Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) will invest more than ₹10,000 crore in West Bengal to expand operations of its telecom arm, Reliance Jio Infocomm, said Mukesh Ambani, chairman, RIL.
“RIL has invested ₹28,000 crore in West Bengal, which is one-tenth of the company’s total investments across India, and (telecom arm) Jio will invest a further ₹10,000 crore-plus to make the state a land of digital revolution," Ambani said at the fifth Bengal Global Business Summit in Kolkata on Thursday.
This would make Jio the “single largest" investor in the digital space in the state, Ambani said. In 2016, when he first attended the summit, RIL’s investment in the state was ₹4,500 crore, he said.
RIL is on course to meet its goal of covering 100% of the state’s population with the Jio network by the end of 2019, said Ambani.
West Bengal is poised to become the logistics hub of the east with the state’s plans to attract investments of ₹5,000 crore by 2020, creating direct and indirect jobs for 50,000 people, said the RIL chairman about the company’s retail plans.
“Jio and Reliance Retail will shortly launch a unique commerce platform that will bring win-win benefits to consumers, retailers, and producers. Across the country, this platform will enrich and empower as many as three crore small shopkeepers," said Ambani.
RIL has set up Jio Points, which are direct distribution channels to cater to the growing rural market. There are 350 Jio Points in Bengal and the company aims to increase this to 1,000 by the end of the year.
RIL will also invest ₹1,000 crore in a state-of-the-art greenfield data center in Kolkata’s upcoming 100 acre IT hub, which will be the biggest in the state and “as good as the ones in Silicon Valley" said Ambani.
RIL had also announced an investment of ₹3 trillion in Gujarat in the next decade. “We have so far invested nearly ₹3 trillion in Gujarat... and created and catalysed over one million livelihood opportunities in the state. In comparison to the past decades, Reliance will double this investment and employment numbers over the next 10 years," he had said at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit on 20 January.