Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani (1932-2002) was born into the family of a schoolteacher. It was a family of modest means. When he turned 16, Dhirubhai moved to Aden, working first as a gas-station attendant, then as a clerk in an oil company.
He returned to India at 26, starting a business with a meagre capital of $375. By the time of his demise, his company - Reliance Industries Ltd - had grown to become an empire, with an estimated annual turnover of $12 billion!
Dhirubhai was, in his lifetime, conferred the Indian Entrepreneur of the 20th Century Award by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. A Times of India poll in the year 2000 also voted him one of the biggest creators of wealth in this century.
Dhirubhai's is not just the usual rags-to-riches story. He will be remembered as the one who rewrote Indian corporate history and built a truly global corporate group. He is also credited with having single-handedly breathed life into the Indian stock markets and bringing in thousands of investors to the bourses.
DON'T MISS: Billionaire College Dropouts! - Part II