Taking the virtual route the second time in a row, Reliance Industries Ltd held its 44th annual general meeting (AGM) through a video webcast on June 24. The AGM unveiled a slew of announcements and fresh projects such as a new energy business, launch of a smartphone, changes in the board of directors, etc. The company mastering the process of reinventing itself in every five-to-seven-year period, from an oil giant to consumer-facing businesses and now in the green energy space with a vision to meet over 20% of India’s total renewable energy target, is commendable in itself. Below are a few important announcements made by RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani during the AGM:
Changes in Board of Directors
Reliance welcomed Saudi Aramco as “strategic partner” and named H.E. Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Saudi Aramco, to the board as independent director, while YP Trivedi will be retiring from the board. The company expects to formalise the Aramco partnership this year.
New Energy Business
Inspired by the goal set by our Prime Minister to achieve 450GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, Reliance will invest Rs 75,000 crore in three years to build a fully integrated, end-to-end renewable energy ecosystem, create a value chain, build partnerships and future technologies. The chairman also announced that Reliance plans to build four giga factories to manufacture and integrate all critical components of the new energy ecosystem. Reliance plans to establish and enable at least 100GW of solar energy by 2030 and make a truly global business.
Reliance tied up in 2020 with global giants like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc, and within a year has made significant progress with those collaborations.
JioPhone Next, a breakthrough smartphone that’s the result of a Reliance-Google partnership, will be available in the market from September 10, on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. JioPhone Next will be a feature-rich, affordable and specially designed Android smartphone for the Indian market and will be packed with cutting-edge features like voice assistant, automatic read-aloud of screen text, language translation, smart camera with augmented reality filters, and much more.
The initial set of integrations between WhatsApp and JioMart on a trial basis has been launched and the response is encouraging as teams are actively developing the full new commerce solution, linking merchants and consumers. With Microsoft, it operationalised an initial 10MW capacity Jio-Azure cloud data centres in two cities: Jamnagar and Nagpur. The company is currently onboarding pilot customers with the plan to expand data centre capacity and to a growing number of SMEs and start-ups over the coming quarters.
To make India “2G mukt but 5G yukt”, the company is uniquely positioned to quickly and seamlessly upgrade to 5G and has already tested 5G solutions and successfully demonstrated speeds in excess of 1 Gbps. The company is confident of being the first to launch a full-fledged 5G service and is currently working to set up an end-to-end 5G ecosystem with leading global partners to evolve a full range of 5G-capable devices.
RIL’s contributions to the Indian economy remain unmatched: at 6.8% of India’s merchandise exports, amongst the highest taxpayers in India, creating over 75,000 new jobs, largest ever capital raised by any company globally in a year, etc.
During the Covid pandemic, Reliance started Mission Oxygen, Mission Covid Infra, Mission Anna Seva, Mission Employee Care, Mission Vaccine Suraksha, etc.
Reliance will provide salaries for five years to the family of every deceased employee, bear the cost of education of a deceased employee’s children, and medical coverage for the family. Reliance will also provide Rs 10 lakh each to off-roll employees who lost their lives in the pandemic.
Jio Institute is set to commence academic sessions at its campus in Navi Mumbai this year.
The company has made marked improvements both in financial and non-financial parameters across business verticals. The consolidated revenue for FY21 was around Rs 5,40,000 crore with net profit of Rs 53,739 crore and RIL expects to create over 1 million new employment opportunities with these new initiatives.