Dhirubhai Ambani Success Story: The Man Who Rose From Ashes

“If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs.” 

This Dhirubhai Ambani quote is so inspiring and motivational that it constantly forces us to get up and chase our dreams. Today we will talk about the most inspiring success story of the man who rose from ashes – Dhirubhai Ambani. We hope that the Dhirubhai Ambani success story will encourage you to follow your dreams and passion with utmost dedication & determination, along with the life-changing lessons from Dhirubhai Ambani.

Dhirubhai Ambani founded one of the world’s largest multinational conglomerate businesses, Reliance Industries Limited. He has unquestionably been India’s most daring corporate thinker, rising from poverty to unprecedented wealth. Despite lacking financial backing, a wealthy family, and education from prominent business institutions, Dhirubhai Ambani became one of the world’s most successful businessmen. With his unwavering determination and perseverance, he ascended to tremendous heights. 


Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani (Dhirubhai Ambani) was born in a humble household in Chorwad, Junagadh district, Gujarat, on December 28, 1932, to Hirachand Gordhanbhai Ambani and Jamnaben Ambani.

His father, Hirachand Gordhanbhai Ambani, was a rural school teacher, while his mother, Jamnaben Ambani, was a housewife.

Dhirubhai Ambani worked a part-time job after graduating from high school. His first wage, according to Aajtak, was 300 rupees. He became a business tycoon, though, by putting in extra effort and time. Dhirubhai Ambani got married to Kokila and had four children Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani, Nina Bhadrashyam Kothari, and Dipti Dattaraj Salgaocar. 

Reliance Commercial Corporation began as a polyester company in 1966. The company was renamed Reliance Industries in 1973. Later on, the business expanded to include petroleum and financial services. His two sons, Anil Ambani and Mukesh Ambani took over the company after he died. He died in Mumbai on July 6, 2002, at an age of 69 years. 

Early Career

Dhirubhai Ambani attended Bahadur Khanji School for his early education. In his youth, he took part in anti-Nawab protests in Junagarh and organized several protests against the Nawab’s aspirations to join Pakistan after independence.

In 1948, he and his brother Ramnikbhai moved to the Yemeni port of Aden to work for A. Besse and Co. He later worked at the company, selling shell and Burmah oil products. 

Mukesh, his first son, was born in Aden on April 19, 1957. Two years later, in 1959, another boy, Anil, was born.

In 1958, he left Aden to try his hand at running his own textiles business in India.

A Knack for business

At the age of 16, he relocated to Aden, Yemen, with the support of his brother. He worked at A. Besse & Co, the largest transcontinental trading firm east of Suez, as a petrol pump attendant and later as a bookkeeper. He was elevated to Supervisor because of his highly practical and resourceful intellect. He mastered skills like trade and accountancy while he was there. He came to Mumbai after saving some money to start his own business because he was ambitious and driven.

The Onset of Reliance Industries

Dhirubhai Ambani and his second cousin, Champaklal Damani, co-founded a textile venture “Majin”, which began importing yarn and exporting spices to Yemen.

Dhirubhai Ambani couldn’t afford to invest large sums of money in the beginning, so he worked as a spice dealer. Since the beginning, he has placed a premium on quality and has sold spices in large quantities with minimal profit margins.

Dhirubhai Ambani and Champaklal Damani discontinued their collaboration in 1965 because they had opposing business visions.

Ambani was a born risktaker who went on to be a renowned marketing expert. He believed in the accumulation of inventory to raise profits. In 1966, he founded the Reliance Commercial Corporation, which was later renamed Reliance Industries.

Thriving Success of Reliance

Reliance had a turnover of Rs 70 crore (Rs 700 million) in 1976-77. That would have sufficed for many. Dhirubhai, on the other hand, was just getting started.

Reliance Industries went public in 1977, raising $58,000 in equity capital from 58,000 investors, many of whom were from rural towns. Dhirubhai began heavily pushing his company’s textile brand name, Vimal, from that point forward. According to legend, the chairman of the Reliance company launched the retail stores of up to 100 franchises on a single day.

Reliance Today

According to Forbes’ annual list, India has 56 of the world’s 2,000 largest and most influential public businesses, with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd ranking at 142nd spot, with a total market value of $42.9 billion and sales of $71.7 billion. The total earnings of the corporation account for about 2.8 percent of India’s GDP. It also accounts for 8.2 percent of India’s overall exports and 8% of the country’s indirect tax income. Reliance India Limited is India’s largest exporter, accounting for almost 37% of its total revenue.

Awards and Recognition

  • Listed in Asiaweek magazine’s “Power 50-the most powerful persons in Asia” in 1996, 1998, and 2000.
  • The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, awarded him the Dean’s Medal on June 15, 1998, for creating an exemplary example of leadership. The first Indian to earn the Dean’s Medal was Dhirubhai Ambani[19].
  • Chemtech Foundation and Chemical Engineering World presented him with the “Man of the Century” award on November 8, 2000, in Mumbai, in appreciation of his extraordinary contribution to the growth and development of India’s chemical sector.
  • On August 10, 2001, Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani was bestowed with Lifetime Achievement Award by The Economic Times for Corporate Excellence in Mumbai.
  • The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry [FICCI] named Dhirubhai Ambani the “Man of the Century.”
  • On December 28, 2002, India Post issued a postal stamp picturing Dhirubhai Ambani.
  • At the Asian Business Leadership Forum Awards in October 2011, he was posthumously awarded the ABLF Global Asian Award.
  • In January 2016, the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian award, was bestowed upon him posthumously.

His Demise

In 1986, he had his first stroke, which paralyzed his body parts. He had previously given over his business to Mukesh and Anil, his sons.

He had another stroke in 2002 and was hospitalized at Breach Candy Hospital.

He made it to Forbes’ list of the world’s 138th most expensive individuals in 2002, without more ado before his death, as the world’s 138th most lavish individual with an estimated value of $2.9 billion.

Life Lessons We Can Learn From Dhirubhai Ambani

Life is unpredictable, complex and full of challenges. Dhirubhai Ambai, whose life was spent in acquiring real experience, said “challenge the negative forces with hope and you will win.” Dhirubhai Ambani success story gave us some serious lessons that not just entrepreneurs but every common man should learn and implement to succeed in life.

1. Your Background doesn’t matter

In today’s society, there is a strange belief that one should follow one’s family’s career. Dhirubhai would have been a teacher rather than a merchant if he had followed it, as his father Hirachanda Gordhanbhai was a teacher in a tiny village in the Junagadh district. Dhirubhai Ambani success story tells us that your background doesn’t matter.

2. Don’t shy away from taking risks

You will not get far if you do not take risks. Even if you have to pay for the risks, the results are well worth it. And Dhirubhai’s capacity to take risks paid him handsomely. His peers used to refer to him as “very ambitious.”

3. Degrees are not the only way to success

Degrees are frequently used to measure success; the more qualified you are, the more likely you are to succeed. Untrue! He studied until he was in the tenth grade, but he never stopped learning since he valued skills above everything else. And we don’t have to tell you what happened as a result of his faith as we are already reading about Dhirubhai Ambani success story.

4. Believe in Yourself

We never lose to other people; we always lose to ourselves, and this occurs when we place more trust in others than in ourselves. Never lose faith in what you believe is right and would benefit you. Dhirubhai Ambani always followed his convictions and believed in himself.

5. No work is beneath you

Dhirubhai Ambani success story inspires us as he never shied from working with small ventures in the beginning. He worked at a gas station and even sold chaat-pakora before becoming a business magnate. In 1960, he co-founded his first business with his cousin. The workplace was modest, with only two people operating in a 350-square-foot space with little amenities.

Like he once said –

Our dreams have to be bigger. Our ambitions are higher. Our commitment is deeper. And our efforts are greater.” 

Dhirubhai Ambani success story tells us that he had an ambition of making India a great economic superpower, and he demonstrated to the people that nothing was impossible if you are determined to do it.

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