Ambani's Antila Antics
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Ambani's Antila Antics

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Is the brouhaha over ‘Antila’, Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani's billion-dollar-plus new home in Mumbai, justified?

Numerous bloggers and commentators have been amazed at the amount of money spent on the huge 44-storey structure, which is now known as the world's most expensive individual family home. 

Many find such lavish expenditure somewhat vulgar considering the home (which has three helipads and parking for over 160 cars) is so close to some of the sprawling slums that are dotted around Mumbai. People have questioned whether Ambani, one of India's–and indeed the world's–richest men should spend so lavishly on a private home in a country in which hundreds of millions of people can barely eke out a living at the margins of society.

Similar questions were asked during the Commonwealth Games–could India afford to spend an alleged $6.8 billion (according to a Business Today estimate) on an event when it’s difficult to see any lasting benefits?

Of course, working out whether something is really worth the money is an extremely subjective undertaking. Having the debate on value when the money being spent is taxpayers’ cash is perhaps justified. But even in a poor country, is it right to fault an individual for the way he chooses to spend his wealth? I just don’t know. One thing I do know though–with that kind of money at his disposal, Ambani had no business creating a visual monstrosity like Antila.

Comments
9
Old_riche
November 20, 2011 at 23:03

This is the difference between new money and old money…..Ambani is a perfect example of Nouveau Riche India – if he and his family had any “Class” at all then they would have built a French Chateau or a beautiful luxurious villa with beautiful surroundings and a warm atmosphere NOT this ugly cold soulless skyscraper full of tacky show off interiors. I don’t care if he spent $1 billion or $20 billion on a home – but this is just BAD taste…..very bad and very tacky. If I had that kind of money actually I would base myself in a castle, chateau or palace in Europe or even buy an Old Palace in India and refurbish that to make a personal residence….many wealthy Europeans live in such extravagant homes but I guess Indians can never match that level of class or sophistication.

Dr. Altaf
November 15, 2011 at 16:26

What is the meaning of ‘antila’ or ‘antilla’? Which language? What is correct spelling?

Marshall
March 22, 2011 at 08:25

Do you know how many people Reliance employs??

How much has India developed through reliance and other industries?

Did he earn his money?

Can he do what he want with his money?

How do you know he is not giving to charities??

who are you to talk on taste??”grow up” is all i will say….

Pradeep Chattejee
January 26, 2011 at 15:10

Congratulations to Mukesh Ambani!!!!!!
But once Mukesh would have thought before spending,
How many people die staying in footpaths?
How many people die out of starvation?
How many suicide frustated out of not fulfilling his family commitments?

If half of the cost of Antila would have spent for these causes, the wishes Ambanis would have earned might run into thusand billions dollars!!!!!!

Mohan
December 6, 2010 at 12:42

Its his own money …….fine thats ok ! but it looks ugly to me.

Princeling
October 24, 2010 at 10:05

Harry,

The abomination is basically a princeling’s tower. I’m sure you have heard of the princelings.

harry
October 24, 2010 at 02:46

what is this abomination???????????? its a muilti storey slum.

Hariharan
October 23, 2010 at 15:43

As almost anyone who follows him knows, Warren Buffett has lived in the same house in Omaha for four decades, about 1½ miles from his office. Here you have one of the richest men in the world, and yet he is still living in the same house he bought for $31,500 in 1958 (assessed now at around $700,000). The world blindly labels Americans as decadent materialists, but that’s far from the truth.

I’ve traveled around the world and Ambani’s ‘Antila’ is the ugliest crooked building I’ve ever seen. The guy must be drunk! No, seriously — who in the right mind would spend $1 billion on an ostentatious & gaudy personal residence? Or maybe all the steel that was used created some fake demand for Reliance Steel?

India is sitting on an unprecedented demographic dividend but to translate it into actual growth numbers requires solid investments in education NOW. Money spent on education will eventually reap huge bonuses for industrialists. Tata gets it, except that he wrote a $50 million check to Harvard. If Indian billionaires were really smart and greedy enough, they would put some money in improving India’s education system. Not just old-fashioned school education but even unconventional ideas like Wikipedia reading kiosks and on-demand books (e.g. http://ondemandbooks.com/faq.htm). India’s real problem isn’t money to spend on education or R&D on energy alternatives, it is a lack of vision among elites.

Ashi
October 23, 2010 at 11:25

Its his own money he is spending, other’s cannot question what he does with his money just like he wont ask you what you are doing with your money or time or anything else !

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