An Indian billionaire, who once had more wealth and net worth than India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, is now bankrupt and had to sell all his jewellery just to make ends meet.
Mukesh Ambani has been India’s richest man for several years and has a net worth of over USD 91 billion (Rs 7.6 lakh crore), but his own younger brother Anil Ambani, who got half of the Reliance fortune, was once richer than him.
Mukesh Ambani’s younger brother Anil Ambani declared bankruptcy after his conglomerate firm crumbled under massive debt. However, not many people know that during his peak, he had more net worth than Mukesh and led a luxurious lifestyle.
Reliance patriarch Dhirubhai Ambani’s unexpected death drove a wedge between the relationship of brothers Mukesh and Anil Ambani, leading to a major financial dispute. The USD 15 billion dollar Reliance empire was split into two, soon leading to the exponential growth of the younger Ambani.
In 2008, six years after the death of his father, Anil Ambani became the sixth richest man in the world with a whopping net worth of USD 42 billion, much more than his brother Mukesh. The reason behind his exponential rise was through the listing of Reliance Power, making Indian stock market history as it became the biggest offering in India at the time.
However, Anil Ambani’s rise saw him embroiled in a major controversy and bad investments, which led to his eventual downfall. The billionaire invested USD 2 billion in a deal with South African company MTN, which eventually fell through leading Reliance Communications into debt.
Further, Anil Ambani's alleged involvement in financial scandals, loans from Chinese banks, and the entry of Mukesh Ambani’s Jio led to the downfall of Anil Ambani’s telecom empire.
Just in over a decade, his net worth fell from USD 42 billion to just USD 1.7 billion, with his companies having a consolidated debt of over Rs 40,000 crore. In 2020, Anil Ambani declared bankruptcy and revealed that he had to sell his family’s jewellery just to cover the legal fees.