If rags to riches is a cliche, Dhirubhai Ambani, the man who gave India its first global enterprise, lived a cliche-ridden life. His life was the stuff of legends, the number of his friends and enemies were legion. He stood for unabashed ambition, mastered the art of making money and getting his way, and proved dreams can come true. The sheer scale of the Reliance group's operations and its size in terms of production or sales or number of shareholders is flabbergasting. His unique contribution to Indian business? Not only creation of wealth but distributing it. Not only that Reliance owns the largest greenfield refinery or the largest paraxylene project in the world but that it honours the average shareholder. One out of every four Indian investors is a Reliance shareholder. Says business historian Gita Piramal: "He knew what it was like to be poor." His investment of Rs 2.80 lakh grew to over Rs 60,000 crore in less than four decades, and most of it in about 25 years. That's sheer magic or hard work? Dhirubhai would say both.