Asia's richest billionaire Ambani heir extends thanks to parents amid pre-wedding celebration

By Minh Long   March 11, 2024 | 12:42 am PT
Asia's richest billionaire Ambani heir extends thanks to parents amid pre-wedding celebration
Businessman MukeshAmbani's sonAnantAmbaniand his wife Radhika Merchant at the launch of 'Nita MukeshAmbaniCultural Centre' (NMACC), at Jio World Centre, in Mumbai on Mar. 31, 2023. Photo by Reuters
Anant Ambani, the youngest son of Asia's wealthiest billionaire Mukesh Ambani shone in the spotlight during his recent grand pre-wedding festivities, where he expressed profound gratitude towards his parents for their steadfast support throughout his life.

In a heartfelt speech at his pre-wedding celebration in March 2024, Anant acknowledged the challenges he faced from a young age, including significant health crises, according to The Mirror.

"I have faced many health crises since childhood but my father and mother have never let me feel it. My father and mother have always stood by me, and they have made me feel that if I think [I can do it], I’ll do it," he said. "That is how much my father and mother mean to me and I will be eternally grateful."

Anant, who has battled asthma since birth, dealt with excessive weight gain as a side effect of high-dose steroid treatments, further complicated by diabetes.

The public once scrutinized his weight, which reached 208 kg. However, in 2014, Anant embarked on a rigorous weight loss journey, shedding 100 kg over 18 months, bringing his weight down to 108 kg, thanks in part to the support and involvement of his mother, Nita Ambani.

Nita not only shared in his journey but also embraced a healthier lifestyle herself, losing nearly 40 kg.

Anant Ambani is the youngest offspring of Mukesh Ambani, who helms the Reliance Industries conglomerate, boasting annual revenues of US$110 billion.

His fiancée, Radhika Merchant, 29, is the daughter of Shri Viren Merchant, the chief executive of India’s prominent healthcare firm Encore Healthcare.

The couple, having been acquainted since their younger years, both received their education in the U.S.

Their pre-wedding celebrations, spanning from March 1-3, showcased diverse themes, events, and dress codes, with a highlight being the visit to an "animal rescue center" in Jamnagar. This center, which is home to various exotic animals, represents a special project led by Anant.

As of Mar. 4, 2024, Forbes lists Mukesh Ambani’s wealth at US$117 billion, making him Asia’s richest and the world’s ninth richest person.

Anant gained recognition in India for his commitment to weight loss, shedding 108 kg in 2016.

Engaging the services of celebrity trainer Vinod Channa, Anant dedicated five to six hours daily to a comprehensive fitness routine comprising yoga, weight training, and functional workouts. His final weight in 2016 was 88 kg.

Nita Ambani, Anant's mother, also spoke openly about her son's weight loss journey in a 2017 interview with The Times of India.

She revealed that they embarked on the weight loss journey together, with Nita shedding 18 kg herself.

Nita emphasized that Anant's commitment to exercise was her motivation, stating, "He was my main motivation and continues to be, as we are still fighting obesity."

While Anant and his bride-to-be, Radhika Merchant, are yet to tie the knot, their upcoming wedding in July is anticipated to be a lavish affair.

The pre-wedding celebrations reportedly cost a staggering $150 million, featuring a star-studded guest list, a fireworks show, and a two-hour performance by Rihanna.

Anant, an alumnus of Brown University, currently serves as a director on various boards within Reliance, primarily Reliance Industries Limited. Passionate about green energy and public improvements, Anant shared his focus on these areas with India Today.

Radhika Merchant, Anant's soon-to-be wife, is the daughter of Viren and Shaila Merchant, founders of global pharmaceutical manufacturer Encore Healthcare.

A graduate of New York University with a degree in political science, Radhika serves on Encore Healthcare's board of directors and is a trained classical dancer, having completed her formal training in 2022, according to Forbes.

Anant grew up with a golden spoon in his mouth as his billionaire parents enjoyed the finer things in life. As the youngest Ambani offspring, he was born in 1995, and has previously thanked his parents for their support with his health as he grew up. During one of his speeches at his March 2024 pre-wedding celebrations, he thanked his parents for their support of him as his life had never been a "bed of roses". According to sources, he was born with asthma and must take high-dose steroid medication which results in excessive weight gain which alongside his diabetes has made maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle difficult.

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