Nita M. Ambani is an educationist, philanthropist, businesswoman, patron of the arts, champion of women and children’s rights, and a noted proponent of sports.
She is the Founder and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, India’s largest corporate philanthropic foundation, which has impacted the lives of over 70+ million people across India through its initiatives in Rural Transformation, Health, Education, Sports for Development, Disaster Response, Arts, Culture & Heritage and Urban Renewal.
Nita Ambani provides leadership to 14 schools that have educated 80,200 students till date. She is also the Founder and Chairperson of the Dhirubhai Ambani International School, which has been ranked as the no. 1 international school in India for the last nine years and is also ranked among the top IB schools in the world.
She is also Chairperson of Reliance Foundation Institution of Education and Research, which has set up the Jio Institute, envisioned as an exemplary multi-disciplinary university providing a world-class platform for research, innovation, and lifelong learning. The Dhirubhai Ambani Scholarship Programme, which enables students to pursue higher studies, has supported over 12,700 scholars, 20 per cent of whom are specially-abled and 50 per cent of whom are girls.
Nita Ambani is a strong believer in the incredible power of women and has placed women at the heart of all her work. Through the various initiatives of Reliance Foundation, she seeks to empower women in India with resources and opportunities. On International Women’s Day 2021, she launched an inclusive, collaborative, diverse, interactive, and socially-conscious digital platform for women called Her Circle. The platform now has an overall reach of 100 million and launched its Hindi version on March 8, 2022.
Nita Ambani firmly believes that education and sports are the bedrock of any young, modern and dynamic society. The Reliance Foundation’s Sports initiatives and its grassroots programmes, such as the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports, Reliance Foundation Young Champs and Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA have cumulatively reached out to over 21.5 million children and youth across India.
Nita Ambani is the co-owner of Mumbai Indians, who are five-time champions of the Indian Premier League (IPL), making them the most successful IPL team. She is also the Founder and Chairperson of Football Sports Development Limited that launched the Indian Super League (ISL) in 2014, which has revolutionised football in India. She was the first Indian woman to be elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee in 2016. In February 2022, she successfully led India’s winning bid to host the IOC Session 2023 in Mumbai, bringing the Olympic Movement back to India after 40 years.
Nita Ambani leads Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, which provides international quality, affordable healthcare. It is the largest gold certified green hospital in Mumbai. The hospital has been at the forefront of India’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and set up the first dedicated COVID hospital in Mumbai, providing free-of-cost top-quality medical care to the affected. Reliance Foundation’s ‘Health for All’ initiative has provided primary medical care to over 2.5 million underprivileged people. Nita Ambani is also on the Advisory Board of Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health and on the Board of Visitors of the MD Anderson Cancer Center. The Reliance Foundation Drishti programme has gifted vision to over 20,400 people through corneal transplants and its international Braille newspaper in Hindi has been in publication for over 10 years, across India and 15 countries.
Nita Ambani is committed to preserving and promoting India’s art, culture and heritage and is the first Indian Honorary Trustee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Reliance Foundation has sponsored the exhibitions, Phenomenal Nature: Mrinalini Mukherjee (2019) and Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs (2017 - 2018), at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and previously showcased the works of Nasreen Mohamedi (2016), the renowned Indian abstract artist. Reliance Foundation also sponsored the exhibition ‘Gates of the Lord – The Tradition of Krishna Paintings’ at the Art Institute of Chicago (2015).
Through the years, Nita Ambani has received many awards and honours. The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) honoured her with the 2023 Global Leadership Award for Philanthropy and CSR. Fortune India ranked her among India’s ‘50 Most Powerful Women in Business’ (2023, 2022, 2021, and 2020) while Business Today Magazine featured her among ‘India’s Most Powerful Women in Business’ (2021 and 2020). The US magazine, Town and Country, recognised Nita Ambani as one of the world's top philanthropists in 2020. Nita Ambani was awarded the ‘Best Corporate Promoter of Indian Sports’ by the Times of India in 2019 and 2018. She received the prestigious ‘Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Award’ by the President of India in 2017 for the outstanding work of Reliance Foundation in sports for development. She was also conferred with the ‘Pravinchandra V. Gandhi Award for Excellence in Public Life’ by the Rotary Club of Bombay and was awarded ‘The Global Philanthropist and Leader of the Year Award’ by Vogue India magazine.
Nita Ambani was also honoured by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017 for her philanthropic work, becoming the first South Asian to receive this accolade. Forbes Asia magazine ranked her amongst ‘Asia's 50 Most Powerful Businesswomen’ in 2016.
Nita Ambani is a Commerce Graduate from Mumbai University and a diploma holder in Early Childhood Education. She is also on the Board of EIH Limited (The Oberoi Group).