“These are difficult times, no doubt, for India and the world because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, never have I felt more optimistic in my life about a bright future for India, and for Reliance,” – Mukesh Ambani, Managing Director & Chairman, Reliance Industries
Over 300,000 shareholders from 473 cities and 41 countries attended Reliance Industries’ 43rd Annual General Meeting, virtually. The latest AGM of the Reliance Group rolled out applause-worthy announcements-counting from an enormous investment by Google, the Jio Glass, Reliance’s entry into 5G and laid the future roadmap for the company.
Here are some key highlights of the Reliance Annual General Meeting 2020:
Reliance Industries Limited
- The first Indian company to exceed market cap of $150 bn
- The first Indian company to cross INR 1,00,000 Cr in consolidated EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) where its consumer business contributed about 35%
- Own the title of completing India’s largest-ever rights issue of INR 53124 Cr and the world’s largest-ever by a non-financial institution in a decade
- Now standing as a non-debt free company
- Google will invest INR 33,737 Cr for a 7.7% stake in Jio Platforms
- This is the 13th investment captured by Jio Platforms which pushes the cumulative fundraising amount by Reliance to INR 2,12,809 Cr
- The aim is to develop an Android-based smartphone operating system
- “Have sold 100 million Jio Phones till date. But there are many feature phone users waiting to upgrade to a conventional smartphone. We believe we can design an entry-level 4G or even a 5G smartphone. We believe that we can design such a phone at a fraction of the current cost,” Ambani said.
- “To power such a value-engineered smartphone, we also need an equally value-engineered smartphone operating system. And, such an operating system must be designed from grounds-up. Google and Jio are partnering to build a new smartphone operating system in India,” he added.
Homegrown 5G Telecom Solution
- Intending to connect half a billion mobile customers, 50 million home & business establishments and a billion smart sensors in the next three years, Jio is developing a homegrown 5G Telecom Solution
- Trials of which are expected to start soon and are anticipated to be rolled out for field deployment by the next year
An invitation to startups to join Reliance
- “We have a very special place in our heart for startups, whom we consider our brother-in-arms. I believe that there is no better partner for Indian startups than JIO.”- Mukesh Ambani
JioTV+, an integrated OTT service will aggregate content from over 12 video-streaming (OTT) platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar, among others, into one app. It will be voice-search enabled.
“Four things that give me huge satisfaction are: First, more than two-thirds of our nearly 12,000 stores are operated in Tier II, Tier III and Tier IV towns. Second, the deep-rooted bond with tens of thousands of farmers that has helped us source over 80% of our fresh fruits and vegetable directly from farmers. We sell more fruits and vegetables than any other organised retailer in the country. Third, we continue to provide large employment and development opportunities for lakhs of people across India. Fourth, our growth model is based on partnership with small merchants and shopkeepers.”
To capture 400 million Indian customers through Kirana store partners, Reliance Retail will focus on omnichannel and integrated retail through JioMart which will connect small merchants and Kirana shops to consumers
JioMart, Reliance Industries’ (RIL) platform for customers and Kirana stores have now enabled a multipurpose point of service (POS) services to enable smooth transactions between stores and their customers
Reliance announced the launch of Jio Glass which, a new mixed reality product which will enable holographic video calling. Weighing 75 grams, Jio glass comes with inbuilt camera and speakers.
It remains connected by a single-cable and already has 25 apps that allow augmented reality video meetings and more.
Centralizing media and distribution businesses
“Our digital properties are now used by almost 200 million people every month. We are amongst the top 10 digital news players across sectors. We are consolidating our media and distribution businesses. Den and Hathway are being merged with Network18 and TV18, subject to regulatory approvals. This will make the Network18 group the largest listed media and distribution company in the country.”
Aiming to make O2C a separate entity
“We will approach the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) with our proposal to spin-off our oil-to-chemicals (O2C) business into a separate subsidiary,” said the Chairman.
The company expects to complete this process by early 2021
Mukesh Ambani also cited that the Reliance Industries’ Saudi Aramco deal, which has not progressed according to the scheduled time because of “unforeseen situation in the energy market and COVID-19 situation.”
“For all of us at Reliance, the source of inspiration is Swami Vivekananda, who said: ‘Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.” Mukesh Ambani ended his AGM speech by thanking the central and state governments, shareholders, investors, lenders, suppliers and customers for their consistent and resolute support.