Mumbai: Nita Ambani, wife of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, is set to join the board of India's largest private company, it was announced Friday. The share-holder approval will be sought at the annual general meeting here June 18.
The company's board has recommended her appointment, replacing Ramnik H. Ambani, the elder brother of group's late chairman Dhirubhai Ambani, who retires at the age of 90 years, having served it since inception.
Nita Ambani, who turns 51 in November, was already the chair of non-profit Reliance Foundation, and led the group's social sector initiatives, spanning health, rural transformation, environment and sports.
"She was at the forefront of ecological development of RIL's Jamnagar refinery site in Gujarat by implementing a greening plan, covering 3.2 million trees over 2,000 acres," the company said, adding the world-class township there was also her endeavour.
Even as Reliance Industries only listed Nita Ambani's personal contributions to the group, her new role as the first lady member on the board of the $67-billion company would also fulfil a key requirement of the new Companies Act, 2013.
Under it, every listed company and those public firms that have a paid up capital of Rs.100 crore or more must have at least one woman director on its board. The rule also applies to companies that have a turnover of Rs.300 crore or over.
The company said Nita Ambani also contributed much to conceptualising and guiding its corporate identity, besides developing centres of excellence in the field of education with 13 schools, including the Dhirubhai Ambani International School.
A trained bharatanatyam dancer, she recently powered the launch of Indian Super League, a new franchise-based, eight-team football tournament that is styled on the lines of Indian Premier League of the cricketing world.
There was speculation earlier that Nita and Mukesh Ambani's 22-year-old daughter, Isha, who is an alumna of Yale University and has been a consultant with McKinsey, could be asked to play a bigger role in the company.
More so because in recent years the group has been aggressive in areas that will appeal to the youth, such as retail, lifestyle, entertainment, appliances and electronics, and now 4G telephony and broadband.