Scaling from its global ability as an O2C player, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries’ foray into telecommunications turned India’s outlook multi-fold. Bullish on making India a 10 trillion-dollar economy by 2030, Mukesh Ambani at the 42nd Annual General Meeting said his company is working on several frontiers to achieve that number.
Being the only diversified multi-sector Indian enterprise with three major growth engines in one single corporate entity – Oils to Chemicals division, Jio and Retail, Mukesh Ambani proudly announced several key launches, M&As that will transform India’s economic landscape.
A few takeaways from the AGM are:
- Jio has crossed the 340 million subscriber mark to remain the world’s fastest growing digital services company. Today, Jio is India’s largest telecom enterprise in terms of subscribers, revenues and profits. Jio has truly become the DIGITAL GATEWAY OF INDIA.
- Partnerships with millions of local businesses, SMEs and micro-enterprises across India: Partnerships with new tech-enabled businesses, platforms and social enterprises. All these partnerships will form a new business coalition capable of creating exponential value for RIl’s five stakeholders: Indian economy, Indian people, our customers, employees and shareowners.
- Reliance and BP have signed a joint-venture in the petroleum retailing business. In a significant new initiative, BP is acquiring 49% stake in Reliance’s petro-retail business. Reliance will get 7,000 crore from BP for this transaction.
- The biggest foreign investment in the history of Reliance was announced. Saudi Aramco and Reliance have agreed to form a long-term Partnership in RIL’s Oil to Chemicals (O2C) division. In terms of the understanding between the parties, Saudi Aramco will invest in Reliance for a 20% stake in Oil to Chemicals division at an Enterprise Value of US$ 75Billion for the O2C division.
- Reliance Jio – According to Mukesh Ambani, JIO was founded with a vision to bring DIGITAL LIFE to every Indian. And this vision was built on TWO pillars: The FIRST was DIGITAL CONNECTIVITY, where JIO would connect EVERY-ONE, EVERY-PLACE and EVERYTHING with the highest quality and affordability. And the SECOND was to build DIGITAL PLATFORMS and SOLUTIONS built to suit the unique requirements of India and Indians spanning all walks of life like entertainment, ecommerce, financial services, education, healthcare, agriculture, eGovernance and everything beyond.
- On 5th September this year JIO turns three-years-old. Today JIO’s customer base has crossed 340 million users. And still Jio is signing up more than 10 million new customers each month.
- The potential for growth is immense, and HALF A BILLION customers is now well within Jio’s reach. RIL has invested 3.5 LAKH CRORE towards creating a state-of-the-art digital infrastructure across India, with the largest optical fiber footprint. Recently the company divested about 17 lakh crore of hard infrastructure into separate infrastructure investment trusts or InvITs to better monetize and unlock value from these assets. Through these investments RIL has created world-class, legacy-free, future-proof assets all of which are fixed-mobile converged. The core and aggregation layers of our converged network have been 5G ready since day one.
- And because of our early adoption of the ongoing enhancements to LTE technology its wireless network is already 4G PLUS, which can be upgraded to 5G at minimum incremental cost.
- JIO’s converged network architecture can offer even faster fixedline broadband to homes and business establishments. In this context, Mukesh Ambani said, “Unlike other industry players RIL had the foresight to PRE-INVEST in the network assets. And for this reason, I can report to you today that the investment cycle for Jio is now complete. Only marginal investments in access are now required to grow capacity to meet growing demand. This gives us tremendous operating leverage and superior returns on our INVESTMENTS for years to come.”
- At the AGM RIL had announced that the company has fired up just one of the engines of Revenue generation for Jio namely mobile broadband. Even with one engine Jio has been profitable from its first quarter of commercial operations, and now RIL is ready to kickstart FOUR more engines of CONNECTIVITY REVENUE for Jio; INTERNETOF THINGS or IoT all over India; HOME BROADBAND; ENTERPRISE BROADBAND; and BROADBAND for SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES. The Revenues from each of these engines would kick-in within this financial year itself.
- The Internet of Things, JIO has developed an innovative service on its pan-India 4G network called Narrowband Internet-of-Things or NBIoT, for short. Using NBIoT data from billions of smart sensors whether residential, industrial or public can be collected from across India with the highest reliability and lowest cost. To take just one example there are over 300 million electricity meters which need to be connected digitally for real-time monitoring and for giving consumers full visibility and control of cost and quality. And going forward each home and business premise will have dozens of connected devices. Within another 2 years, it is estimated that there will be more than 2 billion connected IoT devices in our country.
- Jio aims to connect at least 1 BILLION of these on JIO’s IoT platform. This translates into a 20,000 CRORE PER YEAR revenue opportunity for JIO. Jio’s IoTplatform will be commercially available starting 1st January, 2020.
- Home broadband: FIXEDLINE BROADBAND service – called JIOFIBER: Over the past year, RIL has built significant momentum in its JIOFIBER rollout and the company is confident that it will complete its network rollout within the next 12 months.
- During the last year JIOFIBER was installed – on a trial basis – in nearly HALF A MILLION homes to fine-tune services based on actual customer feedback. Mukesh Ambani, commenting on this, said, “We have found that these trial homes on average are consuming more than 100 GBs per month and this usage is increasing with each passing day. With JIOFIBER you get lightning fast broadband speeds of up to 1 GBPS. You get a landline phone connection, at no additional cost. And you get a DIGITAL SET-TOP-BOX that opens up unparalleled digital experiences within your home. Ultrahigh Definition Entertainment, Virtual Reality content, Multi-Party video Conferencing, Voice-Enabled Virtual assistants Interactive Gaming Home Security And Many Other Smart-Home Solutions.
- TELEVISION: Television services in India is a classic small-businesses success story, where Local Cable Operators or LCOs played a pioneering role. In recent years competition from DTH operators have threatened the viability of nearly 1 lakh LCOs who still operate across India. As firm supporters of local and small businesses JIO wanted to ensure that these LCOs continued to serve their communities. Earlier this year RIL acquired controlling stakes in three leading Cable MSOs – Hathway, DEN and GTPL who have direct relationships with over 30,000 LCOs.
- Over the past months Jio has worked with MSOs to upgrade their infrastructure to world-class standards. After these upgrades, Jio’s LCO partners will now be able to offer the largest bouquet of High-Definition channels to customers with better features, reliability and customer experience than even DTH.
- JIO has set up its own SET-TOP-BOX to accept the broadcast cable TV signals from our LCO partners. So that with every JIOFIBER home all our LCO partners will continue to have a steady stream of revenue for their broadcast TV business. We look forward to extending this partnership to all LCOs across the country.
- For SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES: JIOFIBER enables a powerful combination of FIXED-LINE CONNECTIVITY and CLOUD APPLICATIONS leapfrogging them from NO TECHNOLOGY to having a complete line-up of cutting-edge, plug-and-play technology enabled tools.
- For LARGE ENTERPRISES: JIOFIBER and JIO’s cloud solutions level the playing field for Indian enterprises enabling them to accelerate their digital transformation and compete globally using the very same technologies that are used by global majors.
- JIOFIBER is going to be available starting 5th SEPTEMBER of this year – on the THIRD anniversary of JIO’s launch –
- Jio tariffs are based on FOUR strong and powerful principles. First principle: JioFiber will launch with a line-up of simple and easy to understand tariff plans. On performance – the average fixed-line download speed in the US which is the most developed economy is around 90 Mbps. In India even the most basic JIOFIBER plan STARTS WITH 100 Mbps speed and we have plans all the way up to 1 Gbps or 1000 Mbps. This will disproportionately improve the quality of fixed-line data in India. And on price – we are pricing our plans at less than 1/10th the global rates, to make it accessible for all. JioFiber plans will be priced between Rs 700 to Rs 10,000 per month to suit every budget and every need. Second: Customers should pay for only one service, either voice or data. Not both. Jio announced that voice calls from HOME to any Indian operator – mobile or fixed – will be ABSOLUTELY FREE Forever. On Fixed-Line International Voice Calling – LOWEST FIXED LINE RATES were announced for International Calling through 2 initiatives. First, the default tariffs on your Jio HOME PHONE will be one-fifth to one-tenth of existing industry tariffs. Second unlimited international calling pack at Rs 500 per month, to US and Canada, thereby making it easy for families to connect.
- Content: Jio substantially simplified the purchase and consumption of content. To overcome paying for and keeping track of multiple subscriptions to multiple applications just to watch favourite movies and shows. This is both expensive and cumbersome. But JIOFIBER plans will come BUNDLED with subscriptions to most leading premium OTT applications. Also, for the first time in India, Jio is introducing a disruptive concept for watching NEW movies. Premium JIOFIBER customers will be able to watch movies in their living rooms the same day these movies are released in theatres! It is called JIO FIRST-DAY-FIRST-SHOW. This will be launched in the middle of 2020. Fourth: We are launching a special mobility service for our JioFiber users called JIO POSTPAID PLUS, to deliver a platinum-grade service and product experience.
- Some of the unique features of this service are: One, India’s first priority SIM-setup service at home, where your connection will be moved to Jio by visiting your home. Two, Seamless Data and Voice Connectivity across all your devices, both at home and outside. Three, Unprecedented Family plans – one data plan for better control on GBs and sharing within your family. Four, International roaming at a fraction of a cost with superior service experience. Five, Phone upgrades at preferential rates. And Six, all your home solutions on your phone.
- But what enthral all of us is this: The experience of JIOFIBER and JIO-SET-TOP-BOX really comes to life when combined with an LED TELEVISION. So, JIOFIBER customers who opt for annual plans which we call JIO-FOREVER plans, will get an HD OR 4K LED TELEVISION and a 4K SET-TOP-BOX ABSOLUTELY FREE. This is called JIOFIBER WELCOME OFFER
Today, JIO is already a software company. JIO has over 6000 software engineers and is continuing to attract technology talent from across India and the world. JIO is also investing in a growing ecosystem of technology startups. As on date Jio has invested in 14 startups that embody the JIO DNA and have developed unique capabilities in their respective fields with a total of 1500 talented engineers.
Mukesh Ambani announced saying that this is another way Jio is building talent. And on the back of this talent the company is now investing in scaling-up advanced technologies in our country even ahead of the rest of the world. The plans are:
FIRST, Blockchain technology all over India. Using Blockchain we can deliver unprecedented security, trust, automation and efficiency to almost any type of transaction. This is a vital capability for India especially for modernizing our supply chains for agricultural produce and other goods which form the lifeblood of our economy. Over the next 12 months, JIO will install across India one of the largest blockchain networks in the world with tens of thousands of nodes operational on day one.
SECOND, Edge computing and Virtual and Mixed Reality content: The next frontier of content is immersive. This creates exciting new possibilities for entertainment, shopping, gaming and most importantly for education. Delivering immersive content to hundreds of millions of users requires a well-integrated solution spanning connectivity, data storage and real-time computing. And we need to deploy such solutions at the edge of the network or in other words, closer to where our users are. JIO is setting up a pan-India Edge Computing and Content Distribution network again starting with tens of thousands of nodes. This means that your favourite content and applications will be even nearer to you. So even faster downloads and faster response times.
Third, CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE across India. To leapfrog the world, it is a national imperative to develop a nation-wide cloud computing infrastructure that is both cutting-edge and affordable. There are just a handful of companies in the world who can be considered at the cutting-edge of cloud technologies.
MICROSOFT’s Cloud platform AZURE is one of the world’s leading cloud platforms. Today, Jio and Microsoft have entered into a globally unique long-term alliance to accelerate the digital transformation of our country. As part of this alliance, while Jio sets up a network of large world-class datacenters across India, Microsoft will bring its Azure cloud platform into Jio’s datacenters.