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2G scam; RCom's future, leadership: Top quotes from Anil Ambani's interview

The interview comes almost a week after Anil Ambani signed a deal with elder brother Mukesh Ambani to sell four wireless infrastructure assets for Rs 230 billion.

BS Web Team 

Anil Ambani

The "new" Reliance Communications (RCOM) will be "capex light" and emerge as India's largest B2B (business-to-business) entity that is "focussed on the global and enterprise business", according to Chairman

It will also have a "strong strategic partner coming in the next few months", Ambani said in a wide-ranging interview to The Economic Times, his first in a decade.

"New will be stronger and be India's largest B2B business. It is capex light and we are very conservatively structured... The IDC (international data centres) business is set to explode. There is a huge opportunity -- and as an opportunity for India grows with $400 billion in reserves and good ratings, we will grow as well," Ambani said.

gave an interview, his first in 10 years, to The Economic Times on Wednesday. Here are the top 10 quotes from the interview:

On 2G verdict: Truth prevails. No individual or corporation should undergo this humiliation, slander, damage to individual and corporate reputation. The reputation that you have built over years and years can be broken in an instant. On seeking compensation over 2G verdict: You cannot rule out anything. What will you do, when will you, how can you do? There are so many constituents in the 2G constituency. Somebody does something, there is a collateral damage from the other side. It is complex, not simple as yes or no, it is not black and white. On 2017: We had enough stress in this period. There are just a handful of people who stood by me.

People would not return calls, not want to engage, not want to be seen with me. You have to go through all of that. At times like these, you get a good feel and flavour of who is actually with you, who is standing by you or not standing by you, and who is making false excuses. If I went to my father with this and told him, he would have looked at me and said: “Why are you surprised? This is called tempering of steel. Asteel rod goes into the fire and out, and in again and out again many times, and that makes it stronger. This is going to make you stronger.” We have emerged stronger.

On RCom's future: New will be stronger and emerge as India's largest B2B business. It is capex light and we are very conservatively structured.

On RCom's fall: In 2015-16, the telecom market was under consolidation. The competition was waning a little, the strong were becoming stronger and the weak were becoming weaker. At that time for Reliance Communications, we had that choice that shall I be consolidated or shall I be a consolidator.

On SSTL deal: That deal just got consummated, so that speaks volumes about the difficulties of completing M&A transactions in India. The processes are so slow, the permissions so many, the delays are so many and the legal systems are so vast and so complex.

On RCOM's debt: I am guided by moral financing. I morally owe you money—this is not a grant, this is not a gift, this is not charity… The Dhirubhai Ambani legacy is protected—we have kept our word and our moral commitment, which is most important.

Respect of corporate leaders in India: It saddens me to say this. All of us in the corporate sector, all of us so-called leaders, we have far, far more respect outside India than we have in India. And that saddens me, that our own country doesn’t value our own leaders.

First Published: Thu, January 04 2018. 13:50 IST
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