Son of a school teacher born in the Gujarati town of Chorwad, Dhirubhai started his entrepreneurial journey by selling bhajias. After completing his matriculation at the age of 16, he moved to Aden, Yemen and worked there as a gas-station attendant, and as a clerk in an oil company.

He returned to India in 1958 with Rs 50,000 and set up a textile trading company. In 1992, Reliance became the first Indian company to raise money in global markets. Reliance also became the first Indian company to feature in Forbes 500 list. Dhirubhai Ambani was named the Indian Entrepreneur of the 20th Century by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).