Dhirubhai Ambani, was born on 28 December 1932 in the village of Chorwad in Gujarat. His Father, Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani was a village schoolteacher.
In 1949, he went to Aden (in Yemen) at the age of seventeen to join his brother.
Dhirubhai Ambani started his career as a dispatch clerk at A. Besse & Co. A couple of years. Later, Management of company promoted him to the level of manager at the company’s oil-filling station.
Ambani returned from Yemen to India in 1958. He started a business partnership with his second cousin Champaklal Damani.
He imported polyester yarn to india and exported spices to Yemen. He set up his first 350 sq ft office in Masjid Bunder in Mumbai.
During this period, Ambani and his family stayed in a two-bedroom apartment at the Jai Hind Estate in Bhuleshwar, Mumbai.
Damani was a cautious trader and Ambani was a known risk-taker. So, Champaklal Damani and Dhirubhai Ambani ended their partnership in 1965.
In 1966, he purchased land in Naroda, Gujarat, to set up the first Reliance textile mill, earning the title of ‘Prince of Polyester’.
He eventually turned Reliance into a petrochemicals giant, despite uncertainty in the economy, strict government regulations and bureaucracy.
Dhirubhai Ambani approached the banks for finance but they rejected his plea. He took the company public, and more than 58,000 investors from all over India subscribed to Reliance’s IPO in 1977.
Therefore, he can easily be regarded as one of the pioneers of the equity cult in India.
In the 1980s, Dhirubhai commissioned the Patalanga plant which marked the beginning of its strategic backward integration. In the beginning, the plant manufactured polyester filament yarn and polyester staple fibre.
For manufacturing petrochemicals, he next set up the Reliance Hazira plant in 1991. Reliance had become the largest integrated producer of polyester in the world.
In 2002, Reliance made the largest oil and gas discovery in the KG-D6 block.
His family admitted Dhirubhai to the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai on 24 June 2002 after he suffered a major stroke.
It was his second stroke, the first had occurred in February 1986 and had paralyzed his right hand.
He was in a coma for more than a week and a number of doctors were consulted. He died on 6 July 2002.
Dhirubhai Ambani was credited with introducing the stock market to the average investor, and thousands of investors attended the Reliance annual general meetings, which were sometimes held in a football stadium.
One of his favourite quotes were, ‘Pursue your goals even in the face of difficulties, and convert adversities into opportunities.’