Akash Ambani, chairman, Reliance Jio, is the only Indian who has been featured on the TIME100 NEXT, a list of rising stars from across industries by the US-based global magazine. The TIME100 NEXT list comprises medical professionals, government officials, movement leaders, high-profile whistle-blowers and top CEOs.
"The scion of Indian industrialist royalty, Akash Ambani was always expected to rise in business. But he has been putting in hard work," says the profile in Time 100 Next.
The eldest of the two sons of billionaire & Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani, Akash was promoted as the chairman of Reliance Jio, India’s largest telecom company, with over 426 million subscribers, in June this year after Ambani Sr. resigned from the position.
"He’s since played a key role landing multi-billion-dollar investments from Google and Facebook. If he handles Jio well, he may be given a crack at larger chunks of the family’s conglomerate," adds the Time 100 Next profile description.
Every year, TIME publishes the TIME100 Next, a list that recognises 100 rising stars from across industries and around the world.
Akash Ambani was handed over the board seat at Reliance Jio at the age of just 22. He has been instrumental in striking deals with global investors like Facebook now Meta, Qualcomm, Google and others, which helped Jio Platforms raise around $20 billion by selling a 33% stake. Akash completed his degree in economics from Brown University, Rhode Island, US. He is married to Shloka Mehta, Russell and Mona Mehta’s daughter. They have a son named Prithvi Akash Ambani.
When he was appointed RIL chairman this year, the move surprised the industry and was seen as part of succession planning by the 65-year-old industrialist. Ambani Sr during the RIL's annual general meeting of shareholders in August 2022 made it clear that his children -- Akash, Isha and Anant -- will now play key roles in this $217 billion empire.
While appreciating the "next-gen leaders" at RIL, who he said are confidently taking over the reins across businesses, Ambani said: "Akash and Isha have assumed leadership roles in Jio and Retail respectively. They have been passionately involved in our consumer businesses since their inception."
Akash’s twin sister Isha Ambani is contributing to RIL's Reliance Retail as a director, while Ambani Sr's youngest son Anant has also joined RIL's New Energy business. During this year's AGM, Akash said Reliance Jio is excited by the endless possibilities of Jio 5G, and technology. "For example, take Agriculture. Jio 5G connected drones can be used for spraying organic fertilisers on crops across large tracts of farmland in a timely manner, thereby improving yield and reducing costs for our farmers."
Notably, Reliance Jio is now gearing up for a Diwali launch of its much-awaited 5G services. As per Ambani Sr, by December 2023, Jio will deliver Jio 5G to blanket 3.37 million square kilometres of India’s landmass.