14 May, 2021

The House Dad Built...

A blow-by-blow account of the fight for control of India's largest business group. Will Mukesh and Anil Ambani split Reliance? Updates

Atul Loke
The House Dad Built...
Life will never be the same again for India’s first business family. The Cain-and-Abel war between the two Ambani brothers may tear asunder Reliance’s empire. As M.L. Bhakta, the first independent director on Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL) board way back in 1978, who resigned last week and was persuaded by Mukesh Ambani to reconsider within 24 hours, disgustedly told his friends, "Whatever their father Dhirubhai built in over two decades, the brothers will destroy in two days." That’s the way things looked as Mukesh and Anil battled for sovereignty over their Rs 1,00,000-crore dominion after elder brother Mukesh initially admitted "there were ownership issues" to a TV channel and then issued a statement stating there were none (read: there couldn’t be any since he was the undisputed boss).

The family feud over India’s largest private sector business group has all the right ingredients for an explosive mixture—politics, boardroom intrigue, ego clashes between the brothers and their wives, even a hint of sex. And the resultant blowout can impact business, market...

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