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 You would have listened to ten, twenty or thirty things you didn’t know about a person but then what, what’s the next step? We want our bulls to be able to live and breathe their mentors and readily absorb their qualities and be on their path to be a Bull.

 Here are some of the core qualities that makes a Bull and How can you be one!

What would you call a man who hated to lose?… A winner? We call him Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani.  He was more than a businessman or an industrialist. He was a hero to millions of people, businessmen or not but who aspired to think big even if they were small. In a life span of 69 years, he established India’s largest privately controlled corporate empire from utter poverty. There is just no way you cannot look at this amazing entrepreneur in awe who thought big, worked tough, knew how to bend rules or have rules bent for him. Many of us would dream of having a life like him. So as to be Dhirubhai Ambani , we need to nurture the attributes that belonged to Dhirubhai Ambani:

1.Making the optimum use of opportunities

During his early days in Yemen, an incidence happened when the Yemeni administration was surprised to notice their main unit of currency ‘Rial’ disappearing. Actually, during those days, Yemeni rial  was completely pure silver and young Dhirubhai used to buy as many rials as he could, melt them to pure silver and sell them to London Billion traders where silver was much in demand. Though margins were small, he didn’t miss the opportunity.

 One such incident happened in India, when during his early trading days, a gulf trader enquired for manure mixed with topsoil for a Sheik’s lawn. Though the order was a big slot, nobody dared to fulfil such order. Dhirubhai asked the party for a bonus on the offered price and made the best of the opportunity. He fanned out all the unemployed youth around him to gather rotten dung heaps all around Mumbai and hired an agriculture science graduate to supervise the preparation of topsoil. Guess what, the soil was shipped on time and Dhirubhai made a killing from the opportunity.

 2.A teacher just opens the doors, you have to enter on your own

During his childhood days, Dhirubhai was an extremely intelligent child but formal education was not his strong suit. He was more an impatient outdoor boy who didn’t like cramming up the lessons. He had just completed his high school when he left for Yemen and only through his learning potential and backbreaking work, he was able to learn all the business skills and tactics.

 3.Have a ‘lesesucht’ for gaining knowledge

Dhirubhai had an addiction for knowledge and books and during his Yemen era, he spent long night hours reading all sorts of subjects, English grammar, current affairs and psychology books. He used to be the first one who grabbed the copies of the times of India, Blitz, Janmabhoomi, Navabhoomi as soon as they reached by ship. His all-time favourite books included Jawaharlal Nehru ‘s ‘glimpses of world history ‘and ‘discovery of India’ and even used the quotations and phrases used in them to write letters to ministers and senior officials during his early Mumbai days.

4.Be the person of daring

Since his Aden days, Dhirubhai had a motto for attracting investors into his business ‘Profit we share, and all loss will be mine’. Nobody had ever offered such a deal and soon his Aden friends and local bazaar shopkeeper could sense his uncanny dexterity for such uncertain trading.


Also, when he made his first effort with ‘Reliance Commercial Corporation ‘in Mumbai, Dhirubhai didn’t wait for the payments to arrive for dispatching the goods. He kept his margins low, volumes large and quality high. He even offered to eschew the payments if the supplies were not up to the standards.


5.Find and polish your ‘animal instinct’ within

Dhirubhai had that animal instinct about trading that he rarely lost money in any deal. But there resided a lot more of reading and understanding market trends behind that animal instinct.  He used to read every bit of newspaper, listened precisely to every single word uttered in the market and contemplated all the pros and cons of any deal he wanted to make during his long night hours.


 6.“La budd min Sana’a wa lau taal al-safr

This is a Yemeni proverb that means: Sana’a is a ‘must’, however, long the journey may take. During his job at the oil filling station in Aden, Dhirubhai usually visited ships so as to make friends with sailors and engine staff and hear their stories about various parts of world. This time was the on-set of his dream of building a refinery of his own. However, it was completely crazy for a petrol pump attendant to dream of his own oil- refinery but as they say, no matter how long the journey may take, Dhirubhai fulfilled his dream by launching Reliance’s 25-million-ton oil refinery in Jamnagar in 1999.

7.When you have to choose between ease and provocation, go for provocation

When the British rule was about to end in Yemen in the late 1950s, all the Indians in Yemen had to make serious decision of either settling in Britain or to return to India where his family resided. Dhirubhai could have chosen a life of much greater ease as his talent and guts could have found better opportunities in London. But instead he wanted something challenging and exciting in his life and returned to India.

8.Be the person with the ‘golden touch’

When in Mumbai, Dhirubhai tried all sorts of trading and marketing ideas. He started with spice trading and soon engaged various commodities like sugar, jaggery, betel nuts and other things. Becoming aware of the huge profits made in yarn business, he stepped up to try this risky business. Due to lack of funds, he engaged many Gujarati building contractors, merchants and brokers to lend in their surplus money at a high interest. With his ever-victorious motto ‘Profit we share, loss is mine’ people flooded his office with huge bundles of money. This made the business grow and him ‘the man with the golden touch’.

9.There will be haters, and there will be you proving them wrong

One day someone who envied Dhirubhai’s success, set off a rumour that Dhirubhai had embezzled funds and all those who had lent him money were sunk. This blew a wave of panic among the lenders and brokers but how Dhirubhai handled the situation was completely formidable. He called out all his lenders and brokers to his office at four in the afternoon and take their money back. Knowing this, none of his lenders came up to get the money back. On the contrary, several big lenders came up to lend him more money.

 10.Treat your employees like friends and friends like employees

More and more Dhirubhai flourished in his Reliance Commercial Corporation,  more and more his friends and colleagues joined him. According to him he needed more gutsy, street guys with lot of common sense and ‘bazaar’ skills than clean shirt ones. He is known for running his team more like a head of a Hindu family than a chief executive. In return, he got an immense loyal, dedicated and highly motivated team which was a rough, tough and an aggressive lot in Bhat bazaar.

 11.Never compromise for anything less than you deserve

At that time, when Dhirubhai planned of establishing his own textile unit, his friends came up with an idea to buy an old textile industry rather than building a new one. They even visited a few ones, and settled for a silk mill. But the deal could not be cracked due to some issues between the partners of the mill. An aggrieved Dhirubhai decided not to acquire any old mill but to establish a brand new one, that too with the best and the most advance technology at any cost.

12.Whosoever tries to bring you down, will always be beneath you

In 1982, Reliance industries were coming up with a rights issue of partly convertible debentures. Suspecting a chance, a group of stock brokers from Calcutta known as ‘The Bear Cartel’ began short selling shares of Reliance industries on Bombay stock exchange. A group of stock brokers referred as ‘friends of Reliance’ started buying the short-sold shares at Rs. 152 per share. The bear cartel thought that the bulls will be short of money and would be ready for settlement under the badla trading system prevalent during those days. On the day of settlement, bulls demanded a physical delivery of shares which left the bear cartel astonished.  This all happened because the total cash needed to complete the transaction was provided by none other than DHIRUBHAI AMBANI. And due to non-settlement, the bear cartel had to pay rs.35 per share as unbadla (penalty sum). This caused enormous uproar in the market with Reliance share shooting up above Rs. 180 in a minute and making Dhirubhai Ambani the undisputed king of stock market.

13.Speed defines everything

When Dhirubhai planned of setting his textile mill in Naroda , he was so impatient and swift in his plans that he set up his team in March 1966 and set a target of September 1966 to start with the production. Work continued at a hectic pace even in rains and dark. Moreover, he was very raw, high stung but very low profile.  He worked hard like hell, never bothered about comforts, took quick decisions, talked like army generals, and acted so swift that by the time you say “ok, I’ll do it”, he had done it.


14.Prepare your team as an ‘awakener’

As a leader, Dhirubhai kept fuelling the spirits of his team, energizing them like an unbounded dynamo. Once an early Naroda groupie before leaving for getting trained in Germany went to meet Dhirubhai. Some of the lines he said so as to elevate him for success were “all the while you are there, keep repeating to yourself that one day we have to be bigger than Tatas and Birlas. But only if we master our machines. Learn with an open mind. Demand to see everything, learn everything. You will need to ask them, needle and pester them. Stay there in the mill 24 hours, sleep there, make friend there. If we have to grow big, we need to have friends everywhere.” With his talks, he used to make them mad for success.

 15.Last but most importantly, learn and follow ‘Dhirubhaism’

  • Roll up you sleeves and help. You and your team share the same DNA.
  • Be a safety net for your team
  • His most remarkable trait to help someone and never ever utter a word about it to anyone else. Be that silent benefactor.
  • Dream big but with your eyes open.

    It is truly regretful that Dhirubhai didn’t live long enough to see Reliance’s own retail outlets coming up. But hopefully the prevailing environment will encourage industrial progress and entrepreneurship, to make thousands of more Dhirubhais bloom across the globe!