India’s richest person Mukesh Ambani on Friday committed to invest Rs 3 lakh crore in various projects in the next 10 years in Gujarat, that may range from energy and petrochemical to new technology and digital business.
Ambani’s Reliance Industries operates the world’s largest oil refining complex at Jamnagar in Gujarat as well as petrochemical units at multiple locations in the state. “Gujarat is Reliance’s Janmabhoomi (birthplace) as well as its Karmabhoomi (workplace). Gujarat has always been - and will always remain - our first choice,” he said at the 9th Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit here.
The twin oil refineries at Jamnagar will produce more value-added products like petrochemicals and less of fuel as the world moves towards electric vehicles. “As the world moves towards electrical vehicles, Reliance will use hydrocarbons less for fuel and more for producing high-value new materials with a wide range of uses in society,” he said adding the oil to chemicals strategy will greatly boost exports and create employment. Also, Reliance Foundation will invest Rs 150 crore to make Pandit Deendayal University in Gujarat even stronger and an institution of international repute, he said.
Reliance Industries has also invested billions of dollars in the roll out of telecom venture, Jio.
“We have so far invested nearly Rs 3 lakh crores in Gujarat. And created and catalysed over one million livelihood opportunities in Gujarat. In comparison to the past decades, Reliance will double this investment and employment numbers over the next 10 years,” he said. Ambani said, while Jio’s network is now fully 5G ready, the telecom arm and the retail division will launch a new commerce platform to connect small retailers and shopkeepers with customers.
Bloomberg reports : Reliance will roll out its online shopping platform to 1.2 million retailers and store-owners in the western region, sketching out an ambitious plan to take on Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc.s Flipkart on its home turf.
Mukesh Ambani, Asias richest man, intends to take on the world's largest retailers by combining his Jio telecom service, mobile devices and a vast physical retail network. The energy-to-consumer conglomerate joins Amazon and Flipkart in expanding aggressively across the worlds fastest-growing major e-commerce market, where organised retail is still a rarity.
Jio and Reliance Retail will launch a unique new commerce platform to empower and enrich our 12 lakh small retailers and shopkeepers in Gujarat, the Reliance chairman said at an event in the state on Friday.
Fast-growing Jio currently has 280 million subscribers, while Ambani's retail arm operates nearly 10,000 outlets across more than 6,500 Indian cities and towns. They will team up to bring merchants aboard through Jio's apps and devices, V. Subramaniam, a top executive at Reliance Retail, said on Thursday after the company put out quarterly numbers.
Last month, India tightened rules that will disallow foreign-owned online retailers from selling products via companies in which they own equity, and forbid them from pushing merchants to sell exclusively through their platforms. The rules are expected to affect the operations of both Amazon and Walmart, which acquired Flipkart Online Services Pvt in a $16 billion deal. Theyre expected to benefit local enterprises such as Reliance.
Ambani has been gradually revealing details of his plans in e-commerce. In July, he said his platform would use augmented reality, holographs and virtual reality to create an immersive shopping experience.