Dhirubhai - The Man - His Life

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His Life

Dhirubhai Hirachand Ambani (28 December, 1928- July, 2002), the founder chairman of India's number one industrial enterprise, Reliance Industries Limited, is a textbook example of a man who climbed determination's height and found favours with the gods. As he himself once said, "I am ingenuous but I don't ascribe everything to my ingenuity. God has also been kind to me. Yes, there is something called destiny but one must stretch oneself to the utmost for one's destiny to come to one's aid."

There had been many rags to riches stories, many merchant princes, many business barons, many industrial legends and financial wizards before him but of all of them he was the only one to be hailed as a businessman hero, the first businessman hero, actually. And, a hero he was declared by popular acclaim during his lifetime and after his death. He came to Bombay, the business capital of India, at the age of 26 with little formal education, hardly any money and absolutely no connections but in just four decades rose to the dizzying height of the country's number one entrepreneur.

Childhood Days

Dhirubhai was born at Chorwad, in the district of Junagarh in the western Indian state of Gujarat. ....more

School At Junagarh

After he completed his fifth standard in the village school, Dhirubhai was sent to the district town of Junagarh for further studies. ....more

Praja Mandal Movement

The people of Junagarh had for long been demanding popular representation and constitutional reforms in the state. ....more

Socialist Days

Soon after Junagarh's merger with India, a student agitation was launched in the district town for upgradation of the Mahabat Khan High School. Dhirubhai was once again the forefront of the agitation. ....more

Off to Aden

Just after Dhirubhai was through his annual matriculation examination and even before the result was out, Hirachandbhai called him home to Chorwad. ....more

Early Years in Bombay

Sometime towards the end of 1958 Dhirubhai landed at Bombay with little money in his pocket and absolutely no connections except a letter of introduction from a Gujarati shopkeeper in Aden to his son living in a Bombay chawl to let him share his room. ....more

Manure to Gulf

Dhirubhai began enlarging his basket of commodities on offer. He offered to supply anything and everything required from India. ....more

Yarn Years

After a few years, the thrill of trading in commodities began to wear out. Dhirubhai began to feel that trading in commodities would not take him far enough. ....more

First Step Backward

When Dhirubhai decided to start a textile unit of his own, friends suggested that instead of risking all his money on a costly, new mill of his own, he should buy an old one and renovate it. ....more

Finest Textile Mill

By January, 1967, Naroda factory began producing fine quality fabric, about 5,000 meters a day. Then it hit a roadblock. The fabric was fine and the prices offered were attractive. ....more