EGINNING as a small textile company, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has crossed several milestones to become India’s largest private sector company, with businesses in the energy and materials value chain. The group’s annual revenues are today in excess of Rs 1,76,800 crore ($34 billion). RIL is a Fortune Global 500 company. RIL’s net profit for the financial year endedMarch2008stoodatRs19,458crore, an increase of 63% as compared to Rs 11,943 crore in fiscal 2007. It also posted a turnover of Rs 1,39,269 crore for fiscal 2008, an 18% increase. Starting with textiles, Reliance pursuedastrategyof backwardverticalintegration— in polyester, fibre intermediates,plastics, petrochemicals, petroleum refining and oil and gas exploration and production—to be fully integrated along thematerials and energy value chain. The group’s activities span exploration and production of oil and gas, petroleumrefiningandmarketing,petrochemicals (polyester, fibre intermediates, plastics and chemicals), textiles, retail and special economic zones. Reliance enjoys global leadership in its businesses, being the largest polyester yarn and fibre producer in the world and amongthe top five to ten producers in the world in major petrochemical products. RIL is likely to begin gas production fromtheKrishna-Godavaribasinbymid- April. K-G basin in the Bay of Bengal to Jamnagar in Gujarat,where it has set up the world’s largest petroleum refinery and has a capacity of 33 million tones per annum. Reliance’s manufacturing division at Naroda, Ahmedabad is one of the largest and most modern textile complexes in the world. The company’s flagship brand ‘Vimal’ is one of the mosttrustedbrandsof premiumtextilesinthe country. Apart from being a major supplier of fabrics with all the leading US and European brands,Reliance proposes to enter into garment supplies, ensuring a one point solution for their needs. The textile division has achieved a major breakthrough in the domestic and American automotive markets aimed at obtaining a foothold in the world’s autotextile segment, currently worth $ 5 billion. The manufacturing facility at Naroda, Ahmedabad has completed its modernisation and upgradation. Reliance Retail Limited (RRL), a subsidiary of RIL,wassetupto leadReliance Group’s foray into organised retail. RRL has embarked upon an implementation plan to build state-of-the-art retail infrastructure in India, which includes a multi-format store strategy of opening neighbourhood convenience stores, hypermarkets, specialty and wholesale stores across India. While falling demand for fuel and lower gains from processing crude oil has causedaslumpinprofits,RILmanagedtopreventadrastic profit fallbyposting better gross refining margins (GRMs). Forthethirdquarter forthecurrentfinancial year,RILhadpostedanetprofitdipof 10%to Rs 3,501 crore (excluding exceptional items),comparedtoRs3,882 crore inQ3of the previous year. GRMs did not fall as muchasfeared,droppingto$10perbarrel against $15.4 per barrel on a year-on-year basis. RIL’s GRM in the quarter was higher by $6.4 per barrel than the benchmark Singapore ComplexGRM. Mukesh Ambani, CMD, RIL had said,“This was one of the most challenging quarters with volatility in prices and margins. Producers and consumers arecoming to termswith slower global trade and economic outlook. Reliance performed commendably with high operating rates.We reached an importantmark in the start up of the RPL refinery.” In February 2009, RIL merged with its refining subsidiary Reliance Petroleum Limited (RPL) and offered a swap ratio of 1:16. RIL will issue 69.2 million new shares to shareholders of RPL in order to buy back the company and will have 3.7 million shareholders after the merger.RIL’sequitycapital will rise toRs 1,643 crore and the promoter’s holdings will fall by 2%. With the merger, RIL becomes the world’s fifth largest polypropylene producer.