The family feud over India’s largest private sector business group has all the right ingredients for an explosive mixture—politics, boardroom intrigue, ego clashes between the brothers and their wives, even a hint of sex. And the resultant blowout can impact business, market valuations and employees’ morale as well as encourage competitors, who have taken a beating from the Ambani clan for years, to widen the rift between the brothers. As one of them said, "This is our chance to decimate the family that has ruled Indian business and politics for two decades." Even Union railways minister Laloo Yadav is believed to have warned Anil, "It’s wiser for brothers to hold hands, otherwise outsiders will take advantage of the situation."
Both brothers have hauled out their artillery and are unwilling to yield an inch. They are ready to drag each other to court, insinuate criminal offences, and wash their dirtiest—and the most intimate—linen in public. Talking to dozens of insiders and close Reliance watchers, Outlook provides an inside account of what happened in RIL’s headquarters at Mumbai’s Maker Chambers IV, and at the family’s residence Seawind.