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RIL chief Mukesh Ambani bets big on a 'digital-first' world

| | Updated on: Dec 04, 2021

Mukesh Ambani

Mukesh and PM Modi echo the disruptive power of a fintech revolution

“Blockchain is a technology I believe in and it is different from crypto. I believe in real time and expect everything will settle in real time. Smart contracts will also become real,” Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Friday.

Speaking virtually at a session at InFinity Forum, jointly hosted by the Gift City regulator IFSCA and Bloomberg, Ambani said that “the coming digital-first revolution will make our world and make India more inclusively prosperous than we can now imagine. I can say with absolute confidence that the digital-first world will be a more equal world without the traditional and unacceptable disparities and deprivations we see in our societies at present. The digital-first world will be a people-first world. No one will be last and no human being will be left behind.”

Convergence areas

Ambani said he is a big believer in the concept of transactions being settled in “real time”. He gave the example of the stock market where earlier, transactions used to be settled once a week which gradually got reduced to two days and the situation now, if regulatory clearance is given, may even be settled on a real time basis.

Ambani said convergence is happening in four different aspects — convergence of real time, convergence of distributed ledger and blockchain technology, third, smart tokens, and, fourth, the coming together of physical and digital through Internet of Things (IoT). “These would enable and redefine the decentralised financial sector in ways we had never imagined,” said Ambani.

Decentralised finance

He said this is the scale of developments expected in the next ten years and moving in this direction is the prerequisite to economic growth. “Today, the situation is that large companies have finance and small companies don’t. That situation would change.”Ambani was talking about the contours of economic growth in India.

“We are at early stages of sporadic digitisation (of financial transactions). Opportunities in technologies are emerging where we can adopt a decentralised model of finance. We have evolved in the last hundred years over centralised model and I believe there will in the days to come open a path to decentralised finance where finance will be enabled to everybody. I believe there will still be need for a government and central bank (even if decentralised model is adopted),” Ambani said.

Financial empowerment

The Fintech industry received another booster shot, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushing for a “revolution” in the sector Virtually inaugurating the two-day InFinity Forum, he said: “Now is the time to convert these Fintech initiatives into a Fintech revolution. A revolution that helps to achieve financial empowerment of every single citizen of the country.”

 

The Prime Minister highlighted that technology is making a big shift in finance. He said mobile payments last year exceeded ATM cash withdrawals for the first time. “Fully digital banks, without any physical branch offices, are already a reality and May become common place in less than a decade,” Modi said.

“India has proved to the world that it is second to none when it comes to adopting technology or innovating around it,” said Modi.

Security, the key

Noting that common Indian has shown immense trust in the Fintech ecosystem by embracing digital payments and such technologies, Modi underlined that this trust is a responsibility. “Trust means that you need to ensure that the interests of the people are secured. Fintech innovation will be incomplete without fintech security innovation,” he said.

 

 

Published on December 03, 2021
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