London Daily

Focus on the big picture.
Wednesday, Feb 21, 2024

Daughter rises in Mukesh Ambani’s succession plan

Daughter rises in Mukesh Ambani’s succession plan

In the clearest hint of a succession roadmap, Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani carved out definite roles for each of his three children at the annual general meeting of his $220bn (£193bn) retail-to-refining conglomerate in August.
Ambani's older twins, Akash and Isha Ambani, will lead Reliance Industries Ltd's telecommunications and retail businesses respectively, while his youngest son Anant is being groomed to handle new energy.Corporate India's most anticipated leadership transition - Reliance is one of India's most valuable companies by market valuation - has been in the works for some time. The particulars of the impending wealth transfer are sketchy at the moment, and largely in the realm of speculation.

But what is palpable is Ambani's desire to avoid repeating history: the acrimonious inheritance battle he waged with his younger brother 20 years ago, after their father died without leaving a will.

Isha Ambani's leadership role is also in stark contrast to the largely peripheral role that other women from her family have played in the core business until now.

Over the past two decades, there has been a generational shift in the number of prominent Indian industrial families bringing women into the corner office - though analysts say there is still a long way to go.

Ambani, 65, is actively involved in running Reliance as its chairman and managing director and could have bought more time before thrusting his children into the limelight.

But unlike many Asian patriarchs who hold a tight control over their wealth till the end, he represents a "new generation of family business leaders" in Asia who've witnessed succession feuds and want to take "every step possible" to make the journey for their children smooth, says Prof Kavil Ramachandran, a senior adviser at the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise at the Indian School of Business.

From the Tata group - which owns Jaguar and Land Rover - to the Singhania family that's behind the textiles major, Raymond Group, India Inc has seen a series of rancorous succession battles. These have led to messy lawsuits and long-winded arbitration proceedings that have proven to be costly to shareholders.

But wealthy Asian families like the Ambanis are once bitten, twice shy, experts say.

The issue of intergenerational wealth transfer is also "gaining even more significance in a Covid-19 context," according to wealth consulting firm Hubbis.

While fewer than half of Asian families have succession plans in place, the pandemic has encouraged 84% of India's ultra-wealthy to reassess how they will transfer their wealth, global property consultancy Knight Frank estimates.

What's also being reassessed, it appears, is the role of women in succession plans.

Speaking of the leadership roles his three children were assuming, Ambani in his speech said "they are first among equals in a young team of leaders and professionals who are already doing amazing things at Reliance".

Isha Ambani's rise as an "equal" to her brothers is a clear shift from her older female relatives - her aunts got married into other business families long before the inheritance dispute split the Ambani family.

But Ms Ambani, a Yale graduate who worked at the consulting giant McKinsey, has been groomed to join the Reliance empire.

Given the influence the Ambanis wield, especially within the traditional Gujarati mercantile community they belong to, this gender shift is likely to have a "strong messaging effect," Prof Ramachandran says.

It's "a significant move that will set the tone for other business families, " says Sandeep Nerlekar, founder and managing director of the legacy planning firm Terentia. He has been advising family-owned corporates on succession plans for over a decade.

Ms Ambani is part of a new generation of women from major business families who have taken on senior leadership roles. This includes Nisaba Godrej, who leads one of the country's oldest diversified conglomerates; Nadia Chauhan who heads Parle Agro, one of India's top consumer goods companies; and at least half a dozen others.

There are several forces behind the change, experts say - including more women accessing higher education, and traditional joint families giving way to nuclear ones.

More women are also "being vocal about their rights and capabilities without worrying about feathers being ruffled", says Dipali Goenka, managing director and CEO of Welspun India, part of the $2.7bn Welspun Group, one of India's biggest textile companies.

Ms Goenka got married at the age of 18 and joined her husband's business after her children grew up and she decided to study management at Harvard Business School.

But there is still a long way to go.

Eight in 10 families in India still continue to harbor a bias towards sons when it comes to estate planning, Nerlekar says, citing a Terentia study. "Even wealth distribution between a daughter and a son is not equal," he adds.

The bitter public battle for a board seat by Valli Arunachalam, one of the heirs to the Chennai-based Murugappa Group, only underscores how difficult it is for Indian women to break through the glass ceiling.

Legal changes - to Hindu succession laws for instance, which gave women equal inheritance rights, irrespective of marital status - have helped smooth the way for women, experts say. And government rules requiring women to be included on company boards is increasing representation as well

But experts say this is a battle against patriarchy - and it has only just begun.
Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
New video
You Are So Beautiful
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
An old French tune (by Georges Brassens) Pomplamoose ft. John Schroeder
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
Sattahip Motor Show 20
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
SONATE AU CLAIR DE LUNE - Moonlight sonata
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
A kiss to build a dream on
Prince William Urges End to Gaza Conflict
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
UK court to hear Assange's final appeal against extradition to the US, where he faces charges related to his journalistic work—the publication of a classified video in 2010 that exposed US war crimes against humanity.
Mean Blues
About 50-60% kids either chose to be YouTuber or influencer
La Chansonnette
A viral video of Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce lying on a Canberra footpath is celebrated by his media mates.
Pattaya Addicts
European Countries React to Navalny's Death by Summoning Russian Diplomats
Franz Liszt - Liebestraum - Love Dream
Israel has gone ‘beyond self-defence’ in Gaza, says Labour’s Streeting
Dream a little dream of me
English farmers to be offered ‘largest ever’ grant scheme amid food security concerns
Unchained Melody sung like you've NEVER heard!
Cameron government knew Post Office ditched Horizon IT investigation
Dave Brubeck - Take Five
EU Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza Conflict
Édith Piaf - Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (Sofie)
EU Vows To Hold Putin "Accountable" After Meeting Alexei Navalny's Wife
Rondo Alla Turca
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
Kiss of fire
The EU Initiates Naval Mission to Defend Red Sea Trade Routes
Tom Jones - I´ll Never Fall In Love Again 1967, 1989, 2001
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Israel Cachao López - Guajira Clásica
Brazil's Lula Likens Gaza Operation to Holocaust, Israel Says "Red Line" Crossed
Edward Maya - Stereo Love (feat. Vika Jigulina) (Extended Mix)
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Strauss - Radetzky March - Karajan
Microsoft-backed OpenAI valued at $80bn after company completes deal
La vie en rose
‘Alexei would want to tell Russia not to give up fighting’
The Temptations - My Girl (Smokey Robinson Tribute) 2006 Kennedy Cent
Rwandan Footballer's Dismissal Sparks Concerns Over UK Asylum Plan
Orlando Cachaito Lopez Redencion
Whisky Challenges China's Baijiu Market During New Year Celebrations
Edith Piaf - NON, JE NE REGRETTE RIEN
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
RADETZKY MARCH-2008-Wien, New Year Concert
Putin Critic Alexei Navalny's "Killers" Refusing To Hand Over Body, Say Allies
Only you (And you alone)
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Strangers In The Night
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Charles Aznavour - La Boheme
20 Tech Giants Sign Effort To Fight AI Election Interference Across Globe
Summer time
Joe Biden Accuses Putin of Causing Navalny's Death
Sting and Stevie Wonder - Fragile (from Sting's 60th birthday concert)
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Aux Champs Elysees
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
Stand By Me - Ben E. King (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Julian Assange's Wife Warns of His Death if Extradited to US
La Mer (Beyond the Sea) – Avalon Jazz Band
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
She
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
Nathalie Song by Enzo Petrachi Stjepan Hauser Cello
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Shape of My Heart - Sting (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
In Britain Homeowners are receiving CPO’s (Compulsory Purchase Orders) so their homes can be redistributed to migrants
Radiohead - Creep
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
Quizás,Quizás,Quizás - Andrea Bocelli - Jennifer Lopez
Influencers Exploit X Platform for Profit Amidst Israel-Gaza Conflict
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps - Multi-Couples
Former Dutch PM And Wife Die "Together Hand In Hand" Via Duo Euthanasia
Pentatonix Havana
Media Giant Paramount Global, Which Owns CBS News, To Cut 800 Jobs
Paula Cole - Autumn Leaves
US Rejects Putin's Ceasefire Offer in Ukraine
Oscar Benton Bensonhurst Blues
"History is Watching": Biden Encourages US House to Approve Ukrainian War Aid
OH NANANA vs ABUSADAMENTE
Wolf! Wolf!: Joe Biden Joins TikTok Despite Washington's Security Risk Warnings
Nina Simone - ”I Put A Spell On You”. Vezi aici cum cântă Jeremy Ragsd
A Londoner has been arrested for expressing his Christian beliefs.
NIGHTWISH - The Phantom Of The Opera
Chinese Women Favor AI Boyfriends Over Humans
Motorshow 2016 Tanjay Negros Oriental
Kylie Minogue to receive Brits global icon award and will perform at ceremony
Monica Bellucci - Ti Amo
Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean Milena The Voice France 2018
Russian Oligarch's Seized Yacht Costs More Than $7 Million A Year To Maintain: US
Michael Buble (Help Me Make It Through The Night) feat Loren Allred
Memories Canon In D - Maroon 5 (Boyce Avenue piano acoustic cover)
Matteo Simoni - Marina
Maroon 5 - One More Night
Maroon 5 - Memories
Mark Knopfler - Brothers In Arms (Berlin 2007 Live)
Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - Romeo And Juliet (Real Live Roadrunni
Marina, Marina - The LUCKY DUCKIES intimist live concert at Guimarães
Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On Mauranne The Voice France 2016
Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet - Joslin - Henri Mancini, Nino Rota
LoLa & Hauser - Love Story
Linkin Park Jay-Z - Numb Encore (Live 8 2005)
Hallelujah Mennel Ibtissem, The Voice France Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen - Dance Me to the End of Love
Leonard Cohen & Natasha Rostova - Dance me to the end of love
La casa de papel - Bella Ciao
La Camisa Negra
L'italiano (Toto Cutugno) - The Gypsy Queens
Juanes - La Camisa Negra
Jonathan and Charlotte - Britain's Got Talent 2012 Live Semi Final - U
John Powell - Assassin's Tango
Joe Cocker - You Can Leave Your Hat On (LIVE in Dortmund)
Joe Cocker - Unchain My Heart 2002 Live
Joe Cocker - A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Jay Z & Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind LIVE
Jason Mraz - Im Yours (live)
Jarrod Radnich - Bohemian Rhapsody - Virtuosic Piano Solo
James Blunt - You're Beautiful
James Blunt - You're Beautiful & Bonfire Heart (Live at The Nobel Peac)
If You Go Away - Helen Merrill & Stan Getz (Tribute to Virna Lisi)
I'LL BE MISSING YOU
I Say a Little Prayer
Hotel California ( Eagles ) 1994 Live
Historia de un amor - Luz Casal. Vezi interpretarea Biancăi Sumanariu
Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover) on Spot
Heart - Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin - Kennedy Center Honors
HAVANA by Camila Cabello Zumba Pre Cooldown TML Crew Kramer Pastra
HAUSER and Señorita - I Will Always Love You
HAUSER - Waka Waka
HAUSER - Sway
HAUSER - Lambada
HAUSER - Historia de un Amor
HAUSER - Despacito
Great Pretender
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice Samba to 'Volare' - Strictly Come
Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues
GIPSY KINGS VOLARE Penelope Cruz
Fugees - Killing Me Softly With His Song
French Latino - Historia de un Amor
For A Few Dollars More The Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Live)
Flashdance • What a Feeling • Irene Cara
Filip Rudan - “Someone You Loved” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sez
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
Enya - Only Time
Enrique Iglesias - Bailando (English Version) ft. Sean Paul
Enrique Iglesias - Bailamos
Elena Yerevan Historia de un amor
Ed Sheeran - Shape of You (Official Music Video)
Ed Sheeran - Perfect Symphony [with Andrea Bocelli]
Ed Sheeran - Perfect (Official Music Video)
Easy On Me - Adele (Boyce Avenue 90’s style piano acoustic cover) on S
ERA - Ameno
ELENA YEREVAN- Cancion Del Mariachi-IN STUDIO-2017 DPR
Dust In The Wind - Kansas (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Despacito x Shape Of You - Pentatonix
Deep Purple - Child In Time - Live (1970)
David Foster When A Man Loves A WomanIt's A Mans World (SealMichael Bo
Dance me to the end of Love ( Pi-Air Design )
Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise (feat. L.V.) [Official Music Video]
Conquest Of Paradise (Vangelis), played on Böhm Emporio organ
Cielito Lindo
Chico & The Gypsies - Bamboleo
Canción Del Mariachi - Antonio Banderas, Los Lobos • Desperado
Camila Cabello - Havana (Audio) ft. Young Thug
Camila Cabello - Havana ( cover by J.Fla )
California Dreamin' - The Mamas & The Papas José Feliciano (Boyce Ave
Buster Benton - Money Is The Name of The Game
Hallelujah Pentatonix
Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy (Official Music Video)
Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door Emilia The Voice Kids France
Besame Mucho - Cesaria Evora
Ben E. King - Stand by Me Sax Cover Alexandra Ilieva Thomann
Bella Ciao
Bella Ciao - INSTRUMENTAL
Beautiful in White x Canon in D (Piano Cover by Riyandi Kusuma)
Bad Romance - Vintage 1920's Gatsby Style Lady Gaga Cover ft. Ariana Savalas & Sarah Reich(1)
BELLA CIAO 2020 - KARAOKE ITALIANO
BAMBOLEO - Gipsy Kings • Antonio Banderas, Katya Virshilas
BAILANDO (original)
Awesome Ukrainian yodeler - SOFIA SHKIDCHENKO (with English subtitles)
Avicii - The Nights
Atom - The Great Gig in the Sky
Aretha Franklin - (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Official Ly
Antonio Banderas - Cancion del Mariachi (Desperado)
André Rieu - Zorba's Dance (Sirtaki)
André Rieu - Can't Help Falling In Love
André Rieu & Mirusia - Ave Maria
Andrew Reyes Elton John - Don't Let The Sun Go Down The Voice 2020 (
Andreas Kümmert Whiter Shade Of Pale The Voice of Germany 2013 Showd
And I Love You So
All About That Bass - Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
Alan Walker - Faded (Piano Cover)
Ain't No Sunshine -- Bill Withers (cover by Canen 12 y.o.)
African music
Adriana Vidović - “Creep” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
Adriana Vidović - “Believer” Nokaut 3 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
A Fistful of Dollars - The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Tuva
4 Beautiful Soundtracks Relaxing Piano [10min]
2CELLOS - Whole Lotta Love vs. Beethoven 5th Symphony [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
2CELLOS - Smooth Criminal (Live at Suntory Hall, Tokyo)
2CELLOS - Smells Like Teen Spirit [Live at Sydney Opera House]
2CELLOS - Despacito [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
13 Year Old Girl Playing Il Silenzio (The Silence) - André Rieu
094.All About That Bass
00 - SADNESS PART 1
(Ghost) Riders In the Sky (American Outlaws Live at Nassau Coliseum, 1
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams (Boyce Avenue ft. Conn
What a wonderful world
Moon river
×