[Throwback] When Mukesh Ambani, the second richest person in India, had to borrow money from another passenger

[Throwback] When Mukesh Ambani, the second richest person in India, had to borrow money from another passenger

Photo: BCCL

New Delhi: Mukesh Ambani, currently the second richest person in India after Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani and the 10th richest person in the world, is known for his business acumen. As chairman of Reliance Industries, Ambani also enjoyed the title of the richest man in the country until early this year before Adani dethroned him.

While Ambani’s net worth today is $81.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he once had to ask another passenger for money. The story dates back to the early 1980s, when the 65-year-old industrialist was flying from Mumbai to Delhi.

Due to foggy weather in the nation’s capital, the flight had to be diverted to Ahmedabad due to which the then young Ambani got stranded. It was when he had to borrow money from another passenger because he had no cash or credit card, journalist Shankkar Aiyar wrote in India Today magazine.

Ambani avoids carrying cash, cards

While more than 40 years have passed since that incident, Ambani avoids carrying cash or credit cards even today. Even though he has managed the rare feat of earning a spot on the world’s richest list, the billionaire is not a fan of being called the world’s richest man.

In almost a monologue, he says, “If the purpose of a business is only to make money, then it’s a bad business model. If you can’t impact millions of lives, it’s a pointless exercise.

Ambani – A simple man

A wealthy individual who spearheads the growth of RIL, Ambani is apparently just another ordinary man in his personal life and is happiest sharing the black gram of Mahabaleshwar with colleagues in late-night meetings at Maker IV. He likes to stop at Madras Cafe in Matunga for his dosa binge or his Gujarati farsan snack at Dadar Kabutarkhana shops, Aiyar wrote in his post.

The billionaire relishes bajra roti and curd at home for dinner and home theater movies. Skipping the suit for the office, he is usually seen in a baggy white shirt and black pants. He doesn’t care what watch he wears or what pen he uses.

“Being able to afford the basic things in life is all you need” is Ambani’s view.

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