File image of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani | Photo: ANI
File image of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani | Photo: ANI
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Mukesh Ambani’s riches are growing overnight, and so is his online cult.

In the year 2020, not only has Reliance Industries’ bank account swelled because of its deals with Facebook, Google and Intel among others, the senior Ambani’s fan following on Instagram also seems to be on a sudden rise. Dozens of fan accounts religiously share ‘rare pics’, family photos, and #TBTs (throw-back-to) posts of Asia’s and India’s richest man alive.

As businesses reeled under a pandemic-hit economy, Mukesh Ambani and Jio platforms brokered deals running into billions of dollars. With a net worth of $75.1 billion, Ambani now sits at number five on Forbes’ list of world’s richest men.

It is not just the elder Ambani brother who is amassing a social media fanbase, his family members are getting their fair share of fan accounts too — wife and philanthropist Nita Ambani, children Akash, Isha and Anant Ambani, and even their spouses. What Isha Ambani wore to events has as many dedicated fan posts as glimpses inside the elusive Antilia. Then there are posts about how Mukesh Ambani is using his gargantuan wealth to support a Covid-hit India.

Even Ratan Tata, who joined Instagram last year, has gained over a million followers — most of them millennials. It is a paradigm shift in India, which worships only cricketers and movie stars. Now, we have a fandom for home-grown business billionaires.


Also read: Mukesh Ambani is getting richer & richer. He’s now in world’s top 5 with $77 billion


Social media presence 

Mukesh Ambani is not officially on social media sites, but his absence is not felt. Imposter Twitter accounts of the tycoon often spread fake news that many fall for. But on Instagram, an informal but suspiciously well-planned machinery keeps you up-to-date with what’s going on in his and his family’s life.

The Ambani khandaan has many ‘official’ accounts run by ‘fans’, which tag each other’s accounts dutifully in almost every post. These are no small pages. While a page dedicated to Isha Ambani (@isha.ambanii) has about 1,17,000 followers, the ones dedicated to Shloka Mehta (@shloka_mehta_official), who married to Akash, and Radhika Merchant (@radhika_merchant_official) — who is often spotted with the youngest Ambani son, Anant — have about 78,000 and 28,000 followers, respectively.

One account dedicated to the patriarch of the family (@mukeshambaniofficial) boasts of 1,24,000 followers. Among the many accounts for Nita Ambani, nitaambani9 is probably the most popular with 55,000 followers.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Many more accounts are dedicated to the couples in the family (Akash and Shloka), some to the entire family, and some are just private accounts — the list is endless.

Strangely, the caption game of these pages isn’t too strong — they either have no captions or something extremely bland, offering no fangirling moments that one is used to with a typical fan page.

The comments section tells a sad tale, though. On Mukesh Ambani’s fan pages, for instance, people post their CVs, write about losing their jobs amid the pandemic and ask Ambani to give them a chance. These users are likely unaware of the fact that the accounts aren’t really run by the businessman. On the contrary, there are some who jokingly ask Ambani to buy them a Mustang or a Mercedes.

Some dedicated fans also post information about Ambani’s philanthropic endeavours. They boast about how the man gave Rs 500 crore to PM Cares and Rs 5 crore to the Maharashtra government.

Fan pages of Mukesh Ambani and a post about Ambani helping out Covid-hit India | Instagram
Fan pages of Mukesh Ambani and a post about Ambani helping out Covid-hit India | Instagram

Also read: 2020 has been a forgettable year for most, but not for Mukesh Ambani and Reliance Jio


Glimpse into Ambani’s world 

These pages will surely fill your voyeuristic urge to peep into the life of the rich and famous. You’ll find snippets from the recent weddings in the Ambani family, portraits of all members, some glimpses of Ambani’s residence Antilia, videos from some or the other charity event, childhood pictures from school picnics, and, of course, glimpses from khandaani puja. I bet this is what Yash Rai Chand’s (Amitabh Bachchan’s character from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…) family account would look like on Instagram.

Full of anushasanparampara and pratishtha (discipline, tradition, reputation), these accounts don’t offer a glimpse into the life of an uber-rich family, but a uber-happy, sanskari family that indulges in no vices and remains rooted in Indian traditions. It’s something Indians will respect much more than looking at pictures of the Ambani boys living the life, spending their riches.

The posts also show how tight-knit the who’s who are in India. You’ll also find the family mingling with Shah Rukh Khan in one picture, and with Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray in the next, and throwback pictures of Mukesh Ambani with PM Narendra Modi and former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

Fan pages of Nita Ambani and Isha Ambani | Instagram
Fan pages of Nita Ambani and Isha Ambani | Instagram

Also read: Only Mukesh: How Dhirubhai Ambani’s son is on his way to owning India’s digital market


Ambani FC 

Businessmen who were widely-known names but didn’t really have people going gaga over them earlier, now enjoy letting social media users into their lives in a relaxed, laid-back fashion. It allows them to add certain dimensions to their personality that go beyond the characteristics of an astute businessman.

For instance, social media has allowed us to discover Elon Musk’s eccentric wit, and let us into Ratan Tara’s warm life whose debut on Instagram, as they say, broke the internet.

But the cult around Ambani has evolved over time, and I’d argue that the family enjoys a more positive embrace from Indians in the post-Jio world.

When brand loyalty was still a thing, there was a level of trust that products by Tata, which were seen as Reliance’s fiercest competitor, enjoyed that RIL honestly never did. It was widely known that customers can blindly trust Tata’s products for durability, and that they looked at anything Reliance had to offer with eyes half-closed.

Jio changed this.

People online and on social media appreciate the cheap data and phone rates that Jio has afforded them, making the internet a second home, and democratising access to it. Post Jio, many look at Ambani as a game-changer who is using his means to create a better world and put India on the map.

Even as wealth inequality grows, Ambani is soon becoming the successor to Ratan Tata as the Bruce Wayne of our Gotham. Indians love a home-grown rich patriot with no visible vice.

I do hope these fan pages can give us a closer look into Ambani’s life. More specifically, inside his house; I really want the world’s second-most expensive private residence to be at least magnificent on the inside. From the outside, as was the joke in our college just across the street from Antilia and what a comedian said, it looks like a huge sex toy, or a badly designed office building people have chosen to call home.

Meanwhile, like, share and subscribe because Ambani’s growing social media following is going nowhere.

 

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14 Comments Share Your Views

14 COMMENTS

  1. Yes,
    SIR MUKESH D AMBANI IS SIMPLY A SIMPLEST PERSON AND CULTURAL.
    HE IS ALSO BILLIONAIRE,CHAIRMAN OF RELIANCE GROUP BUT HE KEEPS TJINGS SIMPLE SIMPLY MOVING

    • Exactly!! And many such people rot Indian streets!! They can’t do a thing but have ample time to criticize the size of earth or complain for the distance between the earth & the moon!!

  2. Proud as you all feel you are entitled to, do concede a self-made Billionaire is far more a role model than one who inherited stuff. Both were lucky but one was luckier than the other.

  3. India, the original land of Hindus may not share Hindu culture but Islamic or Western/Christian culture according to communist/leftists & the The Print??!! Happily! India is slowly going back to it’s Hindu roots despite centuries of the evil desert cults cruelty & invasions along with congress/communist rule!!

  4. They gave 500 Cr. to PM care by cutting employees salary and increment for the entire year. That’s how rich stay rich and idiots praise him as a God. Those working for him are now suffering for all the riches he is enjoying out of their hard work.

    • Ha!! Ha!! I don’t have shares of Reliance and don’t absolve capitalism of it’s myriad sins!! Yet! this guy gives livelihood to a lot of people!! What do you give except negative criticism of communists??!!

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