PHILADELPHIA –- Mukesh D. Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd., has been awarded the inaugural Dean’s Medal from Eduardo Glandt, dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science. Ambani was recognized for visionary leadership in the application of engineering and technology for the betterment of mankind. The medal was awarded at a gala ceremony at the Trident Hotel in Mumbai, India.
The medal, Glandt said, acknowledges Ambani’s ingenuity and initiative to usher in Reliance’s vertical-integration journey from textiles into fibers, petrochemicals, petroleum refining and eventually oil and gas exploration and production. Today, Reliance is a global leader in polyester, petrochemicals and refining, including the world’s largest petroleum refinery complex at Jamnagar.
Ambani is widely considered the architect of the company’s aggressive energy exploration program, which resulted in the world’s largest gas discovery in 2002. The field eventually doubled gas production in India, a step towards Ambani’s vision of energy security for India.
“Mukesh Ambani embodies what the engineering profession can contribute to a country, as someone who seeks to apply technology for the betterment of society,” Glandt said.
Ambani is currently steering Reliance’s development of a pan-India retail network, a transformational initiative connecting rural and urban India. He was also instrumental in the formation of Reliance Infocomm Ltd., one of the largest information and communications initiatives in the world.
“I will treasure this medal,” Ambani said in his acceptance speech. “It is much more than the recognition of the modest contribution of a chemical engineer from India. It recognizes the collective achievement of the Reliance family and the creativity of over 25,000 engineers in Reliance. I dedicate this Medal to the indomitable spirit of our founder chairman, Dhirubhai Ambani, and each and every member of the Reliance family.”
Among Ambani’s numerous honors are the 2007 US-India Business Council “Global Vision” Award for Leadership, the 2006 “ET Business Leader of the Year” Award by the Economic Times and the first NDTV-Profit “Global Indian Leader Award” in 2006.
Ambani was the co-chair of the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2006 and received the 2004 World Communication Award as the “Most Influential Person” in Telecommunications by Total Telecom.
In 2008, Ambani was elected vice chairman of the Executive Committee of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. In India, he is a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry and of the Board of Governors of the National Council of Applied Economic Research.
He is also chairman of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and a member of the Indo-US CEOs Forum, the International Advisory Board of Citigroup, the International Advisory Board of the National Board of Kuwait and the Advisory Council for Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, among other appointments.