Asia’s richest man and Reliance Industries’ Chairman Mukesh Ambani has as featured in Foreign Policy magazine’s 2019 annual list of the top ‘100 Global Thinkers,’ on the back of a ‘smartphone revolution’ brought about by his telecom venture Reliance Jio. “With a fortune of $44.3 billion, Mukesh Ambani displaced Jack Ma in 2018 as Asia’s richest man. Ambani’s fortune comes from his holdings in the oil, gas, and retail sectors, but he’s likely to make his biggest impact on India through his new telecom venture Jio,” Foreign Policy magazine said.
Notably, by offering cellular data and voice free for the first six months after Jio’s launch, Mukesh Ambani got more than 100 million Indians to sign up—accelerating a smartphone internet revolution in the world’s largest democracy, according to the publication. “The next stage of Ambani’s plan is to use the digital airwaves to sell content and lifestyle products, eventually competing with Google and Facebook,” Foreign Policy magazine’s report said.
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Reliance Jio may be a newcomer in the telecom industry, but it’s disruptive entry has led to at least Rs 60,000 crore in annual savings, according to a report by Institute for Competitiveness. The report released by the Institute in April 2018, found that there had been an unprecedented upsurge in data consumption in the country.
Within a short span of six months since Reliance Jio’s launch, India has become the highest mobile data user in the world, consuming over 1 billion GB of data every month compared to 200 million GB earlier, found the IFC report. “Merely by reducing data prices even the most conservative estimates show that due to Jio’s entry the annual financial savings to the consumer has been to the tune of Rs 60,000 crores,” the report said.