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India’s Biggest Private Company

August 13, 2012

One way to gauge if a company has had any influence in a particular market is to look at its size. In India when it comes to size you don’t need to look further than Reliance Industries. It is India’s largest private company. Just how big is it? Well it accounts for over 13 percent of the country’s total export. Now that’s big. Reliance Industries Limited is one of the largest 500 global companies as published by Fortune Magazine.

The Reliance Group of which Reliance Industries Limited is the flagship company was founded by Dhirubhai H. Ambani. He started out by working for other business owners until he was able to put up his own yarn trading business.

From trading Ambani went into textile manufacturing by setting up a textile mill. Reliance became the largest textile brand in 1966.  He then went public with Reliance Textile Industries in 1977.

What perhaps sets Reliance Industries apart is that it went beyond the product it had at hand and looked at the factors of production to make the product. It can be viewed as a focused approach into looking at the factors of production of textile and trying to have control of it.

Backward integration would ultimately lead the company into oil and gas since some textile materials are derived from petrochemicals.  In 1991 Reliance became the world’s largest integrated producer of polyester. It was now doing business in the petroleum sector.

Reliance made its first oil and gas discovery 2002 with one of the world’s largest gas discovery in offshore India. With this development the company had completed its backward integration. It all began with the company founder started trading in the textile business.

The company is now into oil refining and the manufacturing of polyolefin and related chemical products.  It is also into the telecommunications field and retail having gone into the hypermarket arena with the establishment of RelianceMart in 2007.

The company’s shadow looms large in India and other parts of the world.

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