Nita Ambani on Money, Mukesh, Dance, Kids and more
This is the second post about Nita Mukesh Ambani, wife of the richest man in India. But there is more to her than her surname and money. She is a multifaceted personality, co-owner of Mumbai Indians, runs DhiruBhai Ambani International school(DAIS) , a bharatnatyam dancer and comes across as the women very much in love with Mukesh and her children. She lives with her family in house called Antilla(which if anagramed is All Nita). In the first part we captured about life of Nita Ambani. This post is about her thoughts on Money..
Where was she?
He’s been my friend, mentor, philosopher, everything.Mukesh calls me his true life partner…. I just enjoy being Mukesh’s wife. In December 2009, she and Mukesh completed 25 years of being together. Ask her, in this age of affairs and divorces, how the two have managed to keep it together and she reveals, “First and foremost, we are great friends. Both of us have very different operating styles, but we value each other’s opinions. We are willing to listen to each other, which I think is very important in a relationship.”
His idea of chill out time with Nita is long drives, late at night, to Worli Sea Face and back. Drives made special by the choice of music in the car stereo – cd’s hand picked by Mukesh and loaded by Hari, his man Friday, who knows which track to play for madam. On the way back, there’ s a short ice cream halt at Natural, their ice cream joint of choice.
Ref:Shobha De Interview, Apr 2009
What about money, does that help in buying power ? “Wealth and power don’t go together. Power cannot be brokered . To me, power is responsibility. And I derive it from my family,my work,my passion and my very middle-class values.” Ref:Times 2011
“Money is Lakshmi but Lakshmi without Saraswati doesn’t mean much,” she says..ref:indian express
May I urge you to discard a myth? That spending money is very easy and making money very difficult. Wasting money is easy. But spending money is extremely difficult. There is a world of difference between the two. Buying an expensive automatic toy for your two-year-old son, when he cannot use it is wasting money. But buying a computer for your enthusiastic 10-year-old is
spending money.Money is a vehicle, not a destination.
Personally, I see money as the most important vehicle to fulfilling a person’s destination of understanding and experiencing happiness, fulfilment, and completeness in life. We should put in an effort to acquire this vehicle; but we should also discern the destination with care, conscious effort, and wisdom. Nations spend money to build. They also spend money to destroy. Spending money requires as much application of mind as earning it does.
As for myself, I can only say this much – God has blessed my family with adequate wealth. I am privileged to participate in using the resources of our family ventures towards making a significant impact in the areas of health and education. I also feel obliged to transfer a sense of gratitude and responsibility onto my children, so that they may deal with money and life in a discriminatory manner in their adult life.
Those initial cravings have gone. I have no appetite left for spending crazy amounts these days. You shop to feel good. But I don’t feel good wasting money.
The biggest compliment Nita has ever received came from her dance Guruji, who recently told her daughter Isha, “ Your mother at 45 dances like a 27-year- old. She is my most sincere and regular pupil.”
Nita Ambani practises her classical dance everyday and Mukesh can’t resist watching her dance! Ref:TimesofIndia
Her birthday gift : Jet
Nita insists was not a birthday gift! “It is a Reliance jet, we all use. Mukesh takes it for meetings in America, turns around and flies right back when done. Others in the company use it too.” So… if the plane was not her birthday gift, what was? “ Mukesh is very, very romantic… unlike me. He cannot keep surprises a secret, but this year he did. He pretended he had forgotten my birthday. I sulked and said, “ You are really taking me for granted these days. He said ‘ I’ve been so busy. Let’s go to the Taj… I have to meet some government people there.When we walked in to the Bell Tower suite, there were all my friends! And a band!”Ref: Financial Express
Mukesh Ambani 50th Birthday in 2007
On Mukesh’s 50th birthday in April 19 2007 which was celebrated at Jamnagar,Nita had a special gift on the occasion: the screening of a 40-minute film on Mukesh Ambani, made by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra of Rang de Basanti fame. The film, commissioned by Nita Ambani, shows Mukesh piloting the company’s growth, especially after his father, Dhirubhai Ambani’s death. It is peppered with anecdotes from people from ages 9 to 90 speaking on Mukesh as a person, employer, friend and family man. The music for the film is by Rajat Dholakia and includes two shlokas sung by eminent singer Pandit Jasraj. The voice-overs are by the two Big Khans of Bollywood–Shah Rukh and Aamir Khan. Ref: Financial Express, Apr 2007
On media spotlight on her
Middle Class values to kids
Her three kids, Akash, Isha and Anant, have been brought up to respect people, values and money. She laughs as she relates a funny incident that happened some years ago: “When my kids were still young, I’d give them Rs. 5 each every Friday to spend in the school canteen. One day,my youngest, Anant, came running into my bedroom and demanded he be given Rs. 10 instead. When I questioned him, he said his pals in school laughed whenever they saw him take out a five-rupee coin saying,’Tu Ambani hai ya bhikari!’ Mukesh and I couldn’t help but crack up.” Ref: Sunday Times 2011
Both Mukesh and I grew up in a middle-class, joint family. There was a lot of love, compassion, warmth and understanding, but we also had to give up a lot of things. Our children cannot grow far from the values that they grow up seeing. The kids saw us, Mukesh’s parents and my parents, and they imbibed our values. My parents used to stay at Santacruz, and I would take the kids to Churchgate and board a train from there. My mom comes from Ahmedabad, and she used to take them there in the Gujarat Mail train. So they have travelled by local transport, etc. I think it’s important to keep the children grounded. Even now they clean their own rooms. I have kept them out of public life. I don’t like to share my children’s pictures.
She feels that her children come into public eye only when they have contributed to society in some way. The family name is a legacy and they should work to earn it.
On Weight Loss
There was no motivation other than my son Anant. He suffers from obesity. He was highly asthmatic so we had to put him on a lot of steroids. He had to lose weight for health reasons. A child does what his mother does, so I couldn’t be seen eating while putting him on a diet. So I went on a diet along with Anant. Whatever he ate, I ate. whenever he exercised, I did too. If he went for a walk, I would go along. By virtue of being his mother, I lost weight. He was my main motivation and continues to be, as we are still fighting obesity. There are so many children who have this, and mothers feel shy admitting it. But I think you have to motivate your child to lose weight, as the child looks up to you all the time. Both of us went away to Los Angeles for some time to a children’s obesity hospital so I could get into a routine with him. I think that made my transition from whatever I was to what I am today. My dressing hasn’t changed “.
Ambitious and Focused
Nita is known to be ambitious and focused. A complete No. 1 personality ( her birthday falls on 1st November). She describes herself emphatically as ‘decisive’. Driven maybe a more apt word. Others see her as a natural born leader. Ruthless when required. She’s fastidious enough to forgo sleep ( bedtime is between 1 30am and 2 30am), and gets up at 6 30 am, to hit the road running after supervising all the various dabbas and diets( Mukesh’s, her own, her kids’).She arrives at her school at 8 10am, so that the schoolkids can’t say, “ But ma’am , you are late yourself!” Her kids are also her eyes and ears and she values their ‘fearless and frank feedback.” Used to cat- napping in the car, she says, it is the only ‘me time’ she gets. “ I wait to have dinner with Mukesh, no matter how late he comes home. We often eat after midnight.”
Advise to women
She advises real women who constantly multitask: “As Indian women, we are always balancing work, life, home, etc. It’s important to know that while juggling rubber balls and glass balls, the former may bounce back when you miss, but the glass balls will crack if you let them fall. So prioritise, prioritise, prioritise.”
You might also like to read:
- Is Mukesh Ambani Flaunting His Wealth Through His Billion Dollar House Antilla?
- DhiruBhai Ambani:Father of India’s capital markets.
- Kokilaben Ambani, Mukesh, Anil Ambani, Tina Ambani(Munim)
And while lots could be written about her accomplishments, Nita says she would like to be remembered as “a good mom first, and then a good human being who tried to make a difference”.
Do you feel there is more to Nita Ambani than her surname, her money? What to you think about her views? What impressed you most? What you didn’t like about her?