An Overview of Reliance Industries Limited
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), India’s largest private sector conglomerate, has evolved remarkably from its origins in textiles and polyester to becoming a leading integrated player across diverse sectors such as energy, petrochemicals, materials, natural resources, retail, and telecommunications. With state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities spread across the nation, RIL’s extensive portfolio of products and services caters to a wide range of needs across economic and social strata.
Headquartered in Mumbai, Reliance Industries Limited is helmed by Mukesh Ambani, the son of the late Dhirubhai Ambani and the elder brother of Anil Ambani, following the division of the family business between the two siblings. As a conglomerate holding company, Reliance Group boasts a diverse portfolio of businesses and holds the distinction of being the highest contributor to tax revenue in the Indian private sector. The company’s contribution accounts for over 5% of the Indian Government’s revenues and nearly 8% of the total merchandise exports from India. Notably, RIL achieved the milestone of being the first Indian company to surpass a $100 billion market capitalisation in 2007. In 2019, it became the first Indian firm to cross the Rs. 9 lakh crore market valuation mark. In recognition of its global presence and influence, RIL secured the 106th spot on the Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s largest corporations as of 2019.
The company is led by an exceptional team:
- Mukesh Ambani, Chairman: Mukesh D. Ambani has been instrumental in steering the Reliance Group to new heights. With a trajectory that began in 1977, he initiated the backwards integration journey, propelling the company from textiles to petrochemicals, petroleum refining, and ventures into oil and gas exploration. Mukesh Ambani’s strategic insight has yielded cutting-edge manufacturing facilities driven by advanced technologies, significantly expanding Reliance’s petrochemical production capacities. His academic credentials include a Chemical Engineering degree from the Institute of Chemical Technology and an MBA from Stanford University in the US.
- Nita Ambani: As the only woman within the top echelons, Nita Ambani, Mukesh Ambani’s spouse, holds a position on the Board of Reliance Industries Limited. Beyond her corporate role, she is the Founder & Chairperson of Dhirubhai Ambani International School, leading a network of 14 schools educating 16,000 students annually. Nita Ambani is also a prominent figure associated with the Mumbai Indians cricket franchise. Her involvement in RIL extends beyond the conventional scope, including engagements such as the 2010 acquisition of East India Hotels and active participation in the group’s retail operations. Nita Ambani’s academic background encompasses a Commerce degree from Mumbai University and a Diploma in Early Childhood Education.
The Board of Directors comprises notable figures, including Hital R. Meswani, Nikhil R. Meswani, P.M.S. Prasad, P.K. Kapil, R.A. Mashelkar, Adil Zainulbhai, Dipak C. Jain, Yogendra P. Trivedi, Raminder S. Gujral, Shumeet Banerji, Arundhati Bhattacharya, and K. V. Chowdary.
The origins of the Reliance Group date back to 1966 when Shri Dhirubhai Ambani established a modest textile manufacturing unit. The company was incorporated in 1973 and adopted Reliance Industries in 1985. Over time, the organisation transformed remarkably from textile manufacturing to a dominant presence in the petrochemical field.
- Established texturising facilities in 1979, followed by ventures into Polyester Staple Fiber in 1986.
- The establishment of facilities for Linear Alkyl Benzene and Purified Terephthalic Acid in 1988, along with the inauguration of the Hazira Petrochemical plant in 1991-92.
- Venturing into overseas capital markets with a global depositary issue of Reliance Petroleum in 1993.
- Entering the telecom industry with a joint venture alongside NYNEX, USA, in 1995-96 was a groundbreaking step that led to Reliance becoming the first Asian corporation to issue bonds in the US.
- Introduction of packaged LPG in 15 kg cylinders under the Reliance Gas brand.
- Initiating construction of the world’s largest refinery, the integrated petrochemical complex in Jamnagar, Gujarat, during 1998–2000.
- Acquisition of a majority stake in Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd. in 2002, followed by its merger with RIL in 2008.
- Demerger of investments in power generation and distribution, financial services, and telecommunication services into separate entities in 2005.
- Entry into the organised retail market in India with ‘Reliance Fresh in 2006.
- Acquisition of Infotel Broadband Services Limited to enter the broadband services market in 2010.
- Partnership with BP in the oil and gas business the same year.
- The Butyl rubber plant was set up in Jamnagar, Gujarat, in collaboration with Russian company Sibur in 2017.
Subsidiaries and Ventures
Reliance Industries Limited boasts a substantial network of subsidiaries and ventures across various domains:
- Reliance Retail: The premier retail store network in India, comprising brands such as Reliance Fresh, Reliance Wellness, Reliance Time Out, Reliance iStore, Reliance Market, Reliance Trends, Reliance Jewel, and more.
- Reliance Life Sciences: Engaged in medical, plant, and industrial biotechnology opportunities, focusing on pharmaceuticals, clinical research, molecular medicine, biofuels, and industrial biotechnology.
- Relicord: A pioneering initiative advancing biotechnological progress, the first registered cord blood bank and repository in Southeast Asia.
- Reliance Institute of Life Science: A renowned educational institution offering programs in life sciences and related domains.
- Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited: The sixth-largest mobile network operator globally, offering broadband services with over 306 million subscribers.
- Reliance Logistics: Involved in distribution, warehousing, supply chain, logistics, and transportation, serving RIL and third-party companies.
- Reliance Clinical Research Services: A specialised contract research organisation in the clinical research services industry.
- Reliance Solar: Focused on producing and selling solar energy systems for remote and rural areas.
- Reliance Industrial Infrastructure Limited: Engaged in establishing and operating industrial infrastructure, including data processing and computer software services.
- LYF: An Indian mobile handset company manufacturing 4G-enabled VoLTE smartphones.
- Network 18: A mass media company with diversified activities in digital platforms, films, mobiles, television, and more.
- Reliance Eros Productions LLP: Produces film content through a joint venture with Eros International.
Corporate Philosophy and Mission
Reliance Group’s ethos centres on positively impacting lives and fostering inclusive growth. The company is committed to responsible business practices and endeavours to enrich the lives of individuals through social initiatives in education, social security, healthcare, skill enhancement, and community infrastructure.