Data is well and truly the new oil when it comes to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), as the company gears up to rebrand itself as a software company engaged in ‘developing an ecosystem of new digital technology platforms’.
Data is well and truly the new oil when it comes to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), as the company gears up to rebrand itself as a software company engaged in ‘developing an ecosystem of new digital technology platforms’. In a company presentation ahead of its massive Rs 53,125 crore rights issue that will open on May 20, RIL said that it is a ‘Made in India’, ‘Made for India’, and ‘Made by Indians’ company that is the best proxy for India’s consumption-driven and tech-propelled growth story. RIL is no longer calling itself an oil and gas conglomerate but is instead posing as a software company.
RIL in the presentation highlighted the three mega-growth engines that it has built in a single decade. This included Reliance Jio, Reliance Retail, and Reliance oil-to-chemical. “RIL’s growth in the digital technology business, based on asset-light platforms of the future, will be nonlinear and exponential,” the presentation said as Mukesh Ambani pushed to fashion Jio as the go-to digital platform to aid India’s growth. The company said that rural India’s internet usage is increasing rapidly as it highlighted its vision to take education, health, and agri-knowledge to the doorsteps of rural India riding on the Jio platform. Not just rural India, Jio has also been termed as the best placed to equip MSME players in India with cutting edge technology in the presentation.
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EBITDA for RIL has grown from $5.6 billion in the financial year 2010 to $13.6 billion in financial year 2020 as consumer business increased to 35% of the total business. RIL, now omnipresent in the Indian consumer ecosystem now plays a part in everything from digital platforms to the grocery to fashion and lifestyle. “As the Indian economy aims to grow to US$5 trillion, consumer segments will contribute a large part of the growth Digital platforms and ecosystems being created by Jio will be primary drivers of this growth,” RIL said.
Reliance has recently pocketed over Rs 67,000 crore from four global investors, selling a stake in its subsidiary Jio Platforms. The biggest of these investments has been from Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, buying a 10% stake for Rs 43,000 crore. The latest addition to the list of investors is General Atlantic, buying a stake for Rs 6,598 crore. The move to sell a stake in Jio is being looked at by experts as a move by Mukesh Ambani to cut the net-debt of his company by the end of this fiscal year, however, the roping in of technology giant Facebook will also help India’s most valuable company revamp the retail space using its Jio Mart platform.
All three ‘mega-growth’ engines of Reliance have an exciting outlook according to the company. Jio remains best placed to capitalize on the home broadband market through JioFiber, according to RIL, it is also the only firm having the critical infrastructure for launching 5G in India.