Mukesh Ambani’s Succession Plans and Why They Matter To All of us

Rammohan Susarla
4 min readDec 5, 2021

Last week, there were news reports that Asia’s richest businessperson, Mukesh Ambani ha been drawing up succession plans detailing how his immense wealth would be divided among his wife and three children. These plans, reported by several news portals indicated that Ambani plans to follow the model of inheritance of wealth in family businesses that Walmart’s Walton family is known for. Among other things, Ambani’s plans include placement of his children on the boards of the many businesses in the sprawling Reliance empire and drawing up a “clear” succession plan, leaving no room for ambiguity, as to who gets what after he retires or after he is no more. In other words, the whole idea is to ensure a “smooth” transition to the Next Gen of the Ambani clan so that there are no unseemly squabbles and internecine family fights over his wealth.

By drawing up succession plans, Mukesh Ambani, seems to have learnt his lessons from what happened after the patriarch, Dhirubhai Ambani died in estate, or without leaving a will. What followed was a very public and ugly spat between the Ambani brothers, Mukesh and Anil, over the division of assets, which ultimately needed intervention from not only their mother, Kokilaben, but also leading lights of India Inc. as well as a “nudge” from then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, to “resolve” the disputes between them in the larger interests of the business community as well as the nation. Indeed, when someone as wealthy as the Ambanis fight over the inherited wealth, broader repercussions on the economy and business of the country ensue, and hence, the reported succession plans matter to all of us as well.

If I remember correctly, there were some reports at the time of Dhirubhai Ambani’s death that spoke of the “puzzlement” of industry figures as to how a person as astute as him and someone “who could size up situations and people” died without leaving a will. Some wags even suggested that this was “deliberate” so as to not spark a more uglier battle for control, thereby preserving the wealth. Whatever be the reasons, the rather bitter spats between the Ambani brothers left their scars on India Inc. as well as the brothers themselves. Indeed, seen in this context, Mukesh Ambani’s succession plans should be welcomed by all and sundry, though the temptation for…

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Rammohan Susarla

Writer seeking metaphysical fulfillment by publishing meditations and ruminations about the world.