In a list compiled by international chemical business information provider ICIS, Ambani has moved up four positions in this year's list, topped by German chemical major BASF chairman and CEO Jurgen Hambrecht.
Ambani is the only Indian on the ICIS Top 40 Power Players list for 2008, where he follows Dow Chemical's Andrew Liveris (second), Saudi Arabian firm Sabic's CEO Mohamed Al-Mady (third), Kuwait's Petrochemical Industries Co's CMD Maha Mulla Hussain (fourth) and China's Sinopec Chairman Su Shulin (fifth).
According to the report in the weekly magazine ICIS Chemical Business, under Ambani's leadership, "Reliance Industries continues to dominate the Indian petrochemical scene and to push forward with diversification and globalisation plans".
In the report, ICIS stated that these people have changed the face of global chemical industry through mergers and acquisitions, policy leadership, innovation or financial performance.
Although Reliance Petroleum's new world scale refinery-cum- polypropylene complex at Jamnagar progressed ahead of schedule, the start-up has been delayed due to the slump in the markets, it added.
The magazine added that despite taking the inevitable financial hit from the current downturn, Reliance is planning further export-focused units at the site and is gearing up for further diversification into carbon black and lubeofs.
The Top 40 Power Players list was developed after considering over 100 candidates across the world.
Other global chemical business leaders who figured in the list include Akzo Nobel CEO Hans Wijers, Sumitomo Chemical president Hiromasa Yonekura and PetroChina president Zhou Jiping.