When Isha, the daughter of Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, could not upload her university coursework and complained to her father about the slow Internet in their mansion. The tycoon spent $31 billion and set up one of the world’s largest 4G mobile networks.

In the case of Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani and his children, one adage stands true- the apple doesn’t fall from the tree. With a net worth of $97.2 billion, Ambani controls Reliance Industries, owner of the world’s largest oil refining complex. The conglomerate also boasts another gem of a business, a 4G wireless network across India- Jio. What is most interesting is how this network came to be. By the tycoon’s own admission, his telecom venture Jio was first thought of by his daughter, Isha, in 2011.

Isha Ambani at her graduation in Stanford.

In fact, it was more of a rant owing to the lack of a proper network. But a great businessman knows a good idea from a distance, and this one came from his only daughter Isha. This level-headed Stanford graduate ended up becoming the director of Reliance Retail and Jio Platforms. In his acceptance speech at an award function, the Financial Times ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business Awards in London in 2018, Ambani revealed, “The idea of Jio was first seeded by my daughter, Isha, in 2011. She was a student at Yale and was home for holidays. She wanted to submit some coursework, and said to me, Dad, the internet in our house sucks’,” he recalled.

Isha Ambani at the AGM of Reliance Industries.

“Isha and Akash belong to India’s young generation that is far more creative, far more ambitious, and far more impatient to become the best in the world. These young Indians convinced me that broadband internet is the defining technology of our age, and India cannot be left behind,” he said. In only five years, the Jio network became publicly available on 5 September 2016. The enterprise became the largest mobile network operator in India and the third largest and cheapest mobile network operator worldwide, with over 42.62 crore (426.2 million) subscribers, more than the population of the USA and the UK combined.

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Isha Ambani dances with her father Mukesh.

Had Mukesh Ambani simply dismissed Isha’s comment as balderdash, India wouldn’t have one of the lowest mobile data rates in the world. 1 GB of data costs a mere 17 cents. The doting father takes immense pride in his children and trusts their acumen and intuition. Isha Ambani graduated from Yale and then Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. The twin moved in with her affluent family to the $4.8 billion home, Antilla, that same year in 2011, where even the billionaires were facing network issues. This was indeed food for thought for the business student and her billionaire father, who saw a gap they could fill.

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Standing tall at 173 meters, Antilia is the worlds most expensive residence.

Isha Ambani lived in the 27-story modem masterpiece for nearly seven years (she studied abroad for years in between) before tying the knot in 2018 to Anand Piramal. The home was also the address of her extravagant nuptials, for no other address matches the extravagance of the house with a glam ballroom with chandeliers, a snow room, and a staff of 600. Today, Isha, in true Ambani style, is part of the executive leadership teams at Reliance Retail, Reliance Jio, Reliance Foundation, and Dhirubhai Ambani International School.

The first major project she oversaw at her father’s company RIL was the launch of Jio in 2016; it was, after all, her idea. “With Jio, I saw the potential for an equalizing platform that could catapult India into the digital age. Jio entered the market with a pan-India 4G service when other carriers were struggling to offer 3G. People saw that Jio’s data services were not only faster but also cheaper and more reliable. By giving people access to high-speed internet, Jio has launched India into the digital age.” Today, Jio has approximately 5.32 lakh 4G LTE network base stations and covers more than 95% of India’s population

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.