Right-hand man of Asia's richest man 3Right-hand man of Asia's richest man 3

Secretive and hardly appearing in public, Manoj Modi is considered by many in the Indian business world to be the right-hand man of Mukesh Ambani – Asia’s richest man.

After Ambani shifted the company’s business focus from petrochemicals to the Internet, Modi was considered a very powerful voice.

Modi is over 60 years old this year, and of course has nothing to do with Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi, despite having the same surname.

Mukesh Ambani (left) and Manoj Modi at an event.

`The business world knows that Ambani and Modi are very close. Together they promote negotiations and implement the smallest things,` said Vani Kola – Director of Kalaari Capital Partners.

Modi is currently the Director of Reliance Retail and Reliance Jio Infocomm (part of Jio Platforms).

`I don’t really negotiate. I don’t understand strategy. In fact, everyone in the company knows I don’t even have a vision,` he said.

In interviews, nearly a dozen technology industry leaders who have worked with Reliance said Modi is known for being a tough negotiator to benefit the company.

Although Reliance has recently attracted attention with its big deals, it began a wave of acquisitions of smaller companies several years ago, to build a foundation in new industries, from intelligence

Modi has a big say in all deals and often a meeting with him is also a signal that the deal is approved, some startup leaders said.

Over the years, Modi gradually became famous as an executor and supervisor of major projects.

His negotiating skills were evident when Reliance Jio launched mobile services in 2016 and built a fiber optic network.

After defeating rivals, Jio became India’s largest network operator with nearly 400 million users.

Modi has another special skill, which is working with senior leaders in Reliance, such as Anshuman Thakur – Chief Strategy Officer of Reliance Jio Infocomm.

In recent weeks, Jio’s investor list has included many big names, such as KKR & Co., Silver Lake Partners, Vista Equity Partners and General Atlantic.

Meanwhile, plunging oil prices are causing instability in negotiations to sell $15 billion in shares in the oil and chemical segment of Reliance Industries to Saudi Aramco.

As for Jio Platforms, the expansion plan to a new stage has not yet been announced.

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By Eliana

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