Occupation: Chairman of Reliance Industries, power broker
Previous TIME 100 appearances: 0
The richest man in India and the apparent winner of a feud that divided the family fortune, Mukesh Ambani has made Reliance Industries a petrochemicals conglomerate, indispensable to India's economic growth. With huge interests in oil and natural gas, he is a man no Indian politician can ignore. Chattering classes routinely refer to him as India's most powerful man when they are not gossiping about the monstrous, extravagant house (by some reports worth $1 billion) that he just finished building in Mumbai.