What we have here is a man who can be rightly called as the uncrowned king of India. He is undoubtedly the most pioneering Indian that the world may have ever seen and hence Mr. Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Managing Director, Reliance Industries which happens to be India’s biggest conglomerate, needs no introduction. I wouldn’t want to introduce him as a filthy rich man as that would be a huge understatement. To get an idea of how much this man has inherited, grown and expanded to create a benchmark it would be better to introduce him as the richest Indian or the world’s 14th richest person. His wealth is US$ 20.1 billion a at March 2007. The differences that prevail between the two Ambani brothers, Anil and Mukesh are neither hidden in closed closets nor is the fact that if these two powers joined hands they could be the richest in the world toppling Mr. Bill Gates from his position. The buzz doing the rounds of Mumbai city, India is about this rich mans new home. The new house-in-the-making at Altamount Road happens to be a glass mansion and is by every means, breathtakingly beautiful. People have been eager to know what this palatial building will look like ever since the head honcho purchased the 4,532 sq mt plot in 2002. If this house has to shelter the richest man in the country it can be anything but ordinary; according to the plan, drawn up by the firm Perkins+Will, this mansion will have everything from entertainment centres, a health club, swimming pool and a lot of greenery spread around. To begin with what all is inside the house lets have a little detail on the locality where the real estate prices are now in the region of Rs 75,000 per sq ft. that is $ 1,841.36, to be precise. Called ‘Antilia’ it will stretch to about 173.12 meters high with 27 storey which makes it obvious that each floor has a ceiling higher than the regular ones. But even for a family of 6 (Mr. Mukesh Ambani, his wife Nita Ambani, mother Kokilaben and three children Akash, Isha and Anant), 27 storey is a lot of room.
The house will be taking care of everything from granting the first 6 floors for ‘car-parking’ where the space will be enough for about 168 cars, to an in-house service centre for the cars right above. The 8th floor is meant for recreational purposes where a mini-theatre with a seating capacity of 50 will be made. It gets better as we go higher; the ninth floor is called the ‘refuge’ floor which is meant to be used for rescue in emergencies. ‘Health is wealth’ and so they have invested some more wealth in creating the above two floors with facilities for athletics and a swimming pool. A health club complete with the latest gym equipment is not too far away being just one floor above this one. Indians are known for their hospitality and warmth and being the true Indians that they are the Ambani mansion, Antilia will also have a two-storeyed glass-fronted apartment for the Ambani family’s guests, above the health floors. The king always takes a seat at the top and so will this one. The top four floors will be abode for the family of six that will provide a view of the Arabian Sea and a superb view of the city’s skyline. When you stay rather reign in such a palace you have to be careful about not just living in there but also maintaining it is a task in itself, no revelation on knowing that they will have 600 full-time personnel working in the building. They have very thoughtfully constructed maintenance and refuge rooms which will be used as and when the need arises. The topmost floor will be an “air space floor,” which will act as a control room for helicopters landing on the helipad above. It doesn’t astonish me at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a runway on top of his mansion. The more I am learning about it the more uncomfortable I am feeling to call it a mansion; it should be called a monument instead. It will be completed sometime in September 2008. That was all about the richest man in India who has very well taught us the lesson of living life ‘king’size!