The telecom infrastructure-sharing deal involving the two billionaire Ambani brothers - Mukesh and Anil - has been in the works since the beginning of the year. After discussing it across the table, they instructed their key aides to formalize the deal. While Manoj Modi represented elder brother Mukesh, Anil's interests were championed by Amitabh Jhunjhunwala and Satish Seth. TOI's Piyush Pandey gives a snapshot of the trio - the key men behind the deal.
Manoj Modi | Mukesh Ambani confidant
Manoj Modi, or MM as he is popularly called in corporate circles, is a close confidant and childhood friend of Mukesh Ambani. He calls the shots at RILBSE 0.29 % when it comes to retail or telecom. This is despite the fact that neither is he on the board of the company nor he holds any formal designation.
MM, 55, has known the RIL chairman since they first met at the University Department of Chemical Technology in Mumbai in the '70s. He quickly learnt the intricacies of the telecom market when group patriarchDhirubhai Ambani dreamt of offering phone calls at the cost of post cards. Similarly, he was equally quick to learn about various foodgrains when RIL decided to launch its retail venture.
Known as a tough negotiator and a no-nonsense person, he earned Ambani's trust during the execution of the Jamnagar refinery, when he aggressively bargained with vendors and lenders. This is despite the fact that he has no formal education in finance. He has been inducted on the board of East India Hotels along with Mukesh's wife Nita Ambani. He also advises Nita on her Mumbai Indians IPL team.
Amitabh Jhunjhunwala | Vice-Chairman , Reliance Capital
Amitabh T Jhunjhunwala, or AJ as he is referred to in the Reliance Group, is virtually the eyes and ears of chairman Anil Ambani. The proximity between the two can be gauged from the fact that Anil stood along with him at the gate to welcome guests during AJ's son's marriage last year.
A chartered accountant, he has a wide exposure in developing, strategizing and overseeing businesses infinancial services, power, telecommunication and entertainment. He served as the treasurer of Reliance IndustriesBSE 0.29 % before moving to Anil Ambani's Reliance Group after the split in the Reliance empire in 2005. He heads the group's thinktank and is Ambani's chief strategist. He is the group managing director of Reliance Group and the vice-chairman of Reliance CapitalBSE 1.01 %. Besides, he is a director on the board of Harmony Art Foundation. A keen movie buff with an enviable DVD collection, he can be often seen running on Marine Drive, a habit he's probably picked from Ambani himself.