Under Ambani’s leadership, Reliance has grown from an oil and energy company into a sprawling conglomerate that includes retail shops, a mobile and broadband carrier, digital platforms and more.
This new milestone comes shortly after Ambani amassed more than $16.5 billion in investments in just around three months for Reliance’s digital technology arm, Jio Platforms, and despite challenges to the oil side of Reliance’s business.
The fundraising blitz and a recent share sale have made Reliance Industries debt-free, the company said in June. The company said its net debt at the end of March was 1.61 trillion rupees ($21 billion).
Shares of the conglomerate have more than doubled since a low in March and are up 17.2% since the beginning of this year to 1,752.50 rupees, or $23. While Reliance’s stock has recovered, many other companies continue to suffer from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, and India’s economy appears to be headed for a major slump.
The recent investments in Jio Platforms include more than $15 billion from the likes of Facebook and top Silicon Valley investors Silver Lake and TPG. It also received $1.2 billion from Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund and $1.5 billion from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. The deal with Saudi Arabia valued Jio at close to $68 billion.
The investments will fuel Ambani’s ambitions to make Jio Platforms into an internet giant that could rival Google or Alibaba. Facebook’s $5.7 billion bet on the company, one of the social media company’s biggest-ever deals, signaled that Ambani and Facebook are aiming to create a platform similar to Tencent’s WeChat, where users have access to messaging, mobile banking, social media and other services.