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Carlos Slim Hel (Spanish pronunciation: [kalos eslim elu]; born January 28, 1940) is a Mexican business magnate

and philanthropist who is currently ranked as the richest person in the world in 2012.[1] Slim has been ranked the richest person in the world since 2010. His extensive holdings in a considerable number of Mexican companies through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso, SA de CV, have amassed interests in the fields of communications, technology, retailing, and finance. Presently he is the chairman and chief executive of telecommunications companies Telmex and Amrica Mvil. Amrica Mvil, which in 2010 was Latin Americas largest mobile-phone carrier, accounted for around US$49 billion of Slim's wealth by the end of 2010.[3] His corporate holdings as of March 2012 have been estimated at US$69 billion.[1]


1 Early life 2 Business career 3 Personal fortune 4 Philanthropy 5 Achievements 6 Praise and criticism 7 Awards 8 Personal life

9 Notes 10 External links

Early life
Slim was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1940 to Maronite Christian parents Julin Slim Haddad and Linda Hel, both of Lebanese descent.[4][5] His father, born Khalil Slim Haddad, immigrated to Mexico at the age of 14 in 1902 and changed his first name to Julin.[4] As it was not uncommon for Lebanese children to be sent abroad before they reached the age of 15 to avoid being conscripted into the Ottoman army, four of Haddad's older brothers were already living in Mexico at the time of his arrival.[6] Carlos Slim's mother, Linda Hel, was born in Parral, Chihuahua, of Lebanese parents who had immigrated to Mexico in the late 19th century. Her parents upon immigrating to Mexico had founded one of the first Arabic language magazines for the Lebanese-Mexican community, using a printing press they had brought with them.[6] In 1911, Julin established a dry goods store, La Estrella del Oriente (The Star of the Orient). By 1921, he had purchased real estate in the flourishing commercial district of Mexico City. These enterprises became the source of considerable wealth.[6] In August 1926, Julin Slim and Linda Hel married. They had six children: Nour, Alma, Julin, Jos, Carlos and Linda. Julin senior, who had been influential in the LebaneseMexican business community, died in 1953.[6]

Business career
This section relies largely or entirely upon a single source. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources. (February 2011) Slim and his siblings were taught basic business practices by their father, and at the age of 12, Slim bought shares in a Mexican bank. At the age of 17, he earned 200 pesos a week working for his father's company.[7] He went on to study engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, while simultaneously teaching algebra and linear programming there. Slim began his career as a trader in Mexico. He would go on to form his own brokerage firm -- a firm that later expanded to invest in individual businesses, ranging from construction and manufacturing to retail and restaurants. In 1965 he incorporated Inversora Burstil and then bought Jarritos del Sur. In 1966, already worth US$40 million,[8] he founded Inmobiliaria Carso. Three months later he married Soumaya Domit Gemayel (the Carso name derives from the first three letters of Carlo and the first two of Soumaya) and they remained married until her death in 1999.[6]

Construction, real estate and mining businesses were the focus of his early career. By 1972 he had established or acquired a further seven businesses in these categories, including one which rented construction equipment. In 1976 he branched out by buying a 60% interest in a printing business and in 1980 he consolidated his business interests by forming Grupo Galas as the parent company of a conglomerate that had interests in industry, construction, mining, retail, food and tobacco.[6] In 1982 the Mexican economy, which had substantially relied on oil exports, contracted rapidly as the price of oil fell and interest rates rose worldwide. Banks and other businesses were nationalized, crippled or collapsed and the peso was devalued.[citation needed] At this time, and during the period of recovery to 1985, Slim invested heavily. He bought outright, or a large percentage of, numerous Mexican businesses, including Reynolds Aluminio, General Popo (General Tire's trading name in Mexico), Bimex hotels and Sanborns, a food retailer. He also acquired a 40% interest in the Mexican arms of British American Tobacco and 50% of that of The Hershey Company. He moved into financial services as well, buying Seguros de Mxico and creating from it, along with other purchases such as Fianzas La Guardiana and Casa de Bolsa Inbursa, the Grupo Financiero Inbursa. Many of these acquisitions were financed by the cash flows from Cigatam, a tobacco business which he bought early in the economic downturn.[6] He added the Nacrobre group of companies which trade in copper and aluminium products in 1986, along with a chemicals business, Qumica Fluor, and others.[6] In 1990 the Grupo Carso was floated as a public company, with share placements initially in Mexico and then worldwide.[6] Later in 1990 he acted in concert with France Tlcom and Southwestern Bell Corporation in order to buy landline telephony company Telmex from the Mexican government.[6] By 2006, 90 percent of the telephone lines in Mexico are operated by Telmex, whilst his mobile telephony company, Telcel, operates almost eighty percent of all the country's cellphones.[9] Telcel was created out of the Radiomvil Dipsa company.[6] In 1991 he acquired Hoteles Calinda (today, OSTAR Grupo Hotelero) and in 1993 increased his stakes in General Tire and Grupo Aluminio to the point where he had a majority interest.[6] In 1996 Grupo Carso was split into three companies Carso Global Telecom, Grupo Carso, and Invercorporacin and the following year Slim bought the Mexican arm of Sears Roebuck.[6] 1999 saw Slim expanding his business interests beyond Latin America. He set up Telmex USA and also acquired a stake in Tracfone, a US cellular telephone company. At the same time he established Carso Infraestructura y Construccin, S. A. (CICSA) as a part of the Grupo Carso, this being a construction and engineering company.[6] It was also at this time that he had heart surgery and subsequently passed on much of the day-to-day involvement in the businesses to his children and their spouses.[9]

Amrica Telecom, the holding company for Amrica Mvil was incorporated in 2000. It took stakes in various cellular telephone companies outside Mexico, including the Brazilian ATL and Telecom Americas concerns, Techtel in Argentina, and others in Guatemala and Ecuador. In subsequent years there was further investment in this sphere, including deals involving companies in Colombia, Nicaragua, Peru, Chile, Honduras and El Salvador. 2000 also saw a venture with Microsoft which led to the start of the Spanish T1msn portal, later renamed ProdigyMSN.[6] He formed Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo en America Latina SAB de CV (IDEAL roughly translated as "Promoter of Development and Employment in Latin America"), a Mexico-based company primarily engaged in not-for-profit infrastructure development. This was in 2005, when he also invested in the Volaris airline.[6] Having amassed a 50.1% stake in Cigatam, the tobacco company, Slim reduced his holdings by selling a large part of that to Philip Morris in 2007 for $1.1bn, while in the same year also selling his entire interest in a tile company, Porcelanite, for $800m. He also licensed the Saks name and opened Saks Fifth Avenue in Santa Fe, Mexico. The following year saw him take a 6.4% stake in The New York Times Company.[6] On December 8, 2007, Grupo Carso announced that the remaining 103 CompUSA stores would be either liquidated or sold, bringing an end to the struggling company as it was then known,[10] although the brand continues. After 28 years he became the Honorary Lifetime Chairman of the business. He is also Chairman of Telfonos de Mexico, Amrica Mvil, and Grupo Financiero Inbursa.

Personal fortune
On March 29, 2007, Slim surpassed Warren Buffett as the world's second richest person with an estimated net worth of $53.1 billion compared to Buffet's $52.4 billion.[11] On August 4, 2007, The Wall Street Journal ran a cover story profiling Slim. The article said, "While the market value of his stake in publicly traded companies could decline at any time, at the moment he is probably wealthier than Bill Gates".[12] According to The Wall Street Journal, Slim credits part of his ability to "discover investment opportunities" early to the writings of his friend, futurist author Alvin Toffler.[12] On August 8, 2007, Fortune reported that Slim had overtaken Gates as the world's richest man. Slim's estimated fortune soared to $59 billion, based on the value of his public holdings at the end of July. Gates' net worth was estimated to be at least $58 billion.[12][13] On March 5, 2008, Forbes ranked Slim as the world's second-richest person, behind Warren Buffett and ahead of Bill Gates.[14] On March 11, 2009, Forbes ranked Slim as the world's third-richest person, behind Gates and Buffett and ahead of Lawrence Ellison.[14]

On March 10, 2010, Forbes once again reported that Slim had overtaken Gates as the world's richest man, with a net worth of $53.5 billion. At the time, Gates and Buffett had a net worth of $53 billion and $47 billion respectively.[14] He was the first Mexican to top the list.[15] It was the first time in 16 years that the person on top of the list was not from the United States.[16] It was also the first time the person at the top of the list was from an "emerging economy."[17] In March 2011, Forbes stated that Slim had maintained his position as the wealthiest person in the world, with his fortune estimated at $74 billion.[1]

In 1995 he established Fundacin Telmex, a broad-ranging philanthropic foundation. This followed the creation of his eponymous non-profit philanthropic foundation, Fundacin Carlos Slim Hel in 1986. In 2007 Slim announced that the latter body had been provided with an asset base of $4 billion and that it would be establishing Carso Institutes for Health, Sports and Education. Furthermore, it was to work in support of an initiative of Bill Clinton to aid the people of Latin America.[6] Because Mexican foundations are not required to publish their financial information, it is not possible to confirm Slims claims of charitable giving through a public source. Among the activities of Fundacin Telmex has been the organisation of Copa Telmex, an amateur sports tournament which in 2007 was recognised by Guinness World Records as having the most participants of any such tournament in the world, a record which it extended in 2008. Together with Fundacin Carlos Slim Hel, this organisation announced in the same year that it was to invest more than $250 million in Mexican sports programmes, from grass-roots level to Olympic standard.[6] The Fundacin Carlos Slim Hel sponsors the Museo Soumaya in Mexico City which contains the world's second-largest (and largest private) collection of Rodin sculptures, including The Kiss. Named after Slim's late wife, Soumaya Domit, the Museo Soumaya holds 66,000 pieces, including religious relics, works by Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and coins from the viceroys of Spain. In particular, the museum holds the largest Dal collection in Latin America.[18] In 2000, Slim, along with ex-broadcaster Jacobo Zabludowsky organized the Fundacin del Centro Histrico de la Ciudad de Mxico A.C. (Mexico City Historic Downtown Foundation), with the objective to revitalizing and rescuing Mexico City's historic downtown area to enable more people to live, work and find entertainment there.[6] He has been Chairman of the Executive Committee for the Restoration of the Historic Jeripollas since 2001.[citation needed] In 2010 he inaugurated the first phase of the Plaza Mariana project in the Basilica de Guadalupe to reorganize tolerated commerce[clarification needed] in the atrium and adjacent space. [citation needed] He also inaugurated his version of the Rockefeller Center where most of his ventures will now share a common headquarters address, Plaza Carso.[citation needed]

In May 2011, Slim was mentioned in Forbes' World's Biggest Givers after donating $4 billion to his foundation.[19]

Slim has been vice-president of the Mexican Stock Exchange and president of the Mexican Association of Brokerage Houses.[when?] He was the first president of the Latin-American Committee of the New York Stock Exchange Administration Council, and was in office from 1996 through 1998. Slim was on the Board of Directors of the Altria Group (previously known as Philip Morris) until his resignation in April 2006. Slim was also on the Board of Directors of Alcatel. Slim currently sits on the Board of Directors for Philip Morris International. He was on the Board of Directors of SBC Communications until July 2004, when he quit to devote more time to the World Education & Development Fund, which is focused on infrastructure, health and education projects. In 1997, just before the company introduced its iMac line, Slim bought 3% of Apple Inc.'s stock. In 2008 it was reported that Slim had shown an interest in buying the Honda Formula One team.[20] Telmex is sponsoring the Sauber F1 team for the 2011 season.[21] [22] [23]

Praise and criticism

The Mexican magnate's growing fortune has caused a controversy because it has been amassed in a developing country where per capita income does not surpass $14,500 a year, and nearly 17% of the population lives in poverty.[24] Critics claim that Slim is a monopolist, pointing to Telmex's control of 90% of the Mexican landline telephone market. Slim's wealth is the equivalent of roughly 5% of Mexico's annual economic output.[25] Telmex, of which 49.1% is owned by Slim and his family, charges among the highest usage fees in the world, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.[26] According to Professor Celso Garrido, an economist at the Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico, Slim's domination of Mexico's conglomerates prevents the growth of smaller companies, resulting in a shortage of paying jobs and forcing many Mexicans to seek better lives in the United States of America.[27] Slim has stated, "When you live for others' opinions, you are dead. I don't want to live thinking about how I'll be remembered," claiming indifference about his position on Forbes list of the worlds richest people and has said he has no interest in becoming the world's richest person. When asked to explain his sudden increase in wealth at a press conference soon after Forbes annual rankings were published, he reportedly said, "The stock market goes up ... and down", and noted that his fortune could quickly drop.[25]


Slim has been awarded the Entrepreneurial Merit Medal of Honor from Mexico's Chamber of Commerce. He is a "gold patron" of the American Academy of Achievement,[28] a Commander in the Belgian Order of Leopold II, CEO of the year in 2003 by Latin Trade magazine, and one year later CEO of the decade by the same magazine. In 2008 his philanthropy was recognised with the award of The National Order of the Cedar by the Lebanese government.[6] On May 20, 2012 Slim was awarded an honorary degree from The George Washington University

Personal life
Slim was married to Soumaya Domit from 1967 until her death in 1999. Among her interests were various philanthropic projects, including the creation of a legal framework for organ donation.[6] Slim has six children: Carlos, Marco Antonio, Patrick, Soumaya, Vanessa, and Johanna.
[citation needed]


Carlos Slim's father, Julin Slim Haddad, immigrated to Mexico from Lebanon at age 14. With one of his brothers, he opened a dry-goods store in Mexico City. When foreign investors fled the country following the revolution of 1910, Julin Slim resolved to remain in Mexico. By the 1920s, he had acquired a number of businesses and substantial real estate in the capital city. Julin married Doa Linda Hel, a daughter of Lebanese immigrants. The couple raised six children, of whom Carlos Slim Hel was the fifth. The senior Slim encouraged all of his children to learn and understand finance. He gave each child a ledger to record expenditures. Young Carlos showed a special aptitude for numbers, and by age 12 was buying shares in the Bank of Mexico. When Carlos Slim was 13, his father died, and the next years were difficult for Carlos. He studied civil engineering at the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM), and while still studying, began to teach mathematics and linear programming. After a few years of teaching, Carlos Slim incorporated his first business venture, a stock brokerage, Inversora Burstil. The same year, he married Soumaya Domit; in future ventures, he combined the first letters of their names, as in the name of his holding company, Grupo Carso.

Remembering the lessons of thrift he had learned from his father, he and his growing family lived modestly, while earnings from his businesses were reinvested in expansion and more acquisitions. Over the next two decades, Carlos Slim astutely acquired companies he believed were undervalued and skillfully overhauled their management. He diversified methodically, investing in real estate, then a construction equipment company, then mining interests. The portfolio of Slim companies grew to include a printer, a tobacco company and retail stores. In 1982, Mexico plunged into an economic crisis. The government defaulted on its foreign debts, and many Mexican investors rushed to expatriate their capital. Carlos Slim's confidence in his country held firm, and he acquired the Mexican affiliates of Reynolds Aluminum, General Tire and the Sanborn's chain of stores and cafeterias. As the economy recovered, Slim's fortune grew, and his acquisitions accelerated. He acquired the Mexican interests of a number of U.S.-based brands: Firestone tires, Hershey's chocolate, Denny's coffee shops. He bought and merged a number of insurance companies into the giant firm Seguros Inbursa. The greatest opportunity of all presented itself when the Mexican government began to divest itself of a number of state-owned monopolies. After taking the holding company public in 1990, Slim's Grupo Carso, with French and American partners, purchased the state telephone company, Telfonos de Mxico (Telmex). Slim took a special interest in a small component of Telmex's operations, the company's fledgling cellular service. Slim had a unique idea for building the customer base for cell phone service in Mexico's struggling economy. He sold the handsets with a month's service prepaid, and rather than sending the customers a monthly bill, Slim enabled his customers to buy prepaid phone cards, using their minutes as needed. Telmex executives resisted the plan at first, convinced that aggressive promotion of prepaid cell phones would undermine the market for traditional landline service. As it happened, the prepaid program filled an enormous need, and the customer base grew by 66 percent every year for the next 15 years. In the wake of the dot.com bust of 2000, foreign-owned cellular ventures throughout Latin America floundered. Slim scooped them up, combining cellular services in a market he understood better than anyone else.

Soon his company, Amrica Mvil, had become the largest wireless services provider in Latin America. As the demand for wireless communication exploded, Slim's enterprise grew to meet it. By 2007, his group of companies was valued at an estimated $150 billion. When Fortune magazine and other sources calculated the wealth of the world's leading businessmen, they concluded that Carlos Slim, with an estimated personal fortune of $59 billion, was the richest man on Earth. Proceeds from Carlos Slim's ventures have endowed a number of charitable foundations. Since 1986, the Carso Foundation has concentrated on developing Mexico's human capital through education and training programs. In 2007, an additional endowment of $4 billion has expanded Carso Foundation's efforts to build infrastructure, promote education and reduce poverty, not only in Mexico, but throughout Latin America. The Museo Soumaya, established in 1994, was named in honor of Slim's late wife, who ran the institution for many years. The museum preserves a world-class collection of Mexican and European art, while funding art research and conservation activities and sponsoring traveling exhibitions. The Telmex Foundation is one of the largest philanthropic institutions in Latin America. In addition to activities in health, nutrition, conservation and disaster relief, it has provided university scholarships for hundreds of thousands of talented students who would otherwise be unable to pursue higher education. Slim himself was the principal donor to the long-term project to restore and revitalize Mexico City's downtown, the Centro Histrico. In 2008, Slim surprised the business world with his purchase of a 6.4 percent stake in the troubled New York Times Company. At the time his investment was made public, Slim's holding in the company was valued at $27 million. The following year, as a global recession and declining advertising revenues took a particularly heavy toll on print-based "old media" companies, Slim made the Times a loan of $250 million. This infusion of cash, along with other strategic adjustments by Times management, steadied the company's finances, and the Times repaid the loan, plus 14 percent interest, ahead of schedule. Slim and his family have purchased additional shares, raising their stake in the company to just over seven percent. They hold warrants to increase their holdings to 16 percent of the company's total stock. Although Grupo Carso spokesmen denied any intention of buying out the Ochs-Sulzberger family, who have controlled the paper for generations, even the suggestion of such a plan caused a sharp rise in the price of New York Times stock, a dramatic demonstration of Carlos Slim's influence in the word of finance.

In 2010, aForbes magazine's survey of the world's great fortunes confirmed earlier estimates that Carlos Slim was the world's richest man. The survey ranked him as the world's richest man again in 2011 and 2012. In the midst of this staggering success, the Slim family remains an unusually close-knit one. As Carlos Slim devotes more of his time to his philanthropic enterprises, his three sons have taken the reins of the major components of Grupo Carso. And the Slim family still dines together every Monday night. Next When Jeff Bezos came up with the idea for what would become Amazon.com, he went on a stroll in Central Park with his boss at the time to share his epiphany. Bezos, in 1992, was a senior vice president for the New York hedge fund D.E. Shaw. He described his dream to create a company that would sell books on the Internet. His boss listened intently before offering a bit of advice: "That sounds like a really good idea, but it would be an even better idea for someone who didn't already have a good job." Big ideas of the ground-shifting variety are rare -- and hard to pull off. But that's the difference between the dreamer and the doer. It took Bezos all of 48 hours to decide to quit his job and get started. Some 18 years later, he's still at the helm of Amazon.com, which has redefined the way people buy almost everything, employs 56,200 people, and is valued at more than $80 billion. 1. Steve Jobs 2 of 13

Jobs: At the Apple offices in 1984 Company: Apple Sales: $108.2 billion Market Value: $546 billion Employees: 63,300 Advice: Say no to focus groups and market research.

Though he could be abusive and mean-spirited to people who threw themselves into their work on his behalf, Steve Jobs has been our generation's quintessential entrepreneur. Visionary. Inspiring. Brilliant. Mercurial. Perhaps the most astonishing fact about Jobs was his view that market research and focus groups only limited your ability to innovate. Asked how much research was done to guide Apple when he introduced the iPad, Jobs famously quipped, "None. It isn't the consumers' job to know what they want. It's hard for [consumers] to tell you what they want when they've never seen anything remotely like it." Instead, it was Jobs' own intuition, his radar-like feel for emerging technologies and how they could be brought together to create, in his words, "insanely great" products, that ultimately made the difference. For Jobs, who died last year at 56, intuition was no mere gut call. It was, as he put it in his often-quoted commencement speech at Stanford, about "connecting the dots," glimpsing the relationships among wildly disparate life experiences and changes in technology. It's a safe bet to assume that none of Apple's blockbuster products, from the Macintosh to the iPod and iTunes, from the iPhone to the iPad, would have come about if Jobs had relied heavily on consumer research. Fittingly enough, on the day Jobs launched the Macintosh, a reporter from Popular Science asked him what type of studies Apple had conducted to ensure there was a market for the computer. In a nearly offended tone, Jobs retorted, "Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the telephone?" NEXT: 2. Bill Gates 12. Muhammad Yunus 13 of 13

Lifting lives through loans: Yunus in Bangladesh in 1998

Company: Grameen Bank Advice: Small gifts can equal big impacts. In the early 1970s Muhammad Yunus was teaching economic theory to students in a university classroom in Bangladesh. But outside the campus of Chittagong University, all he saw was crushing hunger and poverty. His desire to do something to help the local citizens led to a simple but powerful gesture: Yunus loaned $27 to destitute basket weavers in a village next to his university's campus. He could not believe the excitement the small amount of money caused. For people living on pennies a day, just a few dollars could transform their lives -- and in many cases it did. The gift was used to support and expand these very small businesses, and that helped many overcome their poverty. Much to Yunus' surprise, the basket weavers actually paid off the loans -- and on time too. He then moved from one village to the next, finding all sorts of entrepreneurial projects to fund. It wasn't until 1983 that Yunus founded Grameen Bank, the institution that helped pioneer and spread the concept of microcredit. By the time Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, the Grameen Bank had outstanding loans to nearly 7 million poor people in 73,000 villages in Bangladesh. More important, Yunus, 71, helped create a global movement toward microlending. The Grameen model moved on to more than 100 countries worldwide and helped millions. While the bank could not eradicate poverty, it lifted many lives. No less critical, Yunus' idea inspired countless numbers of young people to devote themselves to social causes all over the world.

Dhirubhai Ambani
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Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani

Dhirubhai Ambani in 1992 28 December 1932 Born Chorwad, Gujarat, India 6 July 2002 (aged 69) Died Mumbai, Maharashtra, India Cause of death stroke Nationality Indian Ethnicity Gujarati Founder of Reliance Industries Occupation Founder of Reliance Power Founder of Reliance Capital Net worth $8 billion[citation needed] Religion Hindu Spouse Kokilaben Ambani Mukesh Ambani Anil Ambani Children Nina Kothari Deepti Salgaonkar Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani (Gujarati: ; 28 December 1932 6 July 2002) was an Indian rags-to-riches business tycoon who founded Reliance Industries in Mumbai with his cousin. Ambani took his company public in 1977. Dhirubhai has been among the select few to be figured in the Sunday Times list of top 50 businessmen in Asia. [1] His life has often been referred to as a true "rags to riches" story. Dhirubhai started off as a small time worker with Arab merchants in the 1950s and moved to Mumbai in 1958 to start his own business in spices. After making modest profits, he moved into textiles and opened his mill near Ahmedabad. He founded Reliance Industries in 1966, and today, the company, with over 85,000 employees, provides almost 5% of the Central Government's total tax revenue.

In jai hind 1985 after a heart attack Dhirubhai handed over the Reliance empire to his sons Mukesh and Anil. After his death, the group was split into Reliance Industries Limited, headed by Mukesh Ambani, and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (Reliance ADAG), headed by Anil Ambani.


1 Early life (1949-1958) 2 Majin Commercial Corporation 3 Reliance Textiles 4 Initial public offering 5 Dhirubhai's control over stock exchange 6 Diversification 7 Criticism 8 Death 9 Reliance after Dhirubhai 10 In popular media 11 Awards and recognitions 12 Reference and notes 13 External links

Early life (1949-1958)

Hirachand Ambani was a low wage villager. Hirachand and Jamnaben had two daughters Trilochanaben and Jasuben - and three sons - Ramnikbhai, Dhirubhai and Natubhai. Dhirubhai was the second son. Just after Dhirubhai was through his annual matriculation examination and even before the result was out, Hirachand called him home (to Chorwad). Hirachand had been unwell for quite some time and had grown extremely weak and frail. Hirachand asked his son the very night he reached home. "Well, I'll tell you. You know I have been unwell for past several months. I cannot work any more. I know you want to study further but I can't afford that any more. I need you to earn for the family. I need your money. The family needs it. You must work now. Ramnikbhai has arranged a job for you in Aden. You go there."[citation needed] Dhirubhai had really wanted to study for a bachelor's degree, but his ambition melted when he looked into the anxious eyes of his sick father. "I'll do as you say," he said, and the very next morning he left for Rajkot to get his passport. Those days Indians were exempt from obtaining a visa for entering Aden, but there were rumors around that the No Visa regime was about to end any day. So he needed to hurry up before the visa rules changed. In a few days he was in Bombay to board the ship to Aden. It was on board the ship that Dhirubhai learnt from a Gujarati newspaper that he had passed his matriculation examination in second division.[citation needed]

On reaching Aden, Dhirubhai joined office on the very day of his arrival. It was a clerk's job with the A. Besse & Co., named after its French founder Antonin Besse. Those days Aden was the second busiest trading and oil bunkering port in the world after London handling over 6,300 ships and 1,500 dhows a year.[citation needed] And, there in Aden, A. Besse & Co. was the largest transcontinental trading firm east of Suez. It was engaged in almost every branch of trading business - cargo booking, handling, shipping, forwarding, and wholesale merchandising. Besse acted as trading agents for a large number of European, American, African and Asian companies and dealt with all sorts of goods ranging from sugar, spices, food grains and textiles to office stationery, tools, machinery and petroleum products. Dhirubhai was first sent to the commodities trading section of the firm. Later, he was transferred to the section that handled petroleum products for the oil giant Shell.[citation needed] "Ilearnt business at Besse which was then the best trading firm this side of the Suez," he used to tell friends in later years. He was quick on the uptake. He learnt the ways of commodity trading, high seas purchase and sales, marketing and distribution, currency trading, and money management. During lunch breaks he roamed the souks and bazaars of Aden where traders from numerous different continents and countries bought and sold goods worth millions of pounds sterling, the then global currency, during the day. He met traders from all parts of Europe, Africa, India, Japan and China. Aden was the biggest trading port of the times, a trading port where goods landed from all parts of the world and were dispatched to the farthest corners of different continents. Speculation in manufactured goods and commodities was rife all over the Aden bazaars.[citation needed] Dhirubhai felt tempted to speculate but had no money for that and was still raw for such trading. To learn the tricks of the trade he offered to work free for a Gujarati trading firm. There he learnt accounting, book keeping, preparing shipping papers and documents, and dealing with banks and insurance companies., skills that would come handy when he launched himself into trading about a decade later in Bombay. At the Besse office during the day he polished his skills in typing and Pitman shorthand, drafting commercial letters, and composing legal documents.[citation needed] At the boarding house where he lived with another twenty-five or so young Gujarati clerks and office boys, he devoted long hours of the night mastering English grammar, essay writing, current affairs and a host of subjects that took his fancy from week to week. He was the first to snatch the English, Gujarati and Hindi daily papers and weeklies as soon as they arrived by the ship every day. The Times of India, Blitz, Janmabhoomi and Navajeevan formed his favorite reading material. He also devoured all sorts of books, magazines and journals the passengers arriving from various European and Indian ports left in the ships and at the offices of various shipping agents.[citation needed] "Of all the books I read so avidly those days one I remember most fondly are (Jawaharlal Nehru's) the "Glimpses of World History" and the "Discovery of India," he would recall long after his Aden days. "They were fat, big books but written in simple English and to me they opened a whole new world of adventure, of human wisdom and human folly. I began

reading them not to learn of world history but to practice my English but once I opened their pages their breadth of vision had me in a thrall. I used to keep a dictionary by my side when reading these books and note down every new word I came across to increase my vocabulary. Later when I used to draft letters to ministers and senior officials during my early Bombay days, I used whole lot of quotations, phrases and impressive words from these two books ."[citation needed] He also gorged on dozens of books and magazine articles on psychology that became his favourite subject for a long time. "I learnt much from this class of my reading," he sometimes said, "I learnt how we humans and animals love to be loved more than anything else, how we are driven by desire to earn the love, affection and honor of those around us, what it is to be a leader, how to motivate those whom we want to attain great heights, how ideologies and interests clash and reconcile or cancel each other.[citation needed] "More than anything else I learnt that nothing big can ever be achieved without money, influence and power and I also learnt that money, influence and power alone cannot achieve anything in life, big or small, without a certain soft, delicate, sensitive, understanding human touch in all one's deeds and words."[citation needed] After he thought he had learnt the basics of commodities trading, Dhirubhai began speculating in high seas purchase and sales of all sorts of goods. He did not have enough money of his own for such speculative trading. So he borrowed as much as he could from friends and small Aden shopkeepers on terms nobody had ever offered them. "Profit we share and all loss will be mine" became his motto. During lunch break and after office hours he was always in the local bazaar, trading in one thing or the other.[citation needed] Soon, those around him found that he had an uncanny knack for such speculative trading. He seldom lost money in any deal. "I think I had an animal instinct about such trading but there was a lot of reading and understanding of market trends behind that animal instinct of mine. I read every bit of paper I could lay my hands on about what was happening around the world, I listened carefully to every word uttered in the market, picked every bit of gossip in the shipping circles and pondered long through the night in the bed about the pros and cons of every deal I wanted to make."[citation needed] Meantime, the Shell oil refinery and the first oil harbor came up in Aden in 1954, the year Dhirubhai returned home to Gujarat to marry Kokilaben. As expected, A. Besse & Co. became the agents for distribution of Shell refinery products. Dhirubhai had done well at the office during his first five years. Now he was sent on promotion to the oil filling station at the newly built harbour.[citation needed] He liked the new job, though it was a lot more demanding than the desk job in the commodities section. Here he had to service the ships bunkering for diesel and lubricants. He enjoyed visiting the ships, making friends with sailors and the engine staff I heard from them first hand accounts of their voyages in different parts of the world of which he had until then read about only in books and magazines. And, here it was that he first began dreaming of one day building a refinery of his own.[citation needed]

"It was a crazy idea for a petrol pump attendant to want to build a refinery of his own, but that is the sort of crazy ideas I have been playing with all my life," Dhirubhai recalled at the time Reliance's 25 million ton oil refinery, the largest grassroots refinery in the world, went on stream in Jamnagar in 1999. "I have been able to build this refinery because I decided long years ago not to settle for anything else," he said, "I had heard a Yemeni proverb in Aden "la budd min Sana'a wa lau taal al-safr" (You must visit Sana'a, however long the journey takes). I never forgot that saying."[citation needed] By the late 1950s it became clear that the British rule in Aden would not last long in the face of growing Yemeni movement for independence supported by Gamal Abdel Nasser's revolutionary government from across the Suez. The large Indian community of Hindu and Parsee Gujaratis began preparing to move out of Aden. Some began returning home to India, while some chose to settle in Britain. Aden Indians those days were allowed to settle in Britain.[citation needed] Where to go on leaving Aden was debated among the colony's settlers heatedly everyday. Some of Dhirubhai's friends told him that he should migrate to London where, considering his talents, acumen and guts, he could find better opportunities of growth. At the port and on ships at Aden he often heard glowing accounts of post-war Britain and the promises of a life of much greater ease there than one could ever hope to find in India.[citation needed] Dhirubhai weighed his options.. By now he had saved some money and was thinking of setting up some business of his own. Although Dhirubhai's father had died in 1952, he had in the meantime been blessed with his first son, Mukesh D. Ambani, in April 1957. Kokilaben and Mukesh were back home in India.The choice of opening a shop somewhere in London was tempting but he felt India was calling him home.[citation needed] Those were exciting years in India. The country was in the midst of implementing the Second Five Year Plan which promised to build big industries, raise new big dams across many rivers, lay new roads through the length and breadth of the country, boost agricultural production to new record levels and set up a huge network of food grains procurement centers.[citation needed] Though by the end of 1958, the newspapers coming from India were painting a rather gloomy picture of the country's finances and foreign exchange reserves, there was also a new vigor and a new fervor in their reports of a new 100 billion Five Year Plan then under preparation. The Plan promised to open massive new opportunities for growth for the country's youth. Jawaharlal Nehru was daily exhorting the young to cast away their old ways and help build a new India. His words were stirring and roused the passions of every young Indian, especially of those living far away from the country.[citation needed] Dhirubhai was now 26 years (1957), full of youthful vigor and vitality, and filled with high hopes for himself and for the new India of Nehru's dreams. He just could not miss the excitement of being in India in such tumultuous times. He decided to return home, instead of going to London to live a life of ease there.

Majin Commercial Corporation

Fifteen years later, Dhirubhai Ambani returned to India and started "Majin" in partnership with Champaklal Damani, his second cousin, who used to be with him in Aden, Yemen. Majin was to import polyester yarn and export spices to Yemen.[2] The first office of the Reliance Commercial Corporation was set up at the Narsinatha Street in Masjid Bunder. It was a 350 sq ft (33 m2) room with a telephone, one table and three chairs. Initially, they had two assistants to help them with their business. During this period, Dhirubhai and his family used to stay in a one-bedroom apartment at the Jai Hind Estate in Bhuleshwar, Mumbai. In 1965, Champaklal Damani and Dhirubhai Ambani ended their partnership and Dhirubhai started on his own. It is believed that both had different temperaments and a different take on how to conduct business. While Damani was a cautious trader and did not believe in building yarn inventories, Dhirubhai was a known risk-taker and believed in building inventories, anticipating a price rise, and making profits.[3] In 1968, he moved to an upmarket apartment at Altamont Road in South Mumbai. Ambani's net worth was estimated at about 1 million by late 1970s.[citation needed]

Reliance Textiles
Sensing a good opportunity in the textile business, Dhirubhai Ambani, along with Amit Mehra, a Delhi-based chartered accountant and company secretary residing in Ashok Vihar, Delhi, started the first textile mill at Naroda, in Ahmedabad in the year 1966. Textiles were manufactured using polyester fiber yarn.[4] Dhirubai started the brand "Vimal", which was named after his elder brother Ramaniklal Ambani's son, Vimal Ambani. Extensive marketing of the brand "Vimal" in the interiors of India made it a household name. Franchise retail outlets were started and they used to sell "only Vimal" brand of textiles. In the year 1975, a Technical team from the World Bank visited the Reliance Textiles' Manufacturing unit. This unit has the rare distinction of being certified as "excellent even by developed country standards" during that period. Amit Mehra had played a pivotal role in helping and supporting Dhirubhai in this success.[5]

Initial public offering

Dhirubhai Ambani is awarded with starting the equity cult in India. More than 58,000 investors from various parts of India subscribed to Reliance's IPO (Initial public offering) in 1977. Dhirubhai was able to convince large numbers of small investors from rural Gujarat that being shareholders of his company would be profitable.[citation needed] Reliance Industries was the first private sector company whose annual general meetings were held in stadiums. In 1986, the annual general meeting of Reliance Industries had number of first-time retail investors investing in Reliance. Ambani's net worth was estimated at about 1 billion by early 1980s.[citation needed]

Dhirubhai's control over stock exchange

In 1982, Reliance Industries came up against a rights issue regarding partly convertible debentures.[6] It was rumored that the company was making all efforts to ensure that their stock prices did not slide an inch. Sensing an opportunity, The Bear Cartel, a group of stock brokers from Calcutta, started to short sell the shares of Reliance. To counter this, a group of stock brokers until recently referred to as "Friends of Reliance" started to buy the short sold shares of Reliance Industries on the Bombay Stock Exchange.[citation needed] The Bear Cartel was acting on the belief that the Bulls would be short of cash to complete the transactions and would be ready for settlement under the "Badla" trading system operative in the Bombay Stock Exchange. The bulls kept on buying and a price of 152 per share was maintained until the day of settlement. On the day of settlement, the Bear Cartel was taken aback when the Bulls demanded a physical delivery of shares. To complete the transaction, the much needed cash was provided to the stock brokers who had bought shares of Reliance, by none other than Dhirubhai Ambani. In the case of non-settlement, the Bulls demanded an "Unbadla" (a penalty sum) of 35 per share. With this, the demand increased and the shares of Reliance shot above 180 in minutes. The settlement caused an enormous uproar in the market. To find a solution to this situation, the Bombay Stock Exchange was closed for three business days. Authorities from the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) intervened in the matter and brought down the "Unbadla" rate to 2 with a stipulation that the Bear Cartel had to deliver the shares within the next few days. The Bear Cartel bought shares of Reliance from the market at higher price levels and it was also learnt that Dhirubhai Ambani himself supplied those shares to the Bear Cartel and earned a healthy profit out of The Bear Cartel's adventure.[7] After this incident, many questions were raised by his detractors and the press. Not many people were able to understand as to how a yarn trader until a few years ago was able to get in such a huge amount of cash flow during a crisis period. The answer to this was provided by the then finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee in the Parliament. He informed the house that a Non-Resident Indian had invested up to 220 million in Reliance during 1982-83. These investments were routed through many companies like Crocodile, Lota and Fiasco. These companies were primarily registered in Isle of Man. The interesting factor was that all the promoters or owners of these companies had a common surname Shah. An investigation by the Reserve Bank of India in the incident did not find any unethical or illegal acts or transactions committed by Reliance or its promoters.[8]

Ambani began the process of backward integration, setting up a plant to manufacture polyester filament yarn. He subsequently diversified into chemicals, petrochemicals, plastics, power. The company as a whole was described by the BBC as "a business empire with an estimated annual turnover of $12 billion, and an 85,000-strong workforce". The final phase of Reliances diversification occurred in the 1990s when the company turned aggressively towards petrochemicals and telecommunications.[citation needed]

Despite his almost Midas Touch, Ambani has been known to have flexible values and an unethical streak running through him. his biographer himself has cited some instances of his unethical behavior when he was just an ordinary employee at a petrol pump in Dubai. He has been accused of having manipulated government policies to suit his own needs, and has been known to be a king-maker in government elections. Although most media sources tend to speak out about business-politics nexus, the Ambani house has always enjoyed more protection and shelter from the media storms that sweep across the country.[citation needed] Tussle with Nusli Wadia Nusli Wadia of Bombay Dyeing was, at one point in time, the biggest competitor of Dhirubhai and Reliance Industries. Both Nusli Wadia and Dhirubhai were known for their influence in the political circles and their ability to get the most difficult licenses approved during the times of pre-liberalized economy.[citation needed] During the Janata Party rule between 19771979, Nusli Wadia obtained the permission to build a 60,000 tons per annum Dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) plant. Before the letter of intent was converted into a licence, many hurdles came in the way. Finally, in 1981, Nusli Wadia was granted the license for the plant. This incident acted as a catalyst between the two parties and the competition took an ugly turn.[citation needed] The Indian Express Articles At one point in time, Ramnath Goenka was a friend of Dhirubhai Ambani. Ramnath Goenka was also considered to be close to Nusli Wadia. On many occasions, Ramnath Goenka tried to intervene between the two warring factions and bring an end to the enmity. Goenka and Ambani became rivals mainly because Ambani's corrupt business practices and his illegal actions that lead to Goenka not getting a fair share in the company. Later on, Ramnath Goenka chose to support Nusli Wadia. At one point of time, Ramnath Goenka is believed to have said "Nusli is an Englishman. He cannot handle Ambani. I am a bania. I know how to finish him"....[citation needed] As days passed by, The Indian Express, a broadsheet daily published by him, carried a series of articles against Reliance Industries and Dhirubhai in which they claimed that Dhirubhai was using unfair trade practices to maximise the profits. Ramnath Goenka did not use his staff at the Indian Express to investigate the case but assigned his close confidante, advisor and chartered accountant S. Gurumurthy for this task. Apart from S. Gurumurthy, another journalist Maneck Davar who was not on the rolls of Indian Express started contributing stories. Jamnadas Moorjani, a businessman opposed to the Ambanis was also a part of this campaign.[citation needed] Both Ambani and Goenka were equally criticized and admired by sections of the society. People criticized Goenka that he was using a national newspaper for the cause of a personal enmity. Critics believed that there were many other businessman in the country who were using more unfair and unethical practices but Goenka chose to target only Ambani and not the others. Critics also admired Goenka for his ability to run these articles without any help from his regular staff.

Dhirubhai Ambani was also getting more recognition and admiration, in the meantime. A section of the public started to appreciate Dhirubhai's business sense and his ability to tame the system according to his wishes.[citation needed] The end to this tussle came only after Dhirubhai Ambani suffered a stroke. While Dhirubhai Ambani was recovering in San Diego, his sons Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani managed the affairs. The Indian Express had turned the guns against Reliance and was directly blaming the government for not doing enough to penalize Reliance Industries. The battle between Wadia - Goenka and the Ambanis took a new direction and became a national crisis. Gurumurthy and another journalist, Mulgaokar consorted with President Giani Zail Singh and ghost-wrote a hostile letter to the Prime Minister on his behalf. The Indian Express published a draft of the Presidents letter as a scoop, not realizing that Zail Singh had made changes to the letter before sending it to Rajiv Gandhi. Ambani had won the battle at this point. Now, while the tussle was directly between the Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Ramnath Goenka, Ambani made a quiet exit. The government then raided the Express guest house in Delhis Sunder Nagar and found the original draft with corrections in Mulgaokars handwriting. By 1988-89, Rajivs government retaliated with a series of prosecutions against the Indian Express. Even then, Goenka retained his iconic stature because, to many people, he seemed to be replaying his heroic defiance during the Emergency regime.[citation needed] Dhirubhai and V. P. Singh It was widely known that Dhirubhai didn't enjoy a cordial relation with Vishwanath Pratap Singh, who succeeded Rajiv Gandhi as the Prime Minister of India. In May 1985, he suddenly removed the import of Purified terephthalic acid from the Open General License category. As a raw material this was very important to manufacture polyester filament yarn. This made it very difficult for Reliance to carry on operations. Reliance was able to secure, from various financial institutions, letters of credit that would allow it to import almost one full years requirement of PTA on the eve of the issuance of the government notification, changing the category under which PTA could be imported. In 1990, the governmentowned financial institutions like the Life Insurance Corporation of India and the General Insurance Corporation of India stonewalled attempts by the Reliance group to acquire managerial control over Larsen & Toubro. Sensing defeat, the Ambanis resigned from the board of the company. Dhirubhai, who had become L&T's chairman in April 1989, had to quit his post to make way for D. N. Ghosh, former chairman of the State Bank of India.
[citation needed]


Final Journey: Dhirubhai Ambani's funeral saw thousands of people attending. Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani can be seen carrying their father's body as per Hindu traditions Dhirubhai Ambani was admitted to the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai on June 24, 2002 after he suffered a major stroke. This was his second stroke. The first one had occurred in February 1986 and had kept his right hand paralyzed. He was, latterly, in a state of coma for more than a week. A number of doctors were used. He died on July 6, 2002, at around 23:50 UTC+05:30. His funeral procession was not only attended by business people, politicians and celebrities but also by thousands of ordinary people. His elder son, Mukesh Ambani, performed the last rites as per Hindu traditions. He was cremated at the Chandanwadi Crematorium in Mumbai at around 16:30 UTC+05:30 on July 7, 2002.[citation needed] He is survived by Kokilaben Ambani, his wife, two sons, Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani, and two daughters, Nina Kothari and Deepti Salgaonkar. Dhirubhai Ambani started his long journey in Mumbai from the Mulji-Jetha Textile Market, where he started as a small-trader. As a mark of respect to this great businessman, The Mumbai Textile Merchants' decided to keep the market closed on July 8, 2002.[citation needed] At the time of Dhirubhai's death, Reliance Group had a gross turnover of 750 billion (US$15 billion). In 1976-77, the Reliance Group had an annual turnover of 700 million (Note that Dhirubhai had started the business with just 150 000 (US$3500)).[citation needed] The country has lost iconic proof of what an ordinary Indian fired by the spirit of enterprise and driven by determination can achieve in his own lifetime.[9] Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Former Prime Minister of India The nation has lost one of the doyens of the modern Indian corporate community, a philanthropist and above all a great human being endowed with great compassion and concern for the underprivileged sections of the society. This new star, which rose on the horizon of the Indian industry three decades ago, remained on the top until the end by virtue of his ability to dream big and translate it into reality through the strength of his tenacity and perseverance. I join the people of Maharashtra in paying my tribute to the memory of Ambani and convey my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.[10]

P C Alexander, Governor of Maharastra

Reliance after Dhirubhai

In November 2004, Mukesh Ambani in an interview, admitted to having differences with his brother Anil over 'ownership issues.' He also said that the differences "are in the private domain." He was of the opinion that this will not have any bearing on the functioning of the company saying Reliance is one of the strongest professionally-managed companies. Considering the importance of Reliance Industries to the Indian economy, this issue got extensive coverage in the media.[11] Kundapur Vaman Kamath, the Managing Director of ICICI Bank[12] was seen in media, a close friend of the Ambani family who helped to settle the issue. The brothers had entrusted their mother, Kokilaben Ambani, to resolve the issue. On June 18, 2005, Kokilaben Ambani announced the settlement through a press release. With the blessings of Srinathji, I have today amicably resolved the issues between my two sons, Mukesh and Anil, keeping in mind the proud legacy of my husband, Dhirubhai Ambani. I am confident that both Mukesh and Anil, will resolutely uphold the values of their father and work towards protecting and enhancing value for over three million shareholders of the Reliance Group, which has been the foundational principle on which my husband built India's largest private sector enterprise. Mukesh will have the responsibility for Reliance Industries and IPCL while Anil will have responsibility for Reliance Infocomm, Reliance Energy and Reliance Capital. My husband's foresight and vision and the values he stood for combined with my blessings will guide them to scale new heights.[13] Kokilaben Ambani The Reliance empire was split between the Ambani brothers, Mukesh Ambani getting RIL and IPCL & his younger sibling Anil Ambani heading Reliance Capital, Reliance Energy and Reliance Infocomm. The entity headed by Mukesh Ambani is referred to as the Reliance Industries Limited whereas Anil's Group has been renamed Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (Reliance ADA Group).[citation needed] Reliance Institute of Life Sciences, a Dhirubhai Ambani Foundation Initiative, was established to promote higher education in various fields of life sciences and related technologies.[citation needed]

In popular media

In 1998, a book published by Hamish McDonald titled "The Polyester Prince" is also an unauthorized biography of Dhirubhai Ambani, outlining all his political and business conquests. HarperCollins didn't sell the book in India, because the Dhirubhai threatened legal action.[14] In 2010, an updated version of the book went on sale in India, called Ambani and Sons, there has been no legal action against the publisher so far.[14] A film said to be inspired by the life of Dhirubhai Ambani was released on 12 January 2007. The Hindi Film Guru, directed by ace filmmaker Mani Ratnam, cinematography by Rajiv Menon and music by A.R.Rahman shows the struggle of a man striving to make his mark in the Indian business world with a fictional Shakti Group of Industries. The film stars Abhishek Bachchan, Mithun Chakraborty, Aishwarya Rai, R. Madhavan and Vidya Balan. In the film, Abhishek Bachchan plays Guru Kant Desai, a character implicitly based on Dhirubhai Ambani. The character is known in the film as "Gurubhai", similar to the real-life "Dhirubhai". Mithun Chakraborty portrays Manikda who bears an uncanny resemblance to the real life Ramanath Goenka and Madhvan portrays S. Gurumurthy, who gained national fame twenty years ago, spearheading virulent attacks against the Reliance group in one of India's bloodiest corporate wars ever.

Review of Related Academic Literature

One of the most important issue scholars face in their research from this field is the identification of the right set of variables and circumstances for a business success. Pursuant to the somewhat extensive literature related to entrepreneurship, there are a number of theories and concepts from this area that can be considered as confounding with one another. Different scholars have argued their views in relation to almost every aspect of the entrepreneurial activities. De Koning and Muzyka (1999) assert that the term opportunity recognition in relation to how academia utilizes it, can be used to refer to either the discovery of a clear business idea or the development of an idea into a more feasible business concept over time. The specific area of opportunity identification has been particularly enriched with insights through valuable academic in recent years. Namely, it is through the research findings and contributions of scholars like Shane, Lumpkin and Gilad that there are several affecting factors identified and modeled accordingly. Even though the joint efforts of the business practitioners and scholars still have not produced a workable universal model, there are a number of framework variables that are being discussed and elaborated upon. For example, Okkonen and Suhonen (2010) assert the value of the extent and information sharing of the social network in the opportunity identification process, where further stressed is the importance of the entrepreneurial alertness, a recognized prerequisite in many small business textbooks nowadays. In addition to that, there are academics presenting research findings asserting the role of available information from the field in question, or in other words, a better informed entrepreneur would have bigger chances at recognizing emerging opportunities. Shane (1998) and Wouter (2010) discusses the role of information asymmetry and the importance of previous field related experience as part of the opportunity recognition

process. Additionally, what is being discussed in their work is that entrepreneurs will find easier to identify opportunities in fields where they have previous experience and can analyze important information. However, the dimension encompassing previous experience can be separated in three sub dimensions, as suggested by research:

knowledge of markets, sector marketing and current consumer issues and problems (Ardichvili and Cardozo, 2000).

The circumstances in which discoveries were identified are important for academics in their efforts to develop the recognition model. More specifically, the stress is placed on the question, whether entrepreneurs undertake planned researches or simply comes across information and connect the dots, as described by scholars through their cognitive models. There is extensive research available arguing that the majority of entrepreneurial discoveries were reached after planned research and scan of the environment. On the other hand, however, there are researchers arguing that this process takes a more spontaneous form most of the time with the actual entrepreneurs simply identifying the opportunity after they have come across revealing information. Related research goes as far as asserting that business ventures that were started after an opportunity was identified, spontaneously achieve their break even point faster than the ventures that were started as part of a plan (Klein, 2008). Further examples are provided from one of the most attractive entrepreneurial fields in the industry IT, where only 50% of the companies were considered to have undertaken the formal, systematic search for business opportunities before they developed their new technologies in an entrepreneurial manner. In terms of networks, available academic literature suggests a positive relationship between the size of the network and the possibilities in terms of identifying and generating entrepreneurial ideas in the specific area. Academics argue, to a certain extent, that now all networks provide the same quality and quantity of information. Additionally, as Arsenious and De Clercq (2005) further discusses the network connections, and contacts can additionally be identified and described as strong and weak, with the majority of entrepreneurs having a lot weaker ones. One of the main advantages of the weak ties, as identified by scholars, is the increased networking provided through which there is a possibility of improved information sharing concerning areas in which an entrepreneur cannot acquire information from the stronger contact ties, like family and close friends. Further analysis suggests that the type and extent of networks are some of the factors influencing the type of information reach the entrepreneur and the extent of entrepreneurial alertness that will be demonstrated on his/her side (Baron and Ensly, 2006). Researchers have placed efforts for introducing the role of the creativity as part of the entrepreneurial opportunity recognition process since 1940s, describing it as a personality trait that the majority did not posses (Schumpeter, 1934). Considering a very much needed

characteristic, creativity can be closely related and interpreted through the individual ability of entrepreneurs to connect the dots in terms of their tolerance for information ambiguity and ability to recognize emerging patterns. Even though the above characteristics are among some of the most frequently identified and recognized by scholars in their research for developing the entrepreneurial opportunity recognition model, the actual model has still not been developed. The main obstacle still exists in the face of the large diversity in terms of circumstances faced by entrepreneurs, opportunity drivers in their industry and even the individual personality traits of the entrepreneur. It was due to these factors that so far the joint efforts of academia and practitioners have not produced a universal workable opportunity recognition pattern. In an attempt to provide such a model, or a universally acceptable and applicable pattern, Ardichvili and Cardozo (2000) surveyed eight entrepreneurs with already established businesses and tested the already recognized model variables by academia in that research. The research findings could not establish a positive relationship only with the factor of creativity, while the other factors like alertness, previous industry knowledge and networks were confirmed as present with the majority of entrepreneurs. Kallam Anji Reddy (born 1940) is an Indian entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical industry, the founder-chairman of Dr Reddy's Labs, which he established in 1984, and chairman of Dr Reddys Foundation (DRF), the corporate social responsibility arm of the group, established 1996.[1][2] The Government of India, has honoured him with Padmabhushan for his contribution to the Indian Pharmaceutical industry. He is a member of the Indian Prime Minister's Council on Trade and Industry.[3]


1 Early life and education 2 Career 3 Dr Reddy's Labs 4 Social causes 5 References 6 External links

Early life and education

He spent his early years in the village Tadepalli, Guntur District in the banks of Krishna River, where his father grew turmeric. He studied in Anapothana ZPHS School in Nutakki until Tenth Class. Reddy after graduating from the local high school, went on to get his first Bachelor of science degree from A.C. College at Guntur in 1958.[4] Thereafter he, did his B.Sc.-Tech in Pharmaceuticals and Fine chemicals from Bombay University followed by a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune in 1969.[5]

He started his career in the state-owned PSU, Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (IDPL) (19691975), when he left the job to found Uniloids Ltd in 1976 of which was also the and managing director of till 1980, when he founded Standard Organics Limited, before founding Dr Reddy's Labs in 1984 with an initial capital of Rs 25 lakh (Rs 2.5 million). Over the years, it transformed Indian bulk drug industry from import-dependent in mid-80s to self-reliant in mid-90s and finally into the export-oriented industry.[5]

Dr Reddy's Labs
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories has been credited with turning the Indian bulk drug industry from dependence on imports in the mid 1980s to self reliance in the mid 1990s and finally into the export-oriented industry that it is today. It was the first company to take up drug discovery research in India (in 1993). In April 2001 Dr Reddys Labs became the first Asian pharmaceutical company outside Japan to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company has revenues of $546 million (Rs.2,427 crore) during the fiscal year 2006 and is Indias second largest pharmaceutical company.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
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Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

March 23, 1953 (age 59) Bangalore, India Residence Bangalore, India Mount Carmel College, Bangalore Education University. Occupation Chairperson of Biocon Net worth US$900 million (2010)[1] Religion Hindu Spouse John Shaw Born Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (Kannada: ; born 23 March 1953) is an Indian entrepreneur. She is the Chairman & Managing Director of Biocon Limited a biotechnology company based in Bangalore (Bengaluru), India.


1 Profile 2 Biocon 3 Philanthropic activities 4 Awards 5 References

Mazumdar-Shaw completed her schooling from the citys Bishop Cotton Girls High School (1968). She wanted to join medical school but instead took up biology and completed her BSc Zoology Honours course from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore

University (1973). She later did her post-graduation in Malting and Brewing from Ballarat College, Melbourne University (1975). She worked as a trainee brewer in Carlton and United Breweries, Melbourne and as a trainee maltster at Barrett Brothers and Burston, Australia. She also worked for some time as a technical consultant at Jupiter Breweries Limited, Calcutta and as a technical manager at Standard Maltings Corporation, Baroda between 1975 and 1977.[2] She started Biocon in 1978 and spearheaded its evolution from an industrial enzymes manufacturing company to a fully integrated bio-pharmaceutical company with a wellbalanced business portfolio of products and a research focus on diabetes, oncology and auto-immune diseases. She also established two subsidiaries: Syngene (1994) to provide development support services for discovery research and Clinigene (2000) to cater to clinical development services.[3][2] Her pioneering work in the sector has earned her several awards, including the prestigious Padma Shri (1989) and the Padma Bhushan (2005) from the government of India. She was recently named among TIME magazines 100 most influential people in the world. She is on the Forbes list of the worlds 100 most powerful women and the Financial Times top 50 women in business list.[2] She is also a member of the board of governors of the prestigious Indian School of Business [4] and Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad.[5]

In 1978, she joined Biocon Biochemicals Limited, of Cork, Ireland as a Trainee Manager. In the same year she started Biocon in the garage of her rented house in Bangalore with a seed capital of Rs. 10,000. Initially, she faced credibility challenges because of her youth, gender and her untested business model. Not only was funding a problem as no bank wanted to lend to her, but she also found it difficult to recruit people for her start-up. With single-minded determination she overcame these challenges only to be confronted with the technological challenges associated with trying to build a biotech business in a country facing infrastructural woes. Uninterrupted power, superior quality water, sterile labs, imported research equipment, and advanced scientific skills were not easily available in India during the time. She is responsible for steering Biocon on a trajectory of growth and innovation over the years. Within a year of its inception, Biocon became the first Indian company to manufacture and export enzymes to USA and Europe. In 1989, Biocon became the first Indian biotech company to receive US funding for proprietary technologies. In 1990, she upgraded Biocons in-house research program, based on a proprietary solid substrate fermentation technology. In the same year, she incorporated Biocon Biopharmaceuticals Private Limited to manufacture and market a select range of biotherapeutics in a joint venture with the Cuban Centre of Molecular Immunology.

In 2004, she decided to access the capital markets to develop Biocons pipeline of research programs. Biocons IPO was oversubscribed 32 times and its first day at the bourses closed with a market value of $1.11 billion, making Biocon only the second Indian company to cross the $1-billion mark on the first day of listing.[2] She entered into more than 2,200 high-value R&D licensing and other deals within the pharmaceuticals and bio-pharmaceutical space between 2005 and 2010 and helped Biocon expand its global footprint to emerging and developed markets through acquisitions, partnerships and in-licensing. Her belief that healthcare needs can only be met with affordable innovation has been the driving philosophy that has helped Biocon manufacture and market drugs cost-effectively. In 200708, a leading US trade publication, Med Ad News, ranked Biocon as the 20th leading biotechnology companies in the world and the 7th largest biotech employer in the world. Biocon also received the 2009 BioSingapore Asia Pacific Biotechnology Award for Best Listed Company.[2] Today, thanks to her leadership, Biocon is building cutting-edge capabilities, global credibility and global scale in its manufacturing and marketing activities. It has Asias largest insulin and statin facilities also the largest perfusion-based antibody production facilities.

Philanthropic activities
In 2004, she started the Biocon Foundation to conduct health, education, sanitation, and environmental programs to benefit of the economically weaker sections of society. The Biocon Foundation's 7 ARY clinics are located where healthcare facilities are poor and they offer clinical care, generic medicines and basic tests for those who cannot afford them. Each of the clinics serves a population of 50,000 people living within a radius of 10 km.[2] All the clinics organize regular general health checks in remote villages by bringing in physicians and doctors from network hospitals. Each year, the Foundation touches more than 300,000 lives through its holistic healthcare approach. She helped establish a 1,400-bed cancer care center at the Narayana Health City campus at Boommasandra, Bangalore, along with Dr. Devi Shetty of Narayana Hrudayalaya in 2007. She liked the innovation model and thinking that Dr. Prasad Kaipa brought to Biocon and funded multi-year research at Indian School of Business by creating Biocon Cell for Innovation Management [6] as part of Center for Leadership Innovation and Change.

Mazumdar-Shaw is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Nikkei Asia Prize (2009) for Regional Growth, Express Pharmaceutical Leadership Summit Award

(2009) for Dynamic Entrepreneur, the Economic Times Businesswoman of the Year (2004), the Veuve Clicquot Initiative For Economic Development For Asia, Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Life Sciences & Healthcare (2002), Technology Pioneer recognition by World Economic Forum and The Indian Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award.[2] She has also received the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award (2002), the Business Woman of the Year Award from the Indian Business Leadership Award committee, CNBC-TV18 (2006), the Indian Merchants' Chamber Diamond Jubilee Endowment Trust'sEminent Businessperson of the Year Award(2006) and the Corporate Leadership Award by the American India Foundation (2005).[2] She also received an honorary Doctorate of Science in 2004, from her alma mater, Ballarat University, in recognition of her contributions to biotechnology, apart from being awarded honorary doctorates from University of Abertay, Dundee, UK (2007), University of Glasgow, UK (2008) and Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK (2008). She was ranked 80 on the worlds-100-most-powerful-women-2012 according to Forbes Magazine