Before the partnership, Facebook and Jio Platforms were connectivity platforms but following the deal these together have become a value creation platform, according to Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani.
“Perhaps not many people have understood this. Before this partnership, I believe, that each one of us was mainly a communication platform. Together, we now have become a value creation platform for our customers and small businesses, and I firmly believe technology with all the digitisation steps that India has taken will democratise wealth and value creation for individuals and small businesses,” Ambani said at ‘Fuel for India 2020’.
This is the first edition of global tech giant Facebook’s Fuel for India, which focuses on growth opportunities in the digital space and supporting digital revolutions. Ambani had joined Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a conversation on how technology majors can play a pivotal role in bringing about digital transformation in India.
“WhatsApp has hundreds of millions of subscribers in India, Jio also has hundreds of millions of subscribers in India. JioMart, which is our retail service, has the aspiration of serving tens of millions of small shopkeepers in India, who bedrock of employment. This means Jio brings digital connectivity, while WhatsApp brings digital interactivity and ability to move to close transactions and create value,” Ambani said in a chat with Facebook founder, chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
“JioMart brings online and offline retail opportunity and gives our small shops which exist in villages and small towns in India a chance to digitise and be at par with anybody else in the world. To my mind, more wealth creation means more employment and more business.”
Ambani also said that Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio) had maintained a 99.99 per cent availability of the network across the country through the pandemic, helping everyone to work from home through these months.
On his part, Zuckerberg said that Facebook tests a lot of new features in India first, before rolling out globally. He also mentioned Facebook introducing cricket streaming with the India-Australia tour, and highlighted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Digital India.
“India is home to the world’s largest communities. There is a big trend in financial inclusions in the country. This is helping people add self-reliance to their lives made possible with aspects such as India’s UPI interface,” Zuckerberg said.
Zuckerberg, whom Ambani referred to as the ‘architect of the digital connectivity of the world’, said that India represented great economic opportunities and that was the reason for Facebook to invest in the country.
In April, betting on India’s digital growth story, Facebook has signed a binding agreement to invest ₹43,574 crore in Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL) wholly-owned subsidiary Jio Platforms.
Read the story: Facebook picks 9.99 per cent in Jio Platforms