Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani, born 19 April 1957, is an Indian business magnate who is the chairman, managing director and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Limited, a Fortune Global 500 company and India's most valuable company by market value. He holds a 44.7% stake in the company. Reliance Industries Limited deals mainly in refining, petrochemicals, and in the oil and gas sectors. Reliance Retail Ltd., another subsidiary, is the largest retailer in India.
As of January 2018, Mukesh Ambani was ranked by Forbes as the 18th-wealthiest person in the world, with a net worth of $43.2 billion.
During the fiscal year ending 31 March 2012, Mukesh reportedly, decided to forgo nearly $240 million from his annual pay as chief of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). He elected to do this even as RIL's total remuneration packages to its top management personnel increased during that fiscal year. This move kept his salary capped at $150 million for the fourth year in a row.
Mukesh is married to Nita Ambani and has two sons, Anant and Akash, and a daughter, Isha. They live in a private 27-story building in Mumbai named Antilia.
Antilia is located on Altamount Road, Cumballa Hill in South Mumbai, India. It has a staff of 600 to maintain the residence 24 hours a day. Although the home has 27 floors, with its extra-high ceilings, it is of equivalent height as other buildings that have as many as 60 floors. The home was also designed to survive an earthquake rated 8 on the Richter scale. It is considered by some to be the tallest single-family house in the world. It is also listed as the 47th tallest building in Mumbai, at a height of approximately 568 ft.
As of November 2014, it was deemed to be the world's most expensive residential property, after Buckingham Palace, which is designated as a crown property. It is thus the world's most expensive private residential property, valued over $1 billion. Its controversial design and ostentatious use by a single family has made it famous across the world, with severe criticism in the architectural press and mockery in popular media.
In 2005, this property was purchased by Mukesh Ambani-controlled entity, Muffin-Antilia Commercial Private Limited from the Currimbhoy Ebrahim Khoja Trust, in direct contravention of § 51 of the Wakf Act.
The 4,532 sqm plot of land had been previously owned by the Currimbhoy Ebrahim Khoja Yateemkhana (an orphanage). This charitable institution had sold the land allocated for the purpose of education of underprivileged Khoja children to Antilia Commercial Private Limited in July 2002 for $3.1 million. The prevailing market value of the land at the time was at least US$22 million.
The Waqf minister Nawab Malik opposed this land sale, as did the revenue department of the Government of Maharashtra. Thus a stay order was issued on the sale of the land. The Waqf board also initially opposed the deal and filed a PIL in the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the trust. The Supreme Court, while dismissing the petition, asked the Waqf board to approach the Bombay High Court. However, the stay on the deal was subsequently vacated after the Waqf board withdrew its objection on receiving an amount of $24,000 from Antilia Commercial Pvt Ltd, and it issued a No Objection Certificate.
In 2007 the Allahabad government said the structure is illegal because the land's owner, the Waqf Board, had no right to sell it, as Waqf property can neither be sold nor transferred. The Union government asked the Maharashtra government to consider referring the matter to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
In regards to the three helipads, the Indian Navy said it will not allow the construction of helipads on Mumbai buildings, while the Environment Ministry, following a representation from Awaaz Foundation, said the helipads violate local noise laws. Issues have also been raised with regards to the construction of an illegal car park.
Some Indians are proud of the "ostentatious house", while others see it as "shameful in a nation where many children go hungry". Tata Group former chairman Ratan Tata said Antilia is an example of rich Indians' lack of empathy for the poor.
Photos courtesy of Jhariani, Krupasindhu Muduli, & World Economic Forum.