Hindustan Times (Lucknow)
‘Future belongs to those who ace tech’
MUMBAI: The future belongs to organizations that will lead the digital revolution, and success will depend on agility and innovation, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Wednesday.
In his address to shareholders in the company’s annual report released on Wednesday, Ambani said, “As technology becomes a driving force in all businesses and facets of life, the future belongs to organizations that can lead and leverage the digital revolution,” implying that RIL’s expansion into telecom and digital services is a step in that direction.
“In an unpredictable and challenging environment, agility and innovation are key to staying consistently successful,” Ambani added.
RIL, which completed a record fundraising in 2020, is planning to launch an affordable smartphone this year in partnership with Google to stay ahead of the curve.
The new smartphone may have the potential to migrate 2G subscribers to 4G and also drive data consumption, raising Reliance Jio’s average revenues per user.
Last fiscal year, Jio Platforms and Reliance Retail raised ₹1,52,056 crore and ₹47,265 crore respectively from strategic and financial investors, including Facebook and Google. RIL’s energy business partner BP invested ₹7,629 crore for a 49% stake in its fuel retailing business.
“We now have a strong balance sheet with high liquidity that will support growth plans for our three hyper-growth engines—Jio, retail, and oil to chemicals,” he said.
In the period 2020-21, RIL also completed India’s biggest rights issue worth ₹53,124 crore.
“Strong operating cash flow and the largest ever capital raise further strengthened our balance sheet, enabling us to deleverage and meet our net-debt zero commitment ahead of the stated timeline,” Ambani said, adding that during the year, Reliance prepaid $7.8 billion of long-term foreign currency debt, after securing central bank approvals.
On the telecom front, Qualcomm and Jio successfully tested 5G solutions in India, achieving the 1 gbps milestone on Jio 5G solution, Ambani said. Reliance Retail’s new commerce initiative, JioMart, continues to grow in scale with more traffic, active users, and orders.