Cover Nita Ambani at the AIMA Managing India Awards in 2015 (Photo: Getty Images)

On her birthday, we look at five times this powerful woman made headlines this year

Nita Ambani is the chairperson and founder of the Reliance Foundation, as well as the spouse of Mukesh Ambani, the Indian billionaire and owner of the multinational conglomerate Reliance Industries, whose net worth is estimated at US$86.7 billion.

She has long fascinated the world with her enviable collections of luxury items, extravagant lifestyle and impressive philanthropic work.

In celebration of her birthday, we look at five times Nita Ambani wowed us this year.

Read more: 11 Female Leaders in Asia Who Are Empowering Women and Girls

She lent her name to a new building

The Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre—situated within the Bandra Kurla Complex, which is one of India’s largest convention centres, and features business hubs and shopping and dining outlets—is due to open in Mumbai in March 2023. The state-of-the-art cultural centre will feature spacious exhibition rooms, three theatres with gorgeous ceilings decorated with Swarovski crystals, and various art installations showcasing leading Indian and international artists.

Isha Ambani, Ambani’s daughter and director of Reliance Retail, told The Economic Times that the centre is the culmination of her mother’s endless love for arts, culture, and everything Indian—plus her determination to present the best of India to the world.

She celebrated her future daughter-in-law

Ambani hosted an extravagant Arangetram ceremony for Radhika Merchant, the fiancée of her younger son Anant, this year. An Arangetram marks the stage debut of dancers trained in bharat natyam classical dance.

The high-profile event was attended by A-list celebrities in India, including Bollywood superstars Ranveer Singh, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan; and cricketer Zaheer Khan.

Nita Ambani is no stranger to giving mesmerising performances herself: she is trained in bharat natyam.

She advocated for women’s empowerment

Nita Ambani is a strong proponent of female empowerment—something that is evident in her philanthropic work. 

This year, Ambani launched an app in Hindi for Her Circle, an English-language platform she established to connect and support women digitally. The move was in celebration of the first anniversary of the initiative, which reached 42 million users in its first year.

She fought for the Mumbai Indians dream team

Ambani is the owner of the Mumbai Indians, the most successful cricket team in the Indian Premier League—it has claimed the championship title five times.

In February this year, she surprised everyone by securing the return of star cricketer Ishan Kishan to the Mumbai Indians. She had paid an astounding US$1.9 million for his return to the team. In addition, she had secured the 27-year-old English bowler Jofra Archer for the team for a whopping US$1 million.

She remained a style icon

Ambani is admired for her fashion sense and constantly delights style watchers. 

At Diwali parties this year, for example, she often stayed traditional with classy Indian ensembles, though elevated them with the an exquisite collection of jewellery consisting of pearls, diamonds and other gemstones.

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