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Mukesh Ambani Bets Big on Indian Economy, Says Revenues to More than Double by 2025

The oil-to-telecom conglomerate posted consolidated revenues of Rs 4,30,731 crore in 2017-18 and a profit after tax of Rs 36,075 crore.

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Updated:July 5, 2018, 4:05 PM IST
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Mukesh Ambani Bets Big on Indian Economy, Says Revenues to More than Double by 2025
RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani addresses shareholders at the company’s 41st AGM on July 5, 2018.
Reliance Industries will more than double its revenues by 2025 as contributions from the retail and telecom arms match that of the bellwether hydrocarbon business, Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman and Managing Director of India’s largest private sector company, said on Thursday. He was addressing the company’s shareholders at its 41st annual general meeting.

The oil-to-telecom conglomerate posted consolidated revenues of Rs 4,30,731 crore in 2017-18 and a profit after tax of Rs 36,075 crore.

“As India starts on its high growth journey to double the size of its economy by 2025, I assure you that the size of Reliance will more than double in the same period. And the creation of societal value by Reliance will be of an even higher order,” Ambani said in his over-an-hour-long speech at the Birla Matoshri Sabhaghar in Mumbai.

The contribution of RIL’s consumer businesses of retail and mobility rose to 13 per cent at the EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) level, up from 2 per cent in merely a year.

Addressing his shareholders, Ambani laid out a vision for the company, which he said would transition to become a technology platform company.

He said the company would ride on technology to also spearhead initiatives in agriculture, education and health - the three key sectors that he had also mentioned in his last AGM speech. He said the company would create more such platforms to create societal value.

“Our digital connectivity platform has served as the foundation on which we are building our new commerce platform, our media and entertainment platform, education platform, healthcare platform and agriculture platform. Going forward, we shall build more such platforms,” he said.

Ambani also reaffirmed the group’s commitment to protecting the environment. He said environment regulation is now a global imperative, a fact reflected in the company being the largest recycler of PET in India. The company recycles over 2 billion PET bottles annually.

“We are committed to becoming a leader in the emerging circular economy and to become one of the largest recyclers of plastics in India. All these initiatives will enhance our capabilities and competencies, making us future-ready, as we transition from a cyclical business to annuity business,” Ambani said.

A major part of Ambani’s speech was devoted to Reliance Jio. The RIL Chairman said the company would continue to increase the affordability of its digital network for the common man.

After disrupting the mobile call and data market in less than 22 months, Ambani said the company is now set to cause ripples in the fixed-line broadband market. The RIL Chairman said he aims to put India among the five largest consumers of fixed-line broadband services.

The company has been credited with making India the largest consumer of mobile data services in the world in 2017, jumping from 150th rank in less than a year. Reliance Jio now has 225 million users, a feat achieved within 22 months of its launch.

RIL is looking to increasingly become a part of everyday life. The company also announced that it will launch Jio Smart Home Accessories like sensors to detect and regulate water leak, temperature, lighting and electrical appliances.

Ambani said the company will start taking bookings for its much-awaited fixed line broadband ‘JioGigaFiber’ services from August 15. People can register for the services via Jio.com and MyJio app. The service will not just bring high-speed broadband services but also will enable homes to become smart, allowing devices to communicate with each other.

The company will roll out JioGigaFiber services in 1,100 cities simultaneously with the number of registrations deciding the priority of launch in a given city, Ambani said. The company is targeting 5 crore JioGigaHomes in the first phase.

He said the company does not need to make fresh investments in its soon-to-be-launched JioGigaFiber services, having already invested Rs 250,000 crore to create a world-class digital infrastructure that spans 4G LTE and optic fiber network for mobility and fixed-line broadband businesses.

After announcing the launch of JioGigaFiber, Ambani stepped aside for a while to let his daughter Isha, son Akash and Reliance Jio Director Kiran Thomas address the audience. Isha said the three most popular apps – Whatsapp, YouTube and Facebook – will be available on JioPhone from August 15.

She also announced the launch of JioPhone2, a premium version of the popular smartphone - JioPhone - that has already notched up 25 million users.

JioPhone 2 will be sold for Rs 2,999 from August 15. Aiming to increase the affordability of JioPhone and bring it to more users, Isha said users will be able to buy JioPhone by exchanging their existing feature phone for a mere Rs 501. The company has called the scheme JioPhone Monsoon Hungama’.

“With the added functionalities, our wider network reach across India and strong retail presence across India, the goal that I have now set for our Jio team is to enable 100 million users on this JioPhone platform in the shortest possible time,” Ambani said on his return to address his over 2.2 million shareholders.

Ambani also spoke passionately about creating a hybrid, online-to-offline new commerce platform.

“We shall create this by integrating and synergising the power of Reliance Retail's physical marketplace with the fabulous strengths of Jio's digital infrastructure and services,” Ambani said.

The platform will bring together the 35 crore customer footfalls at Reliance Retail stores, the 21.5 crore Jio users, the targeted 5 crore Jio Giga Homes and the 3 crore small merchants and shop-keepers all over India who provide the last-mile physical market connectivity.

“Hence, we will integrate the physical and digital marketplaces in a uniquely collaborative Bharat-India jodo enterprise,” the RIL CMD said.

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