Mukesh Ambani dropped out of Stanford University, but it didn’t stop him from becoming Asia’s richest person and ranking among the world’s wealthiest billionaires.

Reliance Industries, a worldwide corporation dealing in energy, petrochemicals, retail, natural resources, textiles, and telecommunications, is chaired and managed by an Indian entrepreneur.

Ambani, who is now rated the fifth richest person in the world by Forbes, has more than quadrupled his wealth in the last decade.

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Best lessons from Mukesh Ambani

Education is not always essential:

Dhirubhai Ambani, Ambani’s father, founded a tiny textile manufacturing firm in 1966, laying the groundwork for what would later become Reliance Industries.

Ambani dropped out of his Stanford MBA programme in 1980 to assist his father with the booming firm, and fast development saw Dhirubhai approach his son more like a business partner.

Following the death of the founder in 2002, the firm was divided in two (for Ambani and his brother Anil) since Dhirubhai had not left a will directing the disposal of his empire. However, it was not an easy transition, as it was marred by feuds and court fights. In 2005, the siblings ultimately divided their late father’s business.

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For over two decades, Ambani has guided Reliance Industries from a tiny corporation to a national powerhouse.

Success knows no bounds:

Some of the company’s successes include announcing India’s largest gas discovery in nearly 30 years in 2002, launching the Reliance Fresh franchise (a subsidiary of Reliance Industries) – which had close to 600 stores across the country in less than two years – and partnering with BP in the oil and gas business.

As India’s potential to become a great digital nation grows, Reliance Industries’ subsidiary Jio has lately formed relationships with major companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Facebook.

“I can easily claim that the mobile networks in India are now better or on par with everyone else in the world – that’s a huge difference,” Ambani said at the Future Decoded CEO Summit in Mumbai.

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With annual revenue of US$92 billion (for 2020), it cements Reliance Industries’ bid to become India’s most valued corporation.

Value your people over your bottom line:

Ambani commended Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella for his nurturing leadership qualities earlier this year at the Future Decoded CEO Summit.

“If in your leadership style, what you demonstrate (is) empathy, reliance on partnerships and building trust and relationships, and thinking about every mistake as a learning opportunity, and believing that it’s not products or profit but really people and their continuous reinvention of capability, that’s the strength of the organisation,” Ambani explained.

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Anything is achievable:

In 2013, Ambani dedicated an NDTV award honouring the 25 Greatest Global Living Legends to his late father.

“He founded Reliance with 1000 rupees and demonstrated that an average Indian can develop a world-class firm in his lifetime,” the CEO added.

Aim high:

During his acceptance speech for NDTV’s 25 Greatest Global Living Legends in 2013, Ambani provided some words of advice for the world’s future leaders.

“To the youth, dream big,” he said. “Align your passion and purpose in life with a goal.”

“If you focus on the goal, you will overcome all obstacles.” You will never achieve your objective if you focus on the hurdles.

“Even more essential is to strive for greatness – to be the best.” Not only are they the greatest in India, but they are also the best around the globe. “Seek perfection, and success will find you.”