The Jio-Facebook deal may mark a change in consumer behaviour, and the whole industry will benefit from this, Vijay Shaekhar Sharma said.
While retailers and e-commerce platforms may feel intimidated by the biggest cross-country deal of this year between Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio and Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, homegrown digital payments platform Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma claims that this could actually be beneficial to the firm. The Jio-Facebook deal may mark a change in consumer behaviour, and the whole industry will benefit from this, Vijay Shekhar Sharma told CNBC TV-18. “It takes a huge amount of capital to change customer behaviour and it took us tens of thousands of crores to make users pick up the phone and scan a QR code. We spent more money than government programs cumulatively to change the behaviour,” he said.
However, one thing that Paytm hasn’t been able to do is business around online-to-offline, he said. On the other hand, JioMart is incepted on the premise that an item will be sourced from a local store and will be later shipped to a customer’s home. “Jio-Facebook partnership may be calling the country where consumers start to place orders to neighborhood stores. Once this takes off, everyone in the industry will benefit and we will also be a beneficiary,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma added. After the announcement of Facebook-Jio deal, Paytm had also later announced its plan to bring kiranas into play as the company looks to ramp up hyperlocal deliveries in about 100 Indian cities.
In April 2020, Facebook and Reliance Jio announced a multi-billion dollar deal where Facebook agreed to pick up nearly 10% stake in Jio for Rs 43,574 crore ($5.7 billion). The investment makes US-based social media platform Facebook the largest minority shareholder in Jio Platforms. Facebook is also expected to launch its payments service soon in the near future via Whatsapp which is likely to help JioMart’s business consolidate even further on one platform. JioMart is already using Whatsapp to reach the target audience and the platform is also used to confirm orders and send order details.