Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Aug 03, 2002
Corporate - Outlook
We shall reward investors in next 10-15 years: Mukesh
Mr Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance.
MUMBAI, Aug 2
FOR Mr Mukesh Ambani, return on net worth will be the lone criterion for being in any business and by this measure textiles, which today brings in business of around Rs 400 crore, may not be a thrust area in the future.
To a query on whether it was bye-bye to textiles, Mr Ambani said it would continue to be on RIL portfolio so long as it measured up to its criteria.
"Otherwise it will have to go. In the 80s we had decided that textiles in the organised sector had little space to work in and we had decided to move into related areas,'' he clarified.
Informally dressed in an off-white shirt and black trousers, Mr Mukesh Ambani took Business Line's questions with a few laughs, sitting across a business table at Reliance Centre, the flashily furnished office at Ballard Estate.
But behind the pleasant face lurked a steely resolve to be the best, probably inherited from his father, Dhirubhai Ambani. At the end of the day, money equations will drive the Reliance empire, nothing else. Everybody has to put in his best with Mr Mukesh Ambani leading, having accepted the mandate to head the empire.
"The mantle of leading Reliance is on me. In our terms it means identifying and bringing all competencies - a combination of people, operations, systems and loyalties to the cause of building Reliance.''
"If we have to grow 20 per cent annually, which we have been in the past, we will have to focus furiously on energy and infocom projects. But after a few years, it is quite possible the domestic operations may yield a 10 per cent growth and then the Reliance empire has to look outside for the remaining 10 per cent. We cannot let down our shareholders. In fact, they will have to be serviced better,'' Mr Ambani clarified.
Reliance would be looking for opportunities globally in areas where it has experience and strength. "We see scope for such opportunities globally,'' said Mr Ambani.
Mr Ambani said the coming 10-15 years would be "pay-back time'' to the investors. "We plan to refocus on distribution of wealth to the ordinary shareholders. That is the bedrock of RIL's foundation. That is our Gangotri. Dreams and visions are for all but execution makes the difference and that is going to be our endeavour,'' Mr Ambani said.
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