Reliance Industries – 50 years of India’s biggest company

Chairman Mukesh Ambani is leading the 50-year-old Reliance Industries toward renewables
Growth for India's most valuable company over the last 50 years has been nothing short of spectacular. What next for Reliance Industries?

Reliance Industries Limited may not be a household name outside India, but with a domestic market of 1.4 billion people and a business portfolio covering retail, energy, telco and other essential industries, times have never been better for the Mumbai-based conglomerate.

India’s most valuable private company with a current market capitalisation of US$206 billion, RIL was formed exactly 50 years ago by Dhirubhai Ambani – although his businesses began  15 years earlier. 

Early years were concentrated on the oil and gas sector but diversification and growth have seen RIL become a market leader in retail and owner of India’s largest mobile network, Jio.

Growth in recent years has been nothing short of spectacular – doubling its value in the last five years.

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Like many energy companies, RIL is looking to move toward renewables. Speaking at the company’s AGM in 2022, chairman Mukesh Ambani told investors the company would build a 25GW solar plant by 2025 and 100GW plant by 2030.

Committed to achieving net zero by 2035, the company is building the sprawling Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex over 5,000 acres at Jamnagar.

The company says its Reliance New Energy Limited (RNEL) business will be a mix of hydrogen, wind, solar, fuel cells, and batteries as it aims to bridge what it calls the ‘green energy divide in India and the world’.

RNEL has acquired and invested in several renewable energy companies, including sodium-ion battery tech company Faradion, high-performance battery company LithiumWerks, solar panel manufacturer REC, transport system skyTran, and solar software firm SenseHawk.

RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani – richest person in India

Chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani is the son of Dhirubhai, taking over the company reins in 2002 following his father’s death. Since then, he has more often that not been named the richest person in India – although he was briefly overtaken in 2022 by Gautam Adani.

However, according to the latest Forbes billionaire tracker, Ambani is back on top in India, and ranked 15th richest person on the planet with a personal fortune of US$88.6 billion. In 2020, his wealth was ‘just’ US$36.8 billion.

A keen sports fan, Ambani is also currently the richest sports team owner in the world, as the man behind the Mumbai Indians cricket team.

Now aged 66, Ambani may well be looking to the future, and that means his children continuing the family business. Plans are already in place. Eldest son Akash is leading on telecom and digital business, his twin sister Isha is handling retail, and youngest son Anant is tasked with new energy.


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