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Indian Billionaires who Transformed Indian Economy & Society – The Fabulous five

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Indian Billionaires who Transformed Indian Economy & Society – The Fabulous five

August 05
13:56 2021
Indian Billionaires who Transformed Indian Economy & Society - The Fabulous five
How these visionary businessmen played their part in making ‘Incredible India’

Reliance Group: Anil Ambani

Anil Ambani is an Indian businessman and entrepreneur who was born on 4 June 1959, in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Anil is the son of An Indian Business Tycoon ‘Dhirubhai Ambani,’ and ‘Kokilaben Ambani.’ He has a brother named ‘Mukesh Ambani,’ who is a chairman and founder at Reliance Industries Limited, and two sisters named ‘Nina Kothari’ (Industrialist), and ‘Deepti Salgonkar.’

Anil Ambani joined the Reliance Industry in 1983 as a co-CEO, which was established by his father. Among the most successful businessmen in India, who were mostly college dropouts, Anil Ambani was a well-educated businessman, who had done a Master’s in Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

Anil Ambani, is the Chairman of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group which was created in July 2006 following a demerger from Reliance Industries Limited with a net worth of US $ 12.5 billion. He was voted the 3rd most powerful person in India in 2009 (March) India Today Power List. He leads several stocks listed corporations including Reliance Capital, Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Power, and Reliance Communications.

Awards & Achievements

He has a long list of awards, laurels, and recognitions. Anil Ambani has been constantly grabbing headlines almost every day due to his activities or achievements. It was due to his effort that India’s largest IPO was subscribed in less than 60 seconds which is indeed a world record! He made this event memorable in the history of India. Anil is also one of the board of directors of the Reliance group. Partnering in various ventures, he has his businesses of infrastructure, defence, media and financial services. The Times of India voted his great business skills by the title of the “Businessman of the year.”

He is also known for some developments in the Indian financial market, which included achievements like leading India to the foreign capital market with international public offerings of global depositary receipts, convertibles, and bonds. Under the leadership of Anil Ambani, Reliance Industries raised $2 Billion from the international financial market.

In 2004, he was adjudged as the CEO of the year at the Platts Global Energy Awards. Not only is he a well-known personality in the corporate world, but he’s also equally famous among the youth as well, which is evident from, him being voted the “MTV Youth Icon of the Year” for the year 2003.

Recognising Social Responsibility

Anil Ambani works for the transformation of Indian society. India is a nation of a billion dreams, a billion aspirations, and above all great opportunities. To turn these dreams into reality, especially for the vulnerable sections of society, Reliance Foundation has taken the path of inclusive development to address their basic needs. Reliance spends Rs 1,140 crores under CSR initiatives. Reliance Foundation has cumulatively touched the lives of 51 million people in over 44,700 villages and various urban locations. The initiatives focus on seven areas: Rural Transformation, Health, Education, Sports for Development, Disaster Response, Arts, Culture and Heritage, and Urban Renewal.

Lanco: L. Madhusudhan Rao

Lagadapati Madhusudhan Rao is an Indian businessman and the Executive Chairman of Lanco Infratech. Born in Guntur in Andhra Pradesh in 1966, Madhusudhan Rao completed a BE from V.R Siddhartha Engineering College, Vijayawada, and an ME in design engineering from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore. He went on to earn another MS degree in industrial engineering from Wayne State University, Detroit, USA.

He had a brief stint in various aspects of Quality Management at Wagner Corporation in the United States. On his return, Madhusudhan Rao joined the team in building up Lanco Industries Limited near Tirupati, in Andhra Pradesh. He became the Managing Director of the company in 1992. He became the Executive Chairman of Lanco Infratech Limited in 2002.

Under his leadership, Lanco Infratech has emerged as one of India’s fastest-growing business conglomerates playing a key role in consolidating the Indian economy. According to Forbes magazine, he stands at No. 29 among the richest persons in India with a net worth of $2.3 billion in 2009. According to The Indian wire, he is the richest person in Hyderabad.

Contributing in Social Welfare

Madhusudhan Rao’s Lanco Infratech is playing a healthy part in the welfare of Indian society. Lanco is deeply committed to fulfilling its responsibility as a corporate citizen. It believes in proactively involving communities and those deprived of fruits of development to be equal stakeholders in growth and development in locations that are close to its operations.

Lanco Infratech Limited, a member of the UN Global Compact, is well recognized for its good corporate governance and CSR initiatives. Its CSR initiatives are led by the Lanco Foundation, the CSR arm of the Lanco Infratech, established in 2000 under the Indian Trust Act. The Foundation has been spearheading welfare and development activities in the fields of: Education, Health, Safe Drinking Water, Empowerment of the Physically Challenged, and Neighbourhood Community Development across 13 locations in 11 states of India.

Binani Group: Braj Bhushan Binani:

Braj Bhushandas Binani was born in a family with a heritage of entrepreneurs. With his visionary leadership and incredible business acumen, he took his family business to new heights of success contributing significantly in the Indian economy.

The Binani’s made a humble beginning in the metals business in 1872, when Seth Pragdas Binani, a trader in metal utensils started an enterprise with his son Seth Mathuradas to import and export metals. This enterprise grew stronger and bigger and Seth Govardhandas Binani took a bold step to move from trading to manufacturing. The genius he was, Binani Industries entered the global market in the early 1950s.

Continuing the legacy, visionary leadership, and business acumen; Braj Binani, the son of Ghanshyam Binani put the Binani business on a fast track. With Braj Binani as its Chairman, the company truly began to aggressively explore new horizons and grow very rapidly.

The group now known as the Braj Binani Group was restructured between 1996 and 2004, and Binani Industries Limited (BIL) was founded to serve as the holding company of the group. New businesses were added and Braj Binani Group. Diversified with 5 key businesses areas – Cement, Fibreglass, Infrastructure Construction, and Energy production.

The Braj Binani Group is still driven by the same ambition to succeed and the need for continual improvement that transformed Binani’s metal trading house into one of India’s top-notch business conglomerates. After establishing its manufacturing footprint in India, Europe, China, and Dubai, the Braj Binani Group is now envisioning to explore newer global horizons, setting its sights on emerging markets, such as South Africa, East Africa, and Mauritius as well as more established markets in Eastern Europe..

Serving Society

The Braj Binani Group has a strategic approach to improving the quality of life of the people living in the society around us and forms a part of its core business activities. The company had launched several initiatives to support various social development activities as a part of the group’s commitment toward inclusive growth. Ghanshyam Binani Foundation & Padma Binani Foundation, a not-for-profit, charitable organization that has touched innumerable lives and created a difference in society. The focus areas of the foundation are education, health, and livelihood. Padma Binani Foundation is a government-recognized non-governmental organization located in India that addresses issues such as Children’s welfare and education, Adult literacy, Cultural preservation, and revival of traditions. The Braj Binani Group and various foundations ran schools & colleges as part of its CSR activity touching numerous underprivileged children, helping them to achieve their goal of higher education. Binani Groups various charitable institutions also run “spiritual dwellings” serving the poor in most of the religious cities in northern India, famous for its temples.

Amtek: Arvind Dham

The son of an irrigation official for Haryana state, Dham, 59, grew up in Jalandhar, 235 miles from New Delhi. After getting an engineering degree at a university in Chandigarh, the state capital, he left for the U.S. in 1981 for a graduate program in architecture at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Budding architects were poorly paid, so Dham followed up with a course in construction management at the University of Florida.

Arvind Dham joined the family business of construction, in 1985. But, despite his professional education as an architect, Dham’s heart was not in construction. That was also when the government was opening up the automobile industry to the private sector and new entrants such as Maruti Suzuki were hunting for young entrepreneurs to develop a supplier base for the Maruti 800, its new compact car. Dham, just 24 then, saw an opportunity in the sunrise sector and bagged the contract to manufacture connecting rods under the flagship Amtek Auto.

That love affair with the automotive industry took him on a fairy-tale journey to manufacture engine rods, flywheel ring gears, and transmission forks for companies such as Tata Motors, Fiat, and Ford India until 2001/02 when the domestic business fell short of his ambitions. Dham set his sights overseas with an acquisition binge that began 15 years ago, but intensified between 2005 and 2014, resulting in a total of 22 acquisitions in areas such as iron casting, metal forging, and machining. German Neumayer Tekfor and Kuepper Group (the two generate revenue of approximately $1 billion) and the forging and metal businesses of Japanese Asahi Tec were among the largest acquisitions.


The Amtek Group, headquartered in India, is one of the largest integrated component manufacturers in India with a strong global presence. Under the leadership of Arvind Dham; Amtek became the world’s largest player with a 20 percent market share in turbocharger housing and 15 percent in-ring gears. With his business acumen; he added marquee clients such as BMW which was a huge boost for the Indian economy.

Presently, Arvind Dham occupies the position of Non-Executive Chairman at Amtek Auto Ltd. and Managing Director & Director at Symbios Personnel Advices & Services Ltd. Mr. Dham is also on the board of 13 other companies.

Ruchi Soya: Dinesh Shahra

Ruchi Soya is India’s largest manufacturers of edible oil in India. Dinesh Shahra is the Founder & Managing Director of Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd. who is known in the industry for his strategic business understanding and maverick leadership. Dinesh Shahra built his dream – Ruchi Soya Industries, from a small Indore office in 1986 after completing his B.E. in Chemical Engineering and went on to become India’s largest marketer of edible oils, soya, vanaspati, and bakery fat. He was instrumental in setting up one of the country’s first Soya processing plants. Ruchi Soya Industry stands on the strong pillars of Nutrela, Ruchi Gold, and Ruchi Star brands along with 24 plants spread across India extracting 3.72 Million Ton Per Annum (MTPA) edible oil.


Mr. Dinesh Shahra, Managing Director of the US$1.1bn Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd., is quintessentially the doyen of the Indian vegetable oil Industry. Shahra’s optimistic attitude, impeccable business acumen, and habit to focus on the silver linings have built his reputation as a leader throughout the years.

Fulfilling Corporate Social Responsibility

Ruchi Soya Industries Limited (Ruchi Soya) recently conducted women’s empowerment planning workshops under their ‘Navi Disha’ initiative. The workshop was organised for the women SHGs (self-help groups) to guide them in starting their income-generating activity. 111 women from 21 SHGs from Patalganga (near Navi Mumbai) and Nagpur regions participated in the workshop.

Messiah for the society

Dinesh Shahra is truly a messiah for Indian society with the kind of work he is doing through his foundation. With the second wave of the COVID 19 outbreak affecting the country adversely, the Dinesh Shahra Foundation (DSF) has intensified its activities in the domain of spirituality, facilitating food supplies & medical assistance for needy citizens and ‘Gau Shakti Abhiyan’. (Programme for the wellbeing of cows) in various parts of the country. Recently in 2020, the DSF was conferred with an Excellence Award for philanthropic contributions by the Economic Times (Times of India group).

In a nut-shell

The above-mentioned business leaders have served the Indian economy and society well. It was their business leadership and philanthropy that played a key role in giving us the INCREDIBLE INDIA.

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