PHILADELPHIA â- Mukesh D. Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd., has been awarded the inaugural Deanâs Medal from Eduardo Glandt, dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science. Ambani was recognized for visionary leadership in the application of engineering and technology for the betterment of mankind. The medal was awarded at a gala ceremony at the Trident Hotel in Mumbai, India.
The medal, Glandt said, acknowledges Ambaniâs ingenuity and initiative to usher in Relianceâs vertical-integration journey from textiles into fibers, petrochemicals, petroleum refining and eventually oil and gas exploration and production. Today, Reliance is a global leader in polyester, petrochemicals and refining, including the worldâs largest petroleum refinery complex at Jamnagar.
Ambani is widely considered the architect of the companyâs aggressive energy exploration program, which resulted in the worldâs largest gas discovery in 2002. The field eventually doubled gas production in India, a step towards Ambaniâs vision of energy security for India.
âMukesh Ambani embodies what the engineering profession can contribute to a country, as someone who seeks to apply technology for the betterment of society,â Glandt said.
Ambani is currently steering Relianceâs development of a pan-India retail network, a transformational initiative connecting rural and urban India. He was also instrumental in the formation of Reliance Infocomm Ltd., one of the largest information and communications initiatives in the world.
âI will treasure this medal,â Ambani said in his acceptance speech. âIt is much more than the recognition of the modest contribution of a chemical engineer from India. It recognizes the collective achievement of the Reliance family and the creativity of over 25,000 engineers in Reliance. I dedicate this Medal to the indomitable spirit of our founder chairman, Dhirubhai Ambani, and each and every member of the Reliance family.â
Among Ambaniâs numerous honors are the 2007 US-India Business Council âGlobal Visionâ Award for Leadership, the 2006 âET Business Leader of the Yearâ Award by the Economic Times and the first NDTV-Profit âGlobal Indian Leader Awardâ in 2006.
Ambani was the co-chair of the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2006 and received the 2004 World Communication Award as the âMost Influential Personâ in Telecommunications by Total Telecom.
In 2008, Ambani was elected vice chairman of the Executive Committee of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. In India, he is a member of the Prime Ministerâs Council on Trade and Industry and of the Board of Governors of the National Council of Applied Economic Research.
He is also chairman of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and a member of the Indo-US CEOs Forum, the International Advisory Board of Citigroup, the International Advisory Board of the National Board of Kuwait and the Advisory Council for Stanford Universityâs Graduate School of Business, among other appointments.