Anant Ambani, the youngest son of Asia’s richest person Mukesh Ambani, has formally joined the group’s digital venture Jio Platforms as an additional director.
Anant Ambani, the youngest son of Asia’s richest person Mukesh Ambani, has formally joined the group’s digital venture Jio Platforms as an additional director, and this is the first time that Anant Ambani has become a part of his family business. Anant Ambani has been appointed as additional director on the Jio Platforms board, with effect from 16 March 2020. Mukesh Ambani’s youngest son had not been a part of any of Reliance Industries businesses thus far. On the other hand, his elder siblings Akash and Isha Ambani were already on the boards of Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Retail Ventures since 2014, and had also joined the board of Jio Platforms. Anant Ambani has joined the board of RIL’s digital and telecom arm at a time when RIL is going heavy on consumer faced business.
“India should lead the change and Reliance should be at the forefront of that change. Reliance meri jaan hai (Reliance is my life),” the 25-year old son of Mukesh and Nita Ambani had said while delivering a keynote speech at the birth anniversary of his grandfather — RIL founder Dhirubhai Ambani, earlier.
Jio Platforms has attracted many global investments in a span of a few weeks. It has so far signed deals for investments worth Rs 78,562 crore from five global investors. These investors include US-based social media platform Facebook, private equity funds Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic and KKR – for a combined holding of 17.12%. Facebook alone has pledged to make investment to the north of Rs 45,000 crore for a 9.99% equity stake in Reliance Jio.
“India is home to the largest communities on Facebook and WhatsApp, and a lot of talented entrepreneurs. The country is in the middle of a major digital transformation and organizations like Jio have played a big part in getting hundreds of millions of Indian people and small businesses online,” Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook said announcing the deal. The all-in-cash deal is expected to help RIL reduce its debt and aid chairman Mukesh Ambani’s vision to make RIL debt-free by March 2021.
Reliance Industries Ltd.’s Jio Platforms comprises mostly telecom business under Reliance Jio Infocomm, which is the largest telecom operator in the country with more than 388 million subscribers. Jio Platforms also houses RIL’s other digital and entertainment units such as Jio Cinema, Jio Saavn and Haaptik. Over the last 6-12 months, the oil-to-telecom conglomerate has been consistently talking about building Jio Platforms into a digital platform and shaping it on the lines of US-based Alphabet and technology giant Tencent.