Guess who just happened to overtake the net worth of Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, Alphabet Inc Co-Founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page? It’s none other than India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani who is Chairman of Reliance Industries aka RIL.
According to the Bloomberg, Mukesh Ambani’s net worth has increased to $72.4 billion which puts him at the 6th spot in their Billionaires Index. From March low of Rs 875 apiece on NSE, he was able to more than double the shares of his conglomerate RIL which currently stands at Rs 1,905 apiece. He did it by attracting 12 major investment deals worth Rs 118,318.45 crore from international tech giants which included Facebook Inc., Silver Lake and, most recently, Qualcomm Inc for its digital arm known as Jio Platforms.
It should also be noted that Ambani’s rise to the 6th spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index was also influenced by the drop in U.S. tech shares yesterday. Consequently, many leading billionaires in the US lost billions of dollars in terms of net worth. For example, Larry Page’s fortune now stands at $71.6 billion, Brin’s is at $69.4 billion and net worth of Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, is presently at $68.6 billion.
On Monday, i.e just two days ahead of the 43rd Annual General Meeting of Reliance, Ambani’s energy empire crossed 12 lakh crore in market capitalisation. It took the conglomerate close to 40 years for reaching 6 lakh crore in market capitalisation on November 1, 2017. However, adding an additional 6 lakh crore took less than four years. Now, RIL’s market cap is more than double that of India’s all telecom, retail and refinery stocks put together.
With global tech giants seeking to get their hands on a piece of India’s fast-growing digital business, Reliance Industries, in a very strategic way is slowly shifting to a full stack of digital services with its main focus being e-commerce.
In 2019, while addressing his shareholders, Ambani announced that the share of their consumer businesses would account for more than 50% in a very short time. Only a few believed him at that point of time because back then RIL was focused on organised retail and no one had any clue regarding what the company had planned to do with the broadband spectrum it had bought.
Fast forward to 2020, Jio and the retail platform have collectively been able to contribute nearly a third to the consolidated earnings of RIL in FY20 before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). The consumer-facing businesses under the conglomerate have shown remarkable growth as Reliance Retail has quickly become India’s largest retail company by minting a humongous revenue of Rs 1.63 lakh crore for FY20 and EBITDA of Rs 9,654 crore.
The digital services business that is apart of Jio Platforms also reported exponential financial performance. Within the first year of its full operations, it reported a net profit of Rs 723 crore on operating revenue of Rs 20,154.5 crore in FY18. Interestingly, both operating revenue and net profit increased to Rs 54,316 crore and Rs 5,562 core in FY20, respectively.
As of now, Reliance Retail has become India’s biggest organised retailer which operates 11,784 stores across more than 6,600 towns and Jio Platforms, largely driven by telecom service which currently has a user base of 388 million subscribers, has been able to position itself as a digital service provider of choice for around 1/4th of the Indian population.