After decimating the Indian telecom space with his introduction of Jio, Mukesh Ambani has now set his sights on the e-commerce industry in India. And according to his speech at Vibrant Gujarat Summit, 2019; this will be achieved by leveraging the existing businesses of Reliance Retail and Reliance Jio.
This announcement comes at a time when Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart are scrambling for ways to work around the impending new strict ecommerce policy in India.
He said, much like Mahatma Gandhi led a movement against political colonization of India:
We have to collectively launch a new movement against data colonization. For India to succeed in this data-driven revolution, we will have to migrate the control and ownership of Indian data back to India – in other words, Indian wealth back to every Indian.
Honourable Prime Minister, I am sure you will make this one of the principal goals of your Digital India mission.
he added in his speech at the summit, which included India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a former Chief Minister of Gujarat, among the attendees. Reached out by VentureBeat, a spokesperson for Reliance Jio declined to share more details.
Founded in 2006, Reliance Retail is the largest retailer in the country by revenue. It serves more than 3.5 million customers each week through its nearly 10,000 physical stores in more than 6,500 Indian cities and towns. The company’s vast presence in the offline, brick-and-mortar market, which still accounts for the vast majority of purchases in the country, could prove crucial as it fights Amazon and Flipkart, who in turn are locked in an intense battle of their own.
Reliance Jio is a telecom network that Ambani launched in the second half of 2016. The 4G-only carrier disrupted the incumbent telecom operation in the country by offering the bulk of data and voice calls at little to no charge for an extended period of time. It has amassed more than 280 million subscribers since launch, its parent company revealed in quarterly earnings report on Thursday.
The announcement today puts an end to the years-long speculation about Reliance Industries’ growing interest in the ecommerce space. It also comes months after Reliance, arguably the most powerful company in the nation, emerged as a surprise player in shaping the draft of the ecommerce policy, which the commerce arm of the Indian government unveiled last month.