existence, the business was known as Reliance Commercial Corporation. Despite the size of their office, the assistance of their assistants was critical in helping them set up the business. Numerous members who became associated with Reliance at the outset of Dhirubhai's tenure have remained devoted for many years. His business grew quickly due to the high-quality products he offered, combined with lower profit margins than his competitors.

After a few years of working together, in 1965 due to some disagreements, Dhirubhai decided to go his own way and separate from Champaklal. He was primarily in charge of exporting polyester and that was his entrance into the textile business, and under the 'Vimal' label, other articles of clothing such as sarees, dresses, shawls and suits were marketed. On the 8th of May, 1973, he decided to alter the name of Reliance Commercial Corporation to Reliance Industries. Its good quality products and commitment to the same values were recognized in the domestic market and this was further extended to the Indian interiors.

There was no way to reverse the position they had taken in the marketplace since they had already established their dominance. When the commodities of his company were at their highest, he also took the opportunity to explore the world of synthetic textiles. The year 1966 marked the beginning of his journey into backward integration with the opening of the Reliance Textile mill. Over time the magnum petrochemical, plastic and power generation giant was created and developed. In the year 1975, the World Bank sent a technical team to the textile mill in order to provide support.


Building an Empire

In 1977, Dhirubhai Ambani originally sought out investments and financial assistance from National Banks, but when his request was refused, he made the company public. Dhirubhai was the first Indian entrepreneur to make a global impact on the industrial sector. When he gained a large amount of money from providing his own stocks to the Bear Cartel, who were attempting to overpower him, he furthermore demonstrated his power by joining forces with the Bombay Stock Exchange.

There was a great commotion in the market wondering how he could achieve such a great profit during the national crisis. Investigating the operations of the Bombay office and discovering that it was closed for three days. Pranab Mukherjee spoke in defense of Dhirubhai and his work, which was completely legal and did not involve any unethical practices or transactions.

Despite the numerous reports of fraud and misconduct from the press and the market, the investors remained loyal and kept faith in him. The investors had nothing but faith in Dhirubhai's capabilities and talents as a businessman, and as a result, their shares and dividends only increased in value. He was an expert in the stock market and many people gathered around to attend his meetings to learn from his knowledge.

The audiences for these meetings were so large that stadiums had to be rented and the meetings were even broadcast on television to make sure that everyone who wanted to attend could participate. In 2012, Reliance Industries, a privately owned Indian corporation, earned a place in the prestigious Fortune 500, becoming the first of its kind to do so.



In February 1986 Dhirubhai Ambani suffered from a stroke which lead to the paralysis of his right hand and therefore decided to divide the business between his sons Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani. The brothers have decided to run their business independently because of certain private matters. Again in 2002 on 24th June he was taken to Breach Candy Hospital due to a major stroke and subsequently he was in death bed until July 6th 2002, when he took his last breath. 


Honors and Recognition

  • In 2016, the late Dhirubhai Ambani was bestowed with the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award, for his outstanding contribution to the Indian market and economy over many years.
  • The title of 'The Polyester Prince', coined by Hamish McDonald, an Australian journalist, in his unauthorized biography in 1988, was an apt description of Dhirubhai.
  • On August 10th in Mumbai, He was presented with The Economic Times Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.
  • On June 15th, 1998, he became the first Indian ever to be awarded the Dean's Medal from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, in recognition of his remarkable leadership.
  • For three consecutive years, 1996, 1998 and 2000, he was recognized by Asiaweek magazine as one of the fifty most influential people in Asia.



Dhirubhai Ambani was a remarkable Indian entrepreneur who completely revolutionized the business sector of India with his innovative contributions in the textiles, petrochemicals, and telecommunications industries. Ambani was a risk-taker and innovator who had an exceptional understanding of the business world and an ability to identify potential opportunities; his founding of Reliance Industries made it one of the biggest and most prosperous conglomerates in India.

He had a reputation for being able to take difficult situations and turn them into opportunities, as well as for his dedication to achieving perfection and creating new ideas. Despite the many challenges he encountered, Ambani was a determined leader who never lost faith in his ideas and persevered throughout his entrepreneurial journey. A true leader of his time, he not only established a successful business enterprise but also made a lasting impression on the Indian economy of today.

The accomplishments and success of Ambani's have been a source of motivation and inspiration for entrepreneurs and business leaders across the globe. His creative approach to business, his drive to succeed, and his eagerness to take risks have had a huge influence on the business world, and his thoughts and plans are still being studied and copied by business owners and corporate directors today.

All in all, Dhirubhai Ambani was a true visionary, a pioneering entrepreneur who revolutionized the business world in India through his inventive thoughts and a dedication to excellence. The impact of his work on modern Indian economy is significant and still inspires generations of entrepreneurs and business leaders around the globe, and cannot be overlooked. The life and work of Ambani will be forever remembered as an example of the power of entrepreneurship, innovation and hard work, his contributions to the business world being undeniable.

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