Sam Walton’s mantra for success was simple – keep family central, but delegate management and control.
Mukesh Ambani, whose current net worth is over $94 billion, seems to be prepping to plan the next stage of $208-billion business following the iconic Walmart Inc. founder’s ‘success through succession’ model. On those lines, the children are key.
While Ambani, 64, has not made any official statement about stepping away from his responsibilities, it is evident that he is looking to chart a succession plan.
Ambani’s son Akash and daughter Isha were appointed as directors on the boards of RIL’s telecom and retail businesses in 2014. His youngest son, Anant, is the director at Jio Platforms Ltd.
As per the company filings, the Ambani family’s current stake in Reliance Industries has risen to 50.6 per cent from 47.27 per cent in March 2019.
Ambani Civil War
Dhirubhai Ambani had founded Reliance in 1973. However, the company was hit by uncertainty in 2002, following Dhirubhai’s death, which sparked an ugly battle between the Ambani brothers – Anil and Mukesh.
While Anil took over Telecom, Entertainment, asset management and power generation, Mukesh retained control over the company’s legacy oil businesses.
The Walton Family
The Waltons are the world’s richest business family that owns Walmart Inc. Sam Walton, its founder, started preparing the succession plan of Walmart four decades before his death.
He delegated 80 per cent of the business to his four children – Alice, Jim, Robson and John, which saved the empire from crumbling.
Today, the Walton family owns 47 per cent of Walmart through Walton Enterprises and other Walton trusts.
Around 220 million customers and members visit around 10,500 stores under 48 banners in 24 countries and websites every week. For the financial year 2021, Walmart generated a revenue of $559 billion. It employs over 2.3 million associates across the globe.
As per a Bloomberg report, Reliance may become a hoarding company for three underlying businesses – energy, retail and digital. These companies are likely to be listed separately. However, Isha, Anant, and Aakash Ambani will share the same level of shares under the listed entities to avoid any uncertainty and family conflicts over control of the business.