In era of ‘Start-Up India’, Dhirubhai Ambani, author of India’s biggest start-up story, gets Padma Vibhushan - Firstpost

In era of ‘Start-Up India’, Dhirubhai Ambani, author of India’s biggest start-up story, gets Padma Vibhushan

Smack on the heels of the grand launch of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Start-Up India’ campaign, the Government of India today conferred Padma Vibhushan, one of the highest civilian awards, on the late Dhirubhai Ambani, the man behind India’s biggest ever start-up story — Reliance Industries (RIL). Dhirubhai began his business empire as a start-up and built it to India’s largest private sector company with an annual turn-over of Rs 3.88 lakh crore

Dhirubhai Ambani, AFP

Dhirubhai Ambani, AFP

Reliance Industries welcomed the honour and said they see it as a Padma Vibhushan for all start-ups in India.

The government’s Start-Up India campaign, unveiled on January 16, consists of the biggest-ever action plan for small entrepreneurs by setting up a conducive ecosystem of tax incentives, a Rs 10,000 crore fund and exemption from inspections for three years. The government has also promised relaxation in the processes with respect to registration and patents for young entrepreneurs.

Born in December, 1932, Dhirubhai first began his business as a small textile unit, in partnership with Champaklal Damani, his second cousin, to import polyester yarn and export spices to Yemen. The first office of the Reliance Commercial Corporation, as it was known then, was set up at Narsinatha Street in Masjid Bunder in a 500 sq ft room with a telephone, one table and three chairs. Initially, the office had two assistants to help them with their business.

Within Dhirubhai’s life time itself, he died in July 2002, this small start-up grew into one of India’s largest industrial conglomerates and is now the largest private sector company by turnover. Over the years, RIL grew into a multi-billion conglomerate with interests in petrochemicals, textiles, oil and gas, retail and telecommunications among others. RIL, which was listed in 1977, has a market capitalisation of Rs 3.25 lakh crore today. In the initial public offer, RIL issue was oversubscribed seven times, kicking off an era unprecedented share-holder wealth creation.

Today, the RIL group contributes 15 per cent to the total exports from the country and has a share of 15 per cent in the total investments in domestic market. The group has embarked upon the largest single location project at Jamnagar with over one lakh workers and is on the verge of launching the country’s biggest digital initiative under the Reliance Jio brand.

Superstar Rajinikanth, Yamini Krishnamurthi, Girija Devi, Ramoji Rao, Art of Living guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Viswanathan Shanta were also conferred the award along with Dhirubhai on Monday.

(Disclosure: Firstpost is part of Network18 Media & Investment Limited which is owned by Reliance Industries Limited.)

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