Mukesh Ambani hasn’t given a TV interview in almost a decade. He has never let TV cameras into his 27-storey home in Mumbai. Until now. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS features an interview with Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani :
Tell me, you have a vantage point to look at the global economy. You run India’s largest company. Where do you think we are, um, five years after the financial crisis began?
Well, I’m more optimistic than most. And, my view is that this year, we will see the beginning of a recovery, particularly in the US.
And you—and you—you think that that’s because just the inherent strengths of the US economy?
There has been a fundamental transformation in the energy scene in the US. For many decades, we have heard that the US will be independent of foreign imports of energy. Realistically, I can now tell you that it is my judgement that this will happen in the next five or seven years, The US has truly found non-conventional energy in shale oil and gas which is really, really bringing benefit not only to the population in the US, but, really, to across the world.
You’ve invested in solar? Do you think, in the next 10 or 15 years, the costs will come down dramatically?
Absolutely. I think so. And I think that, ultimately, the way I think about energy is that we will transit from what I call a hydrocarbon present, which is coal, oil and natural gas, over the next many decades, into a fully renewable, sustainable future. And solar really will be at the heart of it.
Let me ask you about the hydrocarbon present. You run the largest refinery in the world in Jamnagar. What will happen, if there were a military strike on Iran? What would happen to the price of oil, in your estimation?
Well, I think that the world is a lot more saner. My own view is that if we see small blips, I think that we have a resilient enough system. And today, there if—there is enough spare capacity, right, in the system to take care of eventualities.
You were very bullish about the United States, probably more bullish than a lot of Americans. What about the other key drivers of the world economy? Because a lot of people say, look, China is slowing down, Brazil has slowed down, India has slowed down. What do you think