Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani has made it to the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine’s 2019 list of ‘100 Global Thinkers’. The other names on the list, which will be fully released next week, include Alibaba’s Jack Ma, Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, and Bill and Melinda Gates.
The entire list for 2019 has been split into 10 categories, including defense and security, energy and climate, technology, economics and business and science and health. Interestingly, Ambani, Asia’s richest man, was not listed under the business category but under technology. According to the magazine, that’s because Ambani may have made his fortune courtesy his holdings in the oil, gas, and retail sectors, but he’s likely to make his biggest impact on India through his new telecom venture Jio.
“By offering cellular data and voice free for the first six months after Jio’s launch, Ambani got more than 100 million Indians to sign up-accelerating a smartphone internet revolution in the world’s largest democracy,” the magazine said on its website, adding, “The next stage of Ambani’s plan is to use the digital airwaves to sell content and lifestyle products, eventually competing with Google and Facebook.”
Rubbing shoulders with Ambani in the tech category, so far, are Yuval Noah Harari, best known for his 2011 best-seller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, and Kai-Fu Lee, the founder of the venture capital fund Sinovation Venture and an author.
The other Indian-origin names on the latest list of thinkers include Fareed Zakaria, one of the most influential foreign-policy analysts and TV hosts for almost two decades, and author Amitav Ghosh.