Akash Ambani© HelloIndia

HELLO! 100 Most Influential: Akash Ambani

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Ananya Shankar

Why he matters: With brilliant business acumen that runs through his veins and a boundless mind for innovation, this family-oriented captain is geared up to steer Reliance into an even more glorious future.

When his twin sister, Isha Ambani, complained about poor telecom connectivity in India, 20-year-old Akash came up with the idea of data-focused telecom connectivity, leading to the birth of the behemoth that is Jio today.

Cut to the annual general meeting of 2022, when Chairman of the Reliance Group Mukesh Ambani announced that he’d be stepping down from the infocomm division (RJIL), and his three heirs would be taking over, among them, Akash Ambani.

In June 2022, Akash took over the reins as the new Chairman of RJIL at a time when the mobile telephony business was preparing to go to war over 5G. But in a game-changing move, the young scion spearheaded Jio’s monumental purchase of airwaves, shelling out Rs 1.3 lakh crore to build an unstoppable 5G network.

Despite the incomprehensible sum, this economics major from the Ivy League Brown University is believed to be quite particular about the return on his investments.

Like Father, Like Son

“Senior Ambani has been impressed with the way he explored trends in technology and deputed people to chase opportunities,” a Reliance executive was quoted as saying.

Much like his father, this millennial leader is known for his business-savvy, sagacious mind that prompted the creation of a next-gen team that explores cutting-edge tech trends and seizes golden opportunities. Skillfully negotiating tie-ups, including an exciting collaboration with Qualcomm for revolutionary 5G solutions in India, Akash was also the mastermind behind the Rs 3,720 crore acquisition of Reliance Infratel, the debt-ridden subsidiary of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications.

Moreover, Akash and Isha worked their magic with major investors like Facebook with the two playing a pivotal role in negotiating the deal that led to Mark Zuckerberg buying a 9.9% stake in Jio, an investment of a staggering Rs 43,574 crore!

A Doting Family Man

While the senior Ambani brothers were once engaged in a rather public feud, Akash and his siblings get along fairly well. In fact, in a rare interview, it was revealed that the doting brother is so close to his twin that despite getting engaged before Isha, he willingly chose to “give” her his wedding date!

Married to his high-school sweetheart and diamond heiress Shloka Mehta, the daughter of Russell and Mona Mehta, the couple welcomed their son, Prithvi, in 2020. Prithvi is now big brother to Veda, their two-month-old daughter. This family man is equally close to his mother, Nita Ambani, as the two share a mutual love for sport and are heavily involved in the management and running of Mumbai Indians, the IPL team they own. The exuberant mother-son duo are frequently spotted cheering for their players from the sidelines.

Today, as Akash, expertly steers Reliance into a new era of excellent connectivity and advanced innovation, the future appears bright, with no further complaints about network issues in India!

Cover Photo credit: Rahul Irani

To see who else is on the list, grab the copy of HELLO! India’s August 2023 issue right here!