Meet the Ambanis, who live in a $1 billion skyscraper and mingle with royals and Bollywood stars

  • Mukesh Ambani is worth $111 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

  • The world's 11th-richest person is the chairman and majority owner of Reliance Industries.

  • The Ambanis live in a 27-story skyscraper in Mumbai thought to have cost $1 billion to construct.

Mukesh Ambani, the richest person in India and 11th-richest person in the world, is kicking off pre-wedding celebrations for his son Anant in Gujarat this weekend.

Mukesh Ambani is worth $111 billion per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

He's the owner and chairman of Reliance Industries, a massive conglomerate that includes telecom arm Jio Platforms, which has been thriving due to a "flurry" of  investments in recent years, per Fortune.

The Ambanis made headlines in 2018 for throwing one of the most lavish wedding celebrations ever for Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal. It included a private Beyoncé concert and celebrity guests including Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas, Hillary Clinton, and Arianna Huffington.

This week the family is staging an extravagant 3-day pre-wedding celebration for Anant, Mukesh Ambani's youngest son. Tech heavyweights such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are among the 1,200 guests attending the festivities, The Guardian reported. A performance by Rihanna is expected to kick off the first day of celebrations, per Reuters. 

The star-studded list of invitees also includes Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Samsung Electronics' executive chair, Jay Y. Lee, The Times of India reported.

The Ambani family home in Mumbai is a 27-story skyscraper that cost an estimated $1 billion to build.

Here's a look at the Ambani family's fortune, relationships, friends, and lavish lifestyles.

The Ambani family in India has been called Asia's richest family by Forbes.

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From left to right: Akash Ambani, Anant Ambani, Isha Ambani, Nita Ambani, and Mukesh Ambani.Reuters

The family patriarch, Mukesh Ambani, has an estimated net worth of $111 billion, making him the 11th-richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg.

The Indian family's massive wealth began with Dhirubhai Ambani, who founded Reliance Industries to manufacture fabrics and textiles.

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Dhirubhai Ambani pictured in 2002.Reuters

Source: BloombergFortune

Reliance Industries is now a Fortune 500 company worth $240 billion, and one of the most valuable companies in India.

reliance industries india

Source: BloombergFortune

Dhirubhai died in 2002 at age 69 without a will, leaving his company to be run by both of his sons: Mukesh and his younger brother, Anil.

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Mukesh Ambani, left, and Anil Ambani, right, carry their father's body to a crematorium in Bombay on July 7, 2002, a day after his death.Reuters

Source: Bloomberg

A bitter succession battle between the two brothers followed their father's death and resulted in a rivalrous relationship between Mukesh and Anil.

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Brothers Mukesh and Anil Ambani.Getty Images

Ultimately, Mukesh was left in charge of the majority of Reliance.

In 2005, the brothers split the company in a deal negotiated by their mother, and Mukesh was left with control of the oil, gas, petrochemicals, and refining operations of the business.

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Mukesh Ambani, left, and Anil Ambani, right, in 2015.Reuters

Anil took over construction, telecommunications, asset management, entertainment and power generation businesses.

Today, 66-year-old Mukesh Ambani is worth an estimated $111 billion as the chairman and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries.

Mukesh Ambani

Ambani surpassed Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma in July 2018 to become the richest man in Asia after a thriving year for his company.

But in early 2020, Ambani's wealth ranking dropped down slightly below Ma's.

Anil Ambani, 64, is chairman of Reliance Group but has only a fraction of his older brother's wealth.

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Bloomberg reported that 2018 saw Anil's businesses suffer from "legal and liquidity challenges."

Indian media reported in September 2018 that Anil's "cash-strapped" Reliance Communications will quit the telecom business and turn to real estate.

In early 2020, Anil told a UK court that his net worth was in fact "zero" and that he was bankrupt.

Anil is married to Tina Ambani, a former Bollywood actress ...

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Getty Images

Source: The National

... and they have two sons. Anmol Ambani works within his father's company and was named a director of Reliance Capital in 2016.

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Anmol Ambani with his parents, Anil and Tina Ambani.Getty Images

Source: Reliance Capital

Anil's younger son Anshul joined the family business as a management trainee in 2019.

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Tina and Anil Ambani with their son, Anshul.Getty Images

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Mukesh Ambani is married to Nita Ambani.

Mukesh Nita Ambani

Source: Forbes

Nita is the chair of Reliance Foundation, the company's charity organization.

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Getty Images

She's also involved with the company's sports ventures as well as marketing and branding strategy for Reliance Jio Infocomm, Reliance's mobile network operator.

Nita and Mukesh have three children, the youngest being 28-year-old Anant Ambani, who has started taking part in some of his father's company's events and meetings.

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Anant Ambani, left, with his parents, Nita and Mukesh Ambani.Associated Press

Source: Bloomberg

Then there are 32-year-old twins Isha and Akash Ambani.

Isha Ambani and Akash Ambani
Isha Ambani and Akash Ambani.Reuters

Source: Forbes

Akash is a board member at Reliance Jio. Both he and his twin sister studied at Ivy League universities in the US, Akash at Brown University ...

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Getty Images

Source: Forbes

Akash is married to his high school sweetheart, Shloka Mehta, the daughter of a well-known diamond merchant. Mehta reportedly studied at Princeton University and the London School of Economics.

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Akash Ambani and fiancee Shloka Mehta at their pre-engagement party in Mumbai in June 2018.Getty Images

Source: Forbes, South China Morning Post

They were married in Mumbai in March 2019. Google CEO Sundar Pichai, former British prime minister Tony Blair, and actress Priyanka Chopra were reportedly among the guests.

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Akash Ambani and Shloka Mehta at their wedding.Milind Shelte/The India Today Group via Getty Images

Source: Forbes, India Today, Straits Times

Akash's twin sister, Isha, is on the board of India's largest retailer, Reliance Retail, and is a co-director for the telecoms arm Jio.

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Isha Ambani at an event in New York City in May 2017.Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

She previously spent a stint working at management consulting firm McKinsey in New York.

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Getty Images

Source: India Times

Isha married Anand Piramal, now 34, heir to a real estate and pharmaceutical business, in December 2018, following several lavish pre-wedding events.

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Isha Ambani and her husband Anand Piramal at their wedding reception in Mumbai, India, December 14, 2018.Reuters

Source: Business Insider

Other pre-wedding festivities were held in the western Indian city of Udaipur.

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A view of the illuminated City Palace in Udaipur, one of the venues for the pre-wedding celebrations of Isha Ambani.Reuters

Source: Business Insider

These celebrations included a private concert by Beyoncé, who reportedly sang "Crazy in Love," "Naughty Girl," and "Perfect" at the Oberoi Udaivilas hotel in Udaipur.

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Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood

Source: Business Insider

The wedding ceremony itself was held at the Ambani family home in Mumbai.

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Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani with Isha Ambani and her new husband at their wedding reception in Mumbai.Reuters

Source: Business Insider

An estimated 600 guests attended the extravagant wedding, which cost an estimated $100 million by some reports. A Reliance spokesman, however, said it cost no more than $15 million.

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The marriage procession of Isha Ambani seen outside the Ambani home in Mumbai on December 12, 2018.Getty Images

Source: Forbes

Vintage cars carried guests during the wedding procession.

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Getty Images

Brothers Akash and Anant rode in on horseback.

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Getty Images

The celebration included dance performances and sightings of many high-profile guests ...

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Artists perform at the wedding celebration of Isha Ambani in Mumbai.Getty Images

... including former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with her longtime aide, Huma Abedin ...

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Associated Press

... actor Priyanka Chopra and her husband, Nick Jonas ...

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... and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan.

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Shah Rukh Khan arrives at the wedding of Isha Ambani.SUJIT JAISWAL/AFP/Getty Images

The wedding venue was the Ambani family home in Mumbai: a 27-story luxury skyscraper that cost an estimated $1 billion to build. It's called Antilia after a mythical Atlantic island.

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Antilia decorated and lit up for the wedding of Isha Ambani.Reuters

Source: Business Insider

Antilia includes swimming pools, ballrooms, a garden that spans three floors, six floors of parking, three helipads, and it can withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake. A staff of 600 people runs the home.

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Antilia decorated and lit up for the wedding of Isha Ambani.Reuters

SourceBusiness Insider

It's estimated to be one of the world's most expensive properties, second to Buckingham Palace. In this photo, trees surrounding the skyscraper are decorated for Isha's wedding.

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Antilia decorated and lit up for the wedding of Isha Ambani.Reuters

SourceBusiness Insider

Isha reportedly moved out of the family home following her wedding.

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Antilia decorated and lit up for the wedding of Isha Ambani.Reuters

Source: Reuters

She and her new husband moved into a bungalow in Mumbai called Gulita.

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Gulita seen in Mumbai, India, on December 7, 2018.Reuters

Source: Reuters

The Ambani family has long mingled with high-profile global figures, including Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall ...

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From left: actress Kajol, Nita Ambani, Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, Mukesh Ambani, and actor Ajay Devgan stand together before a dinner to support the work of British Asian Trust in Mumbai in 2013.Reuters

... former British Prime Minister David Cameron ...

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Mukesh Ambani and David Cameron at a reception for Indian and British businessmen and women in Mumbai in 2013.Getty Images

... Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ...

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Mukesh Ambani shakes hands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 'Make In India' week in Mumbai in 2016.Reuters

... former US president Barack Obama ...

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Anil Ambani, General Electric Co. Chairman Jeffrey Immelt and US President Barack Obama talk during Obama's meeting with entrepreneurs in Mumbai in November 2010.Reuters

... and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The Clintons and the Ambanis have reportedly known each other for nearly 20 years.

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Hillary Clinton and Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai in 2009.Reuters

Source: The Guardian

Ambani's fortune grew by $16.1 billion in 2019, with his net worth reaching about $60 billion in January 2020.

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Himanshu Bhatt/NurPhoto via Getty Images

But most of that was wiped out in the first four months of 2020, per Bloomberg's Billionaires Index, due to massive fluctuations in the stock market because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But Ambani's companies have since rebounded after a "flurry" investments, particularly in the telecom arm, Jio Platforms.

Jio has grown to become one of India's biggest mobile carriers, with 388 million subscribers, according to Forbes.

reliance jio

Source: Forbes

In April 2020, Facebook announced it was investing $5.7 billion in Jio, making Mark Zuckerberg's social media giant the largest minority shareholder in Ambani's telecom service.

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A sales person displays a JioPhone on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India.Reuters

"This investment underscores our commitment to India, and our excitement for the dramatic transformation that Jio has spurred in the country," Facebook said in a statement. "In less than four years, Jio has brought more than 388 million people online, fueling the creation of innovative new enterprises and connecting people in new ways."

In July 2020, Jio Platforms launched JioMeet, a video conferencing service that is seen as a rival to Zoom and Google Meet.

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JioMeet offers unlimited free group calls with up to 100 participants, and unlike Zoom, it doesn't impose a short time limit on free calls, per TechCrunch. A free call can last for up to 24 hours.

The company did not say whether JioMeet would be available for users outside of India.

In June 2020, Ambani became the first Asian man to break into the ranks of the world's 10 richest people, Fortune reported.

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Ambani in January 2019.REUTERS/Amit Dave

The next-richest Asian is Chinese businessman Pony Ma, who's worth $52 billion.

Mukesh Ambani's three children are involved in the family business in some capacity, but Ambani's succession plan for the company is "unclear," according to Bloomberg. Only time will tell who will take over the $100 billion company.

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From left to right: Akash Ambani, Anant Ambani, and Isha Ambani.Reuters

Source: Bloomberg

Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant are set to marry in July 2024 after they got engaged in a Gol Dhana ceremony in Mumbai last January

Anant Ambani wearing a black jacket and Radhika Merchant wearing a light blue sari
Anant Ambani and Radhika MerchantGetty Images

Rihanna is expected to perform at the pre-wedding celebration in Gujarat on March 1

Anant Ambani (R), son of Indian businessman Mukesh Dhirubhai Amani, and Radhika Merchant pose for pictures during the inauguration of the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) at the Jio World Centre (JWC) in Mumbai.
Radhika Merchant and Anant Ambani, a son of Mukesh Ambani. Mukesh Ambani is Asia's richest man.SUJIT JAISWAL/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Reuters

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