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Mukesh Ambani sole Indian on Forbes's 2017 Global Game Changers list

Reliance Industries chairman named among the world's 25 influential business leaders based on corporate growth, innovation and international presence

By Neeraj Gangal Forbes India Staff
Published: May 17, 2017

Starting out as a newswire journalist covering beats as diverse as business, politics, entertainment, crime, civic affairs, cricket and defence, I was keen to pursue a career in print or broadcast journalism. But the emerging world of multimedia storytelling promised a fascinating future, and I changed my focus to digital media more than a decade ago. Before Forbes India, I have worked for organisations such as ANI, Money Control, Arabian Business, Yahoo India and VFS Global. I hold master's degrees in Communication Studies (University of Pune, India) and Journalism (University of Westminster, London, UK).

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Mukesh Ambani
Image: Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

Mukesh Ambani, the 60-year-old chairman of the oil-to-yarn and retail conglomerate Reliance Industries has been named among the business leaders who are transforming their industries and impacting billions of lives in the process.

Forbes released on Tuesday its second annual 'Global Game Changers' list that features the 25 most influential business leaders from around the world based on corporate growth, innovation and international presence.

Ambani is the only Indian in the list that comprises business leaders from eight different countries. He was noted as a trailblazer for “bringing the internet to India's masses”.

Describing Ambani, Forbes added: "Oil and gas tycoon entered the country's telecom market with a bang, offering fast internet at dirt-cheap prices. Gained 100 million customers in six months and set off a wave of consolidation in the market.”

Earlier this year, Mukesh Ambani was the top-ranked Indian on another list by Forbes, the 'World’s Billionaires List'. With a net worth of $23.2 billion, he was placed at No. 33.

Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio), the fourth generation broadband wireless digital services arm of Reliance Industries Ltd had a customer base of 109 million subscribers on its network as of March 31, 2017. Over 72 million of these customers have migrated to Jio’s paid services.

Last year, three Indian business leaders – Rahul Bhatia, whole-time director, InterGlobe Enterprises; Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman and managing director, Serum Institute of India; and Sunny Varkey, the Dubai-based founder and chairman of GEMS Education – had made it to the inaugural edition of the Global Game Changers List.

The Forbes Global Game Changers list, though not a ranking, only considers leaders who have been running a for-profit operation with a market value of at least $1 billion that is growing and innovating better than its peers.

The listees range across industries – from Hedge Funds (John Overdeck, 47 David Siegel, 55) to Home Appliances (James Dyson, 70) – and Autos (Ziv Aviram, 58 Amnon Shashua, 56) to Office Space (Adam Neumann, 38). Snapchat creator Evan Spiegel, 26, is also a part of the list.

"These are true movers and shakers who are reshaping their industries and forever changing the way we work, travel, communicate and invest," said Forbes staff writer Lauren Gensler, who edited the Forbes Global Game Changers list. “We set out to find the most intrepid, innovative people in the business world who are thinking big and moving the needle. This year, our list features trailblazers like Slack creator Stewart Butterfield, Alibaba logistics maestro Judy Tong and renowned inventor James Dyson.”

Click here to read the full 2017 Forbes Global Game Changers list

(Reliance Industries owns Network 18, the publisher of Forbes India.)

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