Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani – who will soon play host to India’s “wedding of the year” – is pushing his Reliance Industries empire towards renewable energy and net zero, and is pulling his home country with him in the process.

Born in the British crown colony of Aden – now known as Yemen – in 1957, Ambani studied in India and later at Stanford University in the US, before dropping out to help his father build the family business: Reliance Industries.

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Ambani helped transform Reliance into India’s largest conglomerate, a juggernaut whose tendrils touch almost all spheres of life in the country, including retail, telecoms and energy.

Now Asia’s richest person, with a staggering personal wealth of $114bn at the time of writing, Forbes ranks him as the 10th wealthiest on Earth, the only person in its top 10 not from the US or Europe.

Reliance has long held extensive oil and gas interests but Ambani has more recently pushed the group hard into renewable energy, spurred by the massive targets set by the government of Narendra Modi.

Reliance has agreed to invest $80bn in green projects, along with retail and telecoms operations, in the state of Gujarat over the next 10-15 years.

That includes building what Reliance claims will be the world’s largest green energy equipment ‘giga-complex’, with a goal of bringing 100GW of solar online by the end of the decade.

Reliance says the massive investment would propel it to net zero emissions status by 2035. It would also play a big role in meeting India’s vast national renewables goals, including ambitious targetof reaching 500GW clean energy capacity by 2030.

The 100GW target also pushes Reliance into the front rank of renewables ambitions globally, joining the likes of Enel, Iberdrola and oil players TotalEnergies and BP in the scale of capacity additions envisaged.

The Ambani family has dominated headlines in India in recent weeks as his son Anant – who is taking a leading role in Reliance’s renewables revolution, sitting on the board of its clean energy and solar units – prepares to marry in July in what has been described as India’s “wedding of the year.”

The sort of pre-ceremony that only a billionaire can run to this week saw pop megastar Rihanna sing, while fellow business giants Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates were on the guestlist.

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