Mukesh Ambani, India's Steve Jobs?

Mukesh Ambani, India's Steve Jobs?

Summary: Revolutionary mobile network and now wireless broadband with a cheap tablet, when it comes to knowing what the consumer wants and delivering a good product, Mukesh Ambani is on the right path.


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.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Networking, Tablets, Telcos

Manan Kakkar

About Manan Kakkar

Telecommunication engineer with a keen interest in end-user technology and a News junkie, I share my thoughts while preparing for my Master's in Information Management.

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  • RE: Mukesh Ambani, Indiaâ??s Steve Jobs?

    Does he know the diff. Between wifi and hifi ? :)
  • comparing mukesh ambani to Jobs is like comparing an idiot to a genius

    comparing mukesh ambani to Steve Jobs is like comparing an idiot to a genius. His brainchild reliance infocomm was not a pathbreaking product, it was just launching a CDMA network in India for the 1st time. Nothing revolutionary, like a iMac, IPhone or Ipad. Again what he's planning to do with wireless broadband is nothing great, it's just taking a product to the masses. We know what Reliance infocomm offered, cheap fones, cheap calling rates. In that sense, it was revolutionary in India, where we people are fed relentlessly about what called "Pathbreaking", "revolutionary". Now, we just smirk at these kind of articles.
    • RE: Mukesh Ambani, Indias Steve Jobs?

      @pradyumna_atwork just a small tiny fyi, Apple is not a one-man show run by Steve Jobs.
      Manan Kakkar
  • RE: Mukesh Ambani, Indias Steve Jobs?

    "Probably not not as charismatic?" Did you even bother reading your post before publishing it? And this is Internet. Stop talking about 10 days old story. Wake up Manan. It's 2011. Happy New Year.
    • RE: Mukesh Ambani, Indias Steve Jobs?

      @n3m3m1s "And this is Internet." --> "And this is the Internet."<br><br>
      "Stop talking about 10 days old story." --> "Stop talking about a 10 day old story."

      *passes some coffee*

      Welcome to the t3h Intarwebs.
    • RE: Mukesh Ambani, Indias Steve Jobs?

      @n3m3m1s "And this is Internet." --> "And this is the Internet."

      *passes some coffee*
  • RE: Mukesh Ambani, Indias Steve Jobs?

    very silly post ! mukesh is definitely a stalwart in different sphere ! no comparision with respect to innovation !
  • RE: Mukesh Ambani, Indias Steve Jobs?

    He is just a copycat and Steve Jobs wannabe
  • Tsk tsk.

    "Steve Jobs wannabe"? "Idiot to a genius"?
    Do a wee bit of more research before you guys start bitc*ing.
    and just for fun,

    Who's Stevie, again?
  • its not about innovation of product

    What Mukesh Ambani is doing is not about product innovation but about combining known technologies and bringing out service to mass. Indian market is too big and have its own challenges. Driving through such challenges and reaching out to such large diverse market is real innovation.
  • RE: Mukesh Ambani, India?s Steve Jobs?

    It's a totally different ball game,
    Stop comparing...

    Mukesh got a readymade platform and is just doubling it...
    ask him to start from gound zero with a single penny and then establish empire.
  • RE: Mukesh Ambani, India?s Steve Jobs?

    Steve's speciality is making innovative (and expensive) toys for rich boys and fanbois.

    Mukesh, on the other hand, is a mass-market mogul, who commoditizes technology and takes it to the bottom of the pyramid.

    Both are kings of their own domain, both require totally different skills and mindsets, and both are different stages of the product/technology lifecycle.

    Which one is harder to do? That's an impossible question to answer. What Steve did, Mukesh can't do. And equally, what Mukesh does, Steve can't.

    End of debate.
  • Technology is king, huh?

    I'm always amused at the way the techheads look at the world. Commenters on this site are always quick to tout the technical superiority of products while ignoring the user experiences that they offer (which is what drives most peoples decisions). From this vantage point, we can't understand why the entire world isn't running Linux or BSD with Android phones on their hips.

    We also treat savvy business people as buffons because they didn't actually invent the technology they market. No, no--the iPhone, the Wii, and Kinect aren't revolutionary products because they weren't *original*...somebody else made those things first. I guess we're still wondering why VHS beat was clearly inferior.

    Heck, I wish the real Steve Jobs could hit a $177 price point for his tablet.
    • RE: Mukesh Ambani, India?s Steve Jobs?

      @the.ksmm:<br><br>Excellent point! Mukesh may or may not know wifi from hifi, but I bet Steve doesn't know anything about selling to the bottom of the pyramid.<br><br>I work for a tech company, but don't consider myself a tech-head. So that explains why I prefer Outlook to Notes, and Windows to Linux! Can you even imagine a Linux phone????!!!
  • RE: Mukesh Ambani, India?s Steve Jobs?

    Steve Jobs / Apple take technology already available on the market and modify it to suit their target audience, i.e. high spenders.

    Ambani is doing exactly the same. Except that he is targetting the lowest common denominator.

    Both make ridiculous profits. One from item sales, the other from volume sales.