- Nikhil Meswani & Manoj Modi are said to be the possible names. Nikhil Meswani is associated with RIL since the 90s and is Ambani’s cousins.
- It will be the first time RIL will have a non-Ambani MD.
- The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) mandated to separate Chairman and Managing Director posts are implemented as per schedule on April 1.
RIL seeks out for a new non-Ambani MD, it will be for the first time in RIL’s history that the company will have a non-Ambani as MD of the company while Mukesh Ambani will become the non-executive chairman of the conglomerate.
Possible names on the list are Nikhil Meswani, Manoj Modi, Hital (Nikhil’s younger brother) & PMS Prasad are strong contenders to become non-Ambani MD in the company.
Nikhil Meswani has been on the RIL’s board since the 90s and he is one of Ambani’s cousins. Their father Rasiklal Meswani was one of the founder directors when Dhirubhai Ambani founded the company. Nikhil Meswani is also considered as Mukesh Ambani’s right hand in the company.
Manoj Modi is not on RIL’s board and does not hold a senior position in RIL’s hierarchy but he is one of the most crucial persons in the company. Nikhil and Manoj Modi are considered to be strong contenders for a non-Ambani MD in the company.
This comes after SEBI mandating to separate roles of chairman and managing director/CEO of all listed entitled by 1st April. The directive excludes family members and relatives from taking up the MD position.
According to Section 2(77) of the Companies Act, 2013, a relative is any person, means anyone who is related to another, if: –
- they are members of a Hindu Undivided Family
- they are husband and wife
- or on a person is related to the other in such a manner as may be prescribed.
Rule 4 of the Companies (Specification of definitions details) Rules, 2014 reads as follows List of relatives in terms of clause (77) of Section 2: A person shall be deemed to be the relative of another if he or she is related to another in the following manner:
- Father: Provided that the term “Father” includes step-father.
- Mother: Provided that the term “Mother” includes step-mother.
- Son: Provided that the term “Son” includes step-son.
- Son’s Wife.
- Daughter’s husband.
- Brother: Provided that the term “Brother” includes step-brother.
- Sister: Provided that the term “Sister” includes step-sister.
The list given as above is very crystal clear. However, the following needs to be understood. Father, mother, son, brother, and sister include the step-counterparts but there is no specific mention about step-daughter. It may be a drafting mistake or maybe an intentional exclusion. Whatever it may be, but the plain interpretation of the section indicates that stepdaughter is not a relative.
Nikhil and his younger brother Hital have been associated with RIL. Hital’s name on the board of directors list appears after Mukesh Ambani and his wife, Nita Ambani. He is a whole-time director in RIL since 4th August 1995.
Hital takes the responsibility of petroleum refining and marketing business, petrochemicals manufacturing and a number of corporate functions of the company like HRM, IT, R&D and project execution. In addition, he is also involved in the affairs of Reliance owned – IPL franchise Mumbai Indians.
Another strong contender in the race of non-Ambani MD of the company is Manoj Modi, a chemical engineer from the Institute of Chemical Technology is Ambani’s very close friend as well. He aided RIL in many projects, from refining to retail to the telecom sector. He likes to maintain a low profile and he is not on RIL’s board; however, he is on the board of Reliance JIO Infocomm.
Manoj Modi is leading Reliance’s vision of a pan-India organized retail network introducing multiple formats and supply chain infrastructure. Together, Manoj Modi and Nikhil Jeswani, both have contributed like crazy in elevating RIL to become INR 9 trillion market cap. The 1st Indian company to hit the 9 Trillion benchmark in terms of market cap.
Prasad has been a whole-time director since August 21st, 2009. He has contributed 38 years holding various senior positions in fibers, petrochemicals, refining and marketing and exploration and production business of Reliance. Prasad is also one close contender to be the first non-Ambani MD in the company.
Till will tell us who is going to be the 1st non-Ambani MD in the company. But for now, we have quite a few names on the list. Ambani wouldn’t want to take this crucial decision just like that, thus a lot of homework needs to be done before appointing non-Ambani MD.
We just hope that things are not complicated like that of Tata’s case. For the company, with a record-breaking rise in market-cap, it’s not an easy task to handover a crucial position to someone who does not belong to the family (when Ambanis have been leading RIL since its inception).