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It's `Dadaji' again at AGM

Our Bureau

Mr Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries, addressing the AGM in Mumbai on Thursday.

MUMBAI, Oct. 31

BEREFT of the presence of its founder chairman, Dhirubhai Ambani, the 28th annual general meeting of Reliance Industries (RIL) today wore the sombre garb of a condolence meeting.

Over 35 shareholders of the company took to the podium to offer homage to "the son of a school teacher who in over 25 years built one of the country's largest private sector company". And, to show support and wish luck to his son, Mr Mukesh Ambani, who is now at the helm of affairs of the Rs 57,000-crore company as its Chairman and Managing Director.

After the Chairman finished with his statement, the speeches of shareholders began with a rendition of a song in memory of Dhirubhai by a young woman who addressed him as `Dadaji'. From here on, the AGM progressed with similar sentiments being voiced by shareholders, in both prose and verse!

There were questions about the company's balance sheet, future plans and of course, the ever-enticing `bonus'. But these were few and far between as most shareholders, to quote one, had " deferred searching questions for the next AGM as the this one was more of a condolence meet to pay our respects to the man we loved and admired. And also, to wish the best of luck to his sons who have taken over the mantle from their father and are leading the company admirably."

So "emotional" were the outpourings of shareholders that Mr Ambani had to intervene many a time to request them to contain their feelings to brief speeches. "Given the circumstances, I want to listen what each one of you has to say. But please do realise that there are a lot of people waiting for their turn after you. Hence, I request you to be brief in your expressions and give everyone a chance to speak."

Even so, the meeting that began at 11 a.m. extended beyond 3 p.m. But one message stood clear at the end of it all, it's business as usual at Reliance and the show goes on, although the creator is long gone...

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