Reliance unveils e-commerce plan to take on Amazon, Flipkart
Reliance Industries will integrate Reliance Retail’s physical marketplace with Reliance Jio’s digital infrastructure for an e-commerce platform, says Mukesh Ambani at RIL AGM
Mumbai: Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL’s) telecom unit will serve as the foundation on which the company’s new commerce platform consisting of businesses, including media and entertainment, education, agriculture, healthcare, will be built, chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said on Thursday.
Speaking to shareholders at RIL’s 41st annual meeting (AGM), Ambani said that the company will also create a hybrid online-to-offline commerce platform by integrating and synergizing Reliance Retail’s physical marketplace with telecom unit Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd’s digital infrastructure and services.
That is in line with his stated aim of generating half of the group’s revenue from the consumer businesses over the next 10 years. Currently, 80% of the group’s sales come from its traditional oil and gas business.
Mint reported on 14 June about RIL’s plans to enter the e-commerce business by combining its online and offline shopping features.
“With Jio, we have built a digital connectivity platform of unparalleled capacity and a nation-wide reach,” Ambani told RIL shareholders on Thursday adding “This has enabled Reliance to strategically reinvent itself as a Technology Platform Company.”
Reliance Jio has doubled its customer base to 215 million in the past year.
Ambani put rival telecom players on notice, when he announced that RJio’s much awaited FTTH (fiber to the home) broadband services—Jio GigaFiber—will be rolled out in 1,100 cities simultaneously.
The registration for Jio GigaFiber will begin from 15 August and will come with a set top box for TV with voice enabled command feature. Besides, it will have a TV calling feature.
Ambani also said that JioGigaFiber will bring entire market place to large screens powered by high-speed broadband at home.
The technology platform company, which RIL aspires to be in the coming years, will bring together 350 million customers from Reliance Retail stores with 215 million Jio users, and will target 50 million Jio Giga Homes, Ambani added.
Jio Giga Homes planned by RIL will use technology and FTTH to make homes smart for its customers. This would include ultra-high definition entertainment through FTTH, multi-party video conferencing, voice activated virtual assistant, virtual reality gaming, digital shopping and smart home solutions.
The AGM also saw Mukesh Ambani’s children Akash and Isha Ambani launching the company’s flagship JioPhone 2, with more advanced features than its predecessor, including speakers and inbuilt applications like Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp.
Jio Phone 2, which will be available for ₹ 2,999, will be available for purchase from 15 August.
“The goal that I have now set for my Jio team is to enable 100 million users on Jiophone platform in the shortest possible time,” Ambani added.
RJio is already the third largest telecom operator in the country in terms of revenue, with 20% revenue market share.
“Even after serving the needs of over 215 million customers, the capacity utilization of the Jio network is less than 20%,” Ambani said.
“Which means, we can multiply more customer base without additional investment.”