Indian tycoon spends $137m on daughter's wedding

Above: Ms Isha Ambani serving food to guests during a ritual. Left: The City Palace in Udaipur, one of the venues for the pre-wedding celebrations, was awash with lights on Sunday. Ms Isha Ambani and Mr Anand Piramal will tie the knot in a lavish cer
The City Palace in Udaipur, one of the venues for the pre-wedding celebrations, was awash with lights on Sunday.PHOTOS: REUTERS, INSTAGRAM / ISHA AMBANI
Above: Ms Isha Ambani serving food to guests during a ritual. Left: The City Palace in Udaipur, one of the venues for the pre-wedding celebrations, was awash with lights on Sunday. Ms Isha Ambani and Mr Anand Piramal will tie the knot in a lavish cer
Ms Isha Ambani and Mr Anand Piramal will tie the knot in a lavish ceremony today.PHOTOS: REUTERS, INSTAGRAM / ISHA AMBANI
Ms Isha Ambani serving food to guests during a ritual.
Ms Isha Ambani serving food to guests during a ritual.PHOTOS: REUTERS, INSTAGRAM / ISHA AMBANI

MUMBAI • Antilia, the 27-storey residence of India's richest man, reportedly has a staff of 600 people, six floors of parking and can withstand an earthquake of magnitude eight.

Today, its foundations will be "rocked" when the who's who of Indian society gather to celebrate the wedding of oil-and-telecom tycoon Mukesh Ambani's daughter Isha, 27, to billionaire industrialist Ajay Piramal's son Anand, 33.

The bill for the extravaganza, which started with pre-wedding festivities in Udaipur over the weekend, is estimated at US$100 million (S$137 million), according to people familiar with the planning.

To put the figure in perspective, Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding 37 years ago reportedly cost US$110 million in today's dollars.

The Ambani and Piramal families have known each other for more than 40 years.

Indian media reports said Ms Isha Ambani and Mr Anand Piramal, both of whom work in their family businesses, were long-time friends before they got engaged in Italy in May.

Ms Isha Ambani recently completed her MBA from Stanford University, while Mr Anand Piramal is a graduate of Harvard Business School.

Invitees to their pre-wedding activities ranged from singer Beyonce, who sang at a private concert, to politicians such as former United States secretary of state Hillary Clinton to steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal.

As gratitude to the city of Udaipur, the Ambanis donated enough food to feed 5,100 people three meals a day for four days.

 

They also set up a bazaar to showcase 108 traditional Indian paintings, pottery and other works from local artisans, according to a statement from a family representative.

For today's wedding, the guest list is so long that the Ambanis and Piramals have taken over at least five five-star hotels nearby. A war room has been set up in Mumbai to manage logistics, sources said.

The main ceremony will be held at the Antilia and post-wedding events will be held in the city.

For the chairman of Reliance Industries, who overtook Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma this year as Asia's wealthiest man, Ms Ambani will be the first of his three children to wed.

After the festivities, the newlyweds are reportedly moving into a US$64-million, diamond-themed mansion at the Gulita building in Mumbai, according to one of the people.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2018, with the headline 'Indian tycoon spends $137m on daughter's wedding'. Print Edition | Subscribe