Mukesh Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director of Reliance Industries Ltd, was declared the Chitralekha Person of the Year for 2007 by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at a ceremony in Mumbai on May 21. Earlier recipients include former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Modi himself.
An event instituted in 2005 by the Chitralekha Group of Publications, Chitralekha Person of the Year is decided on the basis of the results of an opinion poll conducted amongst readers of Gujarati publications. In its third year now, the poll reflects the choice of the Gujarati populace. Chitralekha had awarded the title to Modi in its inaugural year in 2005. In 2006, voters unanimously chose the then President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
For 2007, the nominees had included, besides Ambani, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh; President Pratibha Patil; Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Rajendra Pachauri; Captain of India’s Twenty20 and ODI teams, Mahendra Singh Dhoni; Shah Rukh Khan; media baron Subhash Chandra; social activist Anna Hazare; the Left heavyweight Prakash Karat; and judge for the infamous Mumbai blasts, Pramod Kode.
Speaking on the occasion, Maulik Kotak, Chairman, Chitralekha Group, said, “I am delighted that our readers chose one of India’s greatest icons, Mukesh Ambani, as Chitralekha Person of the Year, 2007.”
Accepting the award, Ambani said, “It’s a special evening today. I am glad to receive this award from Narendraji, who I respect deeply. A lot of people say that India is a country of billion problems. But I think India is a country with billion opportunities. India is a young country, and at Reliance, the average age of all employees is around 30. We at Reliance believe in transformation, and thus we are set to transform tens of millions of lives in the coming decade. By doing this, we want to ensure that not only the world respects us, but they also emulate us in the developmental model. I commit that I will work for a prosperous India and for the welfare of Gujarat as a state.”
Mitrajit Bhattacharya, Publisher and President, Chitralekha, said, “Chitralekha Person of the Year, based on a very scientific research design conducted by one of India’s most reputed market research firms, truly reflects the mood of thousands of Gujaratis. In its third year, it has thrown up winners from various fields, who have excelled in public life and contributed to the society at large.”
Chitralekha Group of Publications was founded in 1950 by Vaju Kotak. The Group publishes magazines like ‘Chitralekha’ – a news weekly in Gujarati and Marathi languages; ‘By The Way’ – an English leisure read; film magazine ‘Jee’; and lifestyle magazines ‘Watch World’, ‘Chitralekha Travel’, ‘Home Décor’ and ‘Wedding’. The Group recently ventured into the customised magazine space with its new magazine ‘Watch Couture’.