Manoj Modi, a longtime employee and a close friend of the Ambani’s, is a director at the Reliance Jio and Retail. He is originally from Gujarat and worked for all three generations of the Ambani family and is known as the ‘Right Hand’ man of Mukesh Ambani. His full name is Manoj Harivanjan Modi. Manoj is known for his humble personality and excellent negotiation skills. He is one of the leading businessmen in Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). He is in no way related to Narendra Modi. He was awarded the role of Director in 2007 and is frequently referred to as MM in RIL’s workspace.
Mukesh Ambani and Manoj Modi first met when they enrolled at the University of Mumbai (formerly known as the University of Bombay) and attended engineering college together. These two businessmen both hold Chemical Engineering bachelor’s degrees. Manoj Modi first joined Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) in 1980 and has taken up various roles in the company. He has worked on several large-scale Reliance projects, like the Jamnagar refinery, the Hazira petrochemical complex, the first telecom business, Reliance Retail, and, now, the 4G rollout. He was gifted a 22-storeyed building, named Vrindavan, by Mukesh Ambani in 2022. The property is worth Rs 1500 crore and is situated on Mumbai’s posh Napean Sea Road spreading over an area of 1.7 lakh square feet. He lives in this house with his nuclear family consisting of his wife, and two daughters along with their husbands. Manoj Modi’s elder daughter is married to Rajiv Poddar and his younger daughter, Bhakti Modi is married to Tejas Goenka.
He was one of the core members behind the Reliance signing the Facebook deal worth USD 5.7 billion during the Coronavirus lockdown. Facebook bought a 99.9% stake in Reliance Jio, which attracted more and more investors like Silverlake, Vista, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala, Adia, TPG and L Catterton. These investments were worth Rs 102,432.15 crore. In one of his rare interviews (he does not generally give interviews), Manoj Modi said, “I don’t understand strategy. People internally know that I don’t even have a vision. I deal with our internal people, coaching them, mentoring them, and guiding them on how something can be done.” He was the force behind acquiring the Budget Airlines – Air Deccan for Reliance in 2010. G.R Gopinath, the founder of Air Deccan, said, “He derives his power in the organization not just because of his loyalty, but because of his very astute, smart and able negotiating skills for Reliance Industries. Significantly, though without formal education from Ivy League universities, he has a very sharp mind and a rare insight and native genius to grasp modern technology in the Indian context.”