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How Anil Ambani's Net Worth Crumbled to Almost Zero

Anil Ambani

Who exactly is Anil Ambani and why is there so much buzz on the internet about his net worth? According to him, the more accurate question involves his lack of net worth. However, a number of sources are beginning to ask questions about whether or not his net worth went from billions of dollars to almost nothing practically overnight and if so, how did it happen?

Who is Anil Ambani?

For years, he has been a leading Indian businessman, even to the point where some people would call him a business tycoon. This father of two attended college and received a degree in business in the 1980s and since the early 2000s, he has been the chairman of a company called Reliance Group. The company itself is confusing enough. As opposed to being a single company, Reliance Group is a conglomerate of services that runs the gamut. Think of it more as an umbrella with a fancy name than an actual company. In fact, there are approximately eight other companies that operate independently underneath the umbrella of Reliance Group. These companies provide virtually every type of service in the Indian government, including transportation, defense, aviation, entertainment, healthcare, electrical power, construction and legal services.

Inheriting a Fortune

While many people credit Ambani as being the ideal business man who is capable of striking deals and making tons of money, it is important to remember that he largely inherited his entire fortune from his father when he died in 2002. Everything that was being operated underneath Reliance Group was created or maintained by his father. Upon his death, the business was supposed to go to both Ambani brothers, with the intention for them to operate it together. As such, Anil Ambani himself hasn't really proven that he can create massive business deals on his own. While that certainly isn't a strike against him, it is just one more question that leads into so many others about how he managed to lose his net worth, as he claims.

Problems in the Family

It's no secret that problems existed between him and his brother almost immediately upon his father's death. It would be a fair assumption to say that the two had very different ideas of where this conglomerate of companies should go. Eventually, things became so tense between the two brothers that their mother ended up stepping in and using her own legal power to divide the companies between the two. That way, each brother could operate the companies they were personally responsible for in whatever way they chose to do so. This may not seem important now, but it will become very important within the next few paragraphs.

Losing His Net Worth

Ambani has been recorded as one of the top 10 richest individuals in the world, coming in at number six to be exact. According to him, he went from this status to being bankrupt in a matter of months. He claims that it is because one of his companies, Reliance Communications, became insolvent after being sued by three separate banks for over seven hundred million dollars. Why was his company sued? Court records show that it comes down to him taking out a massive loan and then defaulting on it. As a result, he was forced into court to try and explain himself, more than once as it turns out. Aside from this issue, many individuals within the Indian court system have claimed that his story doesn't add up. Some claim that it isn't even the same story that he gave the first time around.

Not Everything Is as It Seems

There does seem to be some evidence that he may potentially be worth a lot more money than he's letting on. Although he claims that his net worth is now almost zero, he still has an entire fleet of luxury automobiles, not to mention a yacht worth 56 million dollars. Court officials have even started to question whether or not he is potentially holding money in Indian banks under his brother's name. One thing is certain, Ambani is not talking. It seems that his brother is not speaking out about the matter, either.

Possible Political Connections

How is it possible for someone to be worth so much money and yet claim that they're worth almost nothing on paper? How is it possible to suddenly transfer money to someone that the individual in question seemingly couldn't get along with until these problems cropped up? It all comes down to a potential connection with high-end politics throughout India. Is this potentially the reason that Ambani has been allowed to transfer money from one bank account to another without so much as a paper trail to prove that anything ever existed? Of course, it's all pure speculation at this point. Unfortunately, laws surrounding finances and bankruptcy in India are in their infancy. The end result is that it is sometimes possible for people to get away with things but they probably shouldn't have been doing in the first place. Of course, this is not always the case. However, the many stories that Ambani has told in the court system has raised a number of questions.

Does this necessarily mean that Anil Ambani has been involved in some rather nefarious business deals that may not necessarily be completely legitimate? No, it doesn't. It seems that there isn't enough evidence to clearly state anything one way or the other. For now, Ambani is sticking to his story that he doesn't have enough money to pay the courts or to pay back the loan, despite the fact that he still has a number of companies which are making money and literally millions of dollars worth of assets. As of yet, it remains unknown how the story will eventually play out.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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