Probably not as charasmatic on stage but when it comes to revolutionary mobile products for India, Mukesh Ambani sure seems to be getting it right.
Reliance Industries under Mukesh Ambani redefined the Indian telecom market with their affordable CDMA-based mobile call rates, what followed was Mukesh Ambani having to relinquish rights to his telecom venture to younger brother Anil Ambani as part of a peace treaty between the two.
The battle between the brothers was fought in the media with each camp making statements. Much like Hindi cinema, their mother stepped in and arranged truce. Reliance Communications (formerly Reliance Infocom) was Mukesh Ambani’s brainchild and he had to give it up. Soon after, Mukesh Ambani invested in Infotel Broadband ensuring that he planned to stay in the telecommunications arena.
A while back there was news that Reliance was testing their 4G network and a new wireless broadband benchmark in the market is expected. According to reports, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Infotel is planning to release an affordable tablet PC. The tablet is rumored to be priced at Rs. 8,000 INR (~$177) and will run on Android.
One of the most important features of the tablet PC is the user interface and it will be interesting to see what the engineers at Reliance come up with. Reliance’s approach is reduce the price to as low as possible and sell to as many as possible. The upside is very much like the mobile phone market explosion is the remote areas of India, 4G and possibly tablet PCs will reach a wider audience.
Be born to a businessman, drop out of college to work, a big family feud after a tragedy, give up your (successful) brainchild, restart it in a new form and all set to define mobile computing in India, I’d say we have a visionary in the consumer technology space with as a good a story to tell as Steve Jobs.
PS: My analogy depends on whether the rumoured tablet is real or not, so I guess we'll have to wait and watch.