Gautam Adani (left) and Mukesh Ambani are the two richest men in the country.
Billionaire Gautam Adani has said he considers Reliance Industries founder Dhirubhai Ambani a role model and his son Mukesh Ambani a friend, offering rare insight into the ties between two of India's richest families.
"Dhirubhai is a role model, an inspiration for us," he said in an exclusive interview with India TV channel.
"Mukesh Bhai is a very good friend of mine. I respect him a lot. He gave a new direction to Reliance with Jio, technology, and retail, besides their conventional business of petrochemicals. He has contributed a lot to the progress of the country," Mr Adani said.
While both Mr Adani and Mr Ambani come from Gujarat and control vast business empires that took off before India opened up its economy in 1991 and are now worth hundreds of billions of dollars across sectors, the two have had few areas of head-to-head contest.
However, after two decades of aggressive expansion avoiding each other's turfs, the two men are increasingly treading the same ground, with Mr Adani looking to diversify his interests out of his coal and ports business and the Reliance boss expanding into green energy.
Asked if he celebrated when he overtook Mukesh Ambani to become India's richest man last year, he said, "I have never fallen in the trap of these numbers." The industrialist, who is worth $117 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is now Asia's richest and the third-richest in the world after Louis Vuitton's Bernard Arnault and Tesla boss Elon Musk.
Disclaimer: New Delhi Television is a subsidiary of AMG Media Networks Limited, an Adani Group Company.