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Mumbai: "Every small businessman or entrepreneur in India has the potential to become a Dhirubhai Ambani or a Bill Gates. That is what differentiates India from the rest of the World," said Mukesh Ambani on Monday in a fireside chat with Microsoft’s Satya Nadella at the Future Decoded CEO Summit in the city.

Reminiscing how Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) was founded as a startup with a table and a chair and a thousand rupees about five decades ago by his father Dhirubhai Ambani, Mukesh Ambani said the entrepreneurial power that India has at the grassroots is enormous.

"We have to realise that for India, they (MSMEs) provide 70% of India's employment, drive 40% of India's exports and are critical to all the economic activity that we see and they have done this with zero technical enablements and adoption," said Ambani.

Nadella highlighted how Microsoft has been empowering small businesses in India in their Cloud journey with Reliance Jio.

Last year in August, RIL announced the partnership of its subsidiary Reliance Jio Infocomm with Microsoft in the technology space. As per the partnership, Jio will leverage the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to develop innovative cloud solutions focused on the needs of Indian businesses.

The partnership between Microsoft and Reliance Jio will be a defining partnership in this decade, said Ambani.

"Our opportunity, between Jio and Microsoft, is to give them full service to make sure they are fully enabled with the tool set and data set as the mindset exists to really to propel India forward and that is even a bigger opportunity than the consumer piece that we have seen in the last few years," Ambani added.

"(Digital) consumption has gone up and Digital India has become a people’s movement now," the RIL chairman said, adding that his mother, at 85, was one of the biggest consumer of data and had the greatest of tech intensity and adoption.

Ambani added that a tech-enabled society will not only be better for businesses, helping them improve the ease of doing business, but also boost the ease of living and build a society that is equal and empowers everyone to find their potential.

The RIL chairman said the introduction of Reliance Jio has brought a lot of changes in the Indian telecom sector, saying his telecom venture has helped reduce data charges substantially. The cost of data has come down to 12-14 per GB now from 300-500 per GB in pre-Jio days.

Ambani also seemed excited about the future of gaming in India, saying that it has a huge potential and can become bigger than music, movies and TV shows put together.

While speaking at the summit Nadella urged Indian business leaders to build up technology capabilities that are inclusive in nature, own tech capability and ensure that the solutions are inclusive," he said.

Nadella said 72% of jobs for software engineers in India are outside of the technology industry.

Ambani added that he admired Nadella's style of leadership based on empathy, partnerships, building trust around people and reinvention of capability in every individual. "All of us in India Inc are inspired by you personally and your commitment to India as a multinational company."

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