The Polyester Prince-The Real Story of Dhirubhai Ambani(Banned in India)
Posted by Admin on August 12, 2011
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Dheerubhai Ambani, the most popular name of modern Indian business, is still in the minds of Indians despite his physical demise. Hamish MC Donald has made a critical interpretation of Ambani’s transition of normal man into a Business Tycoon who allegedly influenced mainstream politicians for the commercial benefits of his business unethically. This book was written in 1998 and has been banned in India due to the heavy pressure from Ambanis.You can find this books at bombay streets for nominal cost which are smuggled. Maniratnam has been inspired by this book for making of “GURU” with Abishek Abhachan . Mani Ratnam also depicted numerous scenes from the source of this book. This book also highlighted the rivalry between Dheerubhai Ambani and Nusli Wadia(grandson of Mahamad Ali Khan Jinna) who were allegedly tried to assassinate each other. Their rivalry remained as a black spot of Indian corporate history. In the film Guru, Mithun Chakravarthy played Ramanth goenka role while Madhavan played Journalist Guru Murthi role. Interesting aspect is Guru Murthy was hugely suffered by Ambani on the various charges and even jailed unlike the ‘GURU” movie description where Abishak Bachan didn’t touch Madhavan. Mani Ratnam must have been pampered by Ambanis. Though this book is mandatory for the people who aspiring a career in corporate sector and entrepreneurship,but special kind of fiction has been added by author to sensationalize the book and his name. Readers should be very cautious while reading the book and to make conclusions on Dheerubhai’s character.
The Polyester Prince is a balanced book on India’s own robber baron. Mr. McDonald pays tribute to Gujarati traders/ Banias in the first few chapters by acknowledging their exuberance of speech, inventiveness, and commercial drive. Dhirubhai first displayed his diplomatic and negotiating skills during the Junagadh freedom struggle. At Yemen, he exploits the fact that silver content in rial was higher than the pound. There he also learned the fundamentals of business by taking position in rice, sugar, and other commodities. At India, Dhirubhai progressed to trading in REP licenses and later textile manufacturing. One of Dhirubhai’s greatest attributes was that he networked and lobbied furiously. He cultivated several journalists, politicians, and bureaucrats including Girilal Jain, Murli Deora, Yashpal Kapur, T.A. Pai, R.K. Dhawan, P.C. Sethi, Pramod Mahajan, and Pranab Mukherjee. Several policies such as the High Unit Value Scheme were introduced for the sole benefit of Reliance and tariffs mostly for the detriment of competitors like Kapal Mehra (Orkay Silk Mills) and Nusli Wadia (Bombay Dyeing). Reliance was the first to recognize the most important external environment- Government of India. Dhirubhai used the government to destroy Indian Express and Bombay Dyeing. Wadia, Mehra and the journalist Gurumurthy were arrested on fake charges. He is alleged to have tried to get Wadia assassinated through Kirti Ambani and contract killers. Reliance also resorted to envelope journalism and later buying out a newspaper to unfairly cast DMT as inferior to PTA. Dhirubhai is rightly called father of Indian equity cult as he patronized convertible debentures. One out of every four investors in India is a Reliance shareholder. The Ambanis used loopholes, shell investment companies/ tax havens in Isle of Man, duplicate shares, insider trading, and financial engineering tricks to ensure that Reliance was the largest zero-tax company and a pure cash flow operation. Though correctly described as ruthless and daring, Mr. McDonald overlooks that Dhirubhai was an innovative financier, brand builder (Only Vimal etc.), and an industrialist way ahead of his times (vertical integration, GDR etc.).Source: Prakash Shenoys Diary