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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
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A Versus A, Round B

The Ambani brothers were at each other's throats again last week. But this wasn't the last skirmish. There are many more to come yet. Updates

A Versus A, Round B
A Versus A, Round B
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

August 4, 2005. It was just 24 hours after Mukesh Ambani addressed the Reliance Industries Ltd's (RIL) shareholders for the first time since the split, announced six weeks earlier, with younger brother Anil. One asked people on both sides about the details of the process that will allow the two brothers to manage different group businesses as sketched out in the patch-up agreement inked in June 2005. Instead of answering the query, both camps pointed out adverse comments against the other in recent analysts' reports. The attitude convinced us that the rivalry between the two brothers wasn't over. In fact, the stage was simply set for future skirmishes, tussles and battles.

Despite the mid-2005 separation deal, it was clear that there were hurt egos in both camps. Too much mud had been hurled—some of it personal allegations—against the brothers and their respective aides. It won't be easy to forget and forgive. The following months provided enough evidence that this was indeed the case. And events in the past few days (see box on page 54) proved it conclusively. But if you now think that the truce announced by the brothers last week is the final one, think again. For there are several areas and issues on which the two Ambanis will clash yet again over the next few years. This fight ain't over yet.

From now on, the Ambani vs Ambani confrontations will hinge totally on an ongoing game of one-upmanship. Nothing reflects this better than the race between Mukesh and Anil to announce mega projects—not one or two, but several of them at the same time. If one goes by Ambani-speak and the information originating from the two camps, the MDA (Mukesh D. Ambani) group and the ADA (Anil D. Ambani) group will together invest an unbelievable Rs 1,80,000-2,00,000 crore over the next five years. To put it in perspective, it amounts to nearly 0.75 per cent of...

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