Don’t write off the ‘India Story’ yet. A billion dreams of a billion people will ensure that the country stays on the high-growth trajectory. This is no pep talk, but the burning conviction of India’s wealthiest person whose father epitomized the audacity of aspiration and enterprise.
“I am very bullish on India because it is really the aspiration of a billion people and ours is a county where all the billion count,” Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
“There are some countries in the world where one person counts, there are some where the Politburo or 12 people count,” he underlined. “The Treaty of India is that all our billion people count and they have aspirations,” Ambani, Asia’s second richest man with net worth of over $21 billion, said in an oracular tone.
Defying the gloom-and-doom predictions of India’s growth hitting a new low, Ambani is banking his hopes on the “bottom-up approach” of India. “India has had some slow growth but I am really very optimistic on India,” said Ambani. “India is really a bottom-up story. It’s not a top-down story,” said Ambani.
“We are on long-term growth trajectory and this is just not growth in terms of GDP numbers, this is really for well being of each and every Indian and that’s the aspiration.”
Ambani invoked his father, the legendary Dhirubhai Ambani who started with $100 and built a multi-billion dollar business empire, to underscore the limitless boundary of human aspirations.
“…when I joined Reliance in 1980, the market value of RIL was USD 30-40 million and in 30 years, the opportunities that were provided by this country has enabled us to create wealth for India,” he said.
“My father was a big believer that any business that has the sole purpose of making money is not worthwhile. Business must serve a larger societal purposes. RIL raised all its money from the capital markets and from the individual small shareholders. So, we have created a million millionaires just by investing in RIL out of the ordinary Indians and that is the process of creating wealth for the country,” Ambani said.
“And that is the process of creating wealth for the country. Once you create opportunity, wealth comes,” he said.
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