Archive for May, 2014

India Inc., including Mukesh Ambani Present at Modi’s Swearing-in Ceremony

May 27, 2014

India welcomed her 15th Prime Minister on May 26th 2014. Narendra Modi was unanimously elected by the winning party the BJP to be their Prime Minister after a thrilling election campaign which saw the incumbent Congress Party crash to a heavy defeat and the BJP reach for the stars with a spectacular performance. After the results of India’s General Elections were declared on May 16th, it was expected that Narendra Modi would be sworn in as India’s next prime Minister.

The swearing-in ceremony of India’s new Prime Minister was held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 26th 2014. Among those attending the ceremony were politicos from various parties around India along with many leaders from SAARC Countries including Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif. Also in attendance were biggies from India’s business houses including Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani, Sunil Mittal and Ashok Hinduja. It was very interesting to see India Inc.’s leaders rub shoulders with political big-wigs and diplomats on the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan, which hosted it’s biggest-ever ceremony with close to 4,500 people attending Modi’s inauguration.

Among those present were Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani, his wife Nita and his two sons, Akash and Anant. Anant is currently studying at Brown University while Akash, an alumnus of the Ivy League University has joined Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL), the new telecom offering from RIL who hold a pan-India 4G license. Anil Ambani along with wife Tina and Kokilaben Ambani (Dhirubhai Ambani’s widow) completed the Ambani Family at the historic event.

Hinduja Group of Companies (India) chairman Ashok Hinduja as well as Essar head Shashi Ruia and its chief executive officer Prashant Ruia were present.The Mittal brothers — Sunil, Rajan and Rakesh, DLF vice chairman Rajiv Singh, Hero MotoCorp managing director and chief executive officer Pawan Munjal, Suzlon Group chairman Tulsi Tanti and Videocon Group’s Rajkumar Dhoot were also present.From the aviation sector, Jet Airways founder Chairman Naresh Goyal and CEO of new entrant Air Asia India Mittu Chandilya were present.From the financial sector, Yes Bank head Rana Kapoor, who is also president of industry chamber Assocham, attended.Representation from the information technology sector at the inauguration was led by Nasscom president R. Chandra-shekhar.

For many business leaders, the inauguration of Modi as the country’s Prime Minister marks a time in which industry-friendly policies and the creation of an environment in which markets can flourish are critical. Many hope that Modi’s magic – which worked wonders in Gujarat, is replicated all over India.

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Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio pens agreement with Tower Vision

May 21, 2014

The telecom industry in India is moving ahead at a fast pace indeed. With 3G present in almost all corners of the country, the next big hurdle was 4G. This too looks set to hit Indian shores before the close of 2014. And it’s not a foreign corporation that’s bringing the fourth generation mobile technology – its India’s very own Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL) Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL).

The Mukesh Ambani-owned company has expanded rapidly and analysts expect RJIL to start off with a bang when it starts offering its services in the Indian market. To enable the fast rollout of these services and to ensure that the offering from the company doesn’t meet with problems, one of the first things to be tacked was the issue of network availability. To tackle this, RJIL signed agreements and deals with many mobile tower and infrastructure companies that would enable the Ambani-owned enterprise to reap benefits of having numerous towers across India. The latest deal was signed with Tower Vision. In a joint statement issued by RJIL and Tower Vision, the companies said that the deal is for sharing 8,400 towers of Tower Vision. It is the fifth tower-sharing agreement by Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio. Earlier, the company had tied up with Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Viom Towers and ATC India.

“We are continuing to build wide coverage of high speed 4G networks through a combination of towers that we are constructing on our own and those that we are renting from quality tower infrastructure partners,” said Sanjay Mashruwala, managing director at Reliance Jio.

The overall target for RJIL is to use around 1,00,000 towers as it targets to launch fourth-generation voice and data services in the October-December quarter. Of these, around 70,000 are to be leased or shared with other companies and 30,000 will be constructed for the sole purpose of proving 4G network.

The company owns all-India airwaves in the 2,300 MHz band since May 2010, but it has not rolled out the service yet. But it needs to do so by May 2015, as per the license obligation. Reliance Jio also bought airwaves in the 1,800 MHz band in an auction held in February 2014.

Reliance Jio’s eagerly anticipated data services are likely to bring down data prices. This, in turn, may lead to another tariff war among various service providers.

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Nita Ambani & Reliance Foundation undertake Health Outreach Mumbai

May 15, 2014

Reliance Foundation under the stewardship of Mukesh Ambani’s wife Nita Ambani has enrolled around one lakh families in the vicinity of the soon to be opened Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital & Research Centre. The foundation will provide primary healthcare to these families at subsidized rates. This comes on the back of the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) owned foundation starting primary-level health clinics to provide preventive and primary healthcare services at a subsidized rate to the vulnerable sections of the society.

Mumbai’s Savior

The health outreach program that has now grown to over one lakh families started out very small. Initially, it connected most parts of South Mumbai through its mobile vans, also known as mobile medical units (MMUs). There are a total of three MMU’s at present and these cover about three to four areas that have a high number of low-income population.

The idea behind providing healthcare was born out of necessity. More than half of Mumbai’s population doesn’t have access to quality healthcare. According to a source at RIL, this primary healthcare project was started to provide care and low-cost medical services for the low-income groups. Because of this, Reliance Foundation decided to start a new hospital called, ‘Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital.’ The Foundation has also set up three static medical units (SMUs) covering areas near Grant Road, Chira Bazaar and Girgaum to ensure a more permanent foothold in the healthcare segment.

A person working with Reliance Foundation was quoted as saying, “The project started with three MMUs with experienced staff providing healthcare at doorsteps of community. Subsequently, three SMUs were established. The idea was to establish an outreach for the HN Hospital in its vicinity. Usually, an outreach programme starts after the main hospital has been set up, but we took the other way round in order to understand the health needs of the communities.”

Success:

Over one lakh families in the vicinity of HN Hospital have befitted from this scheme so fat. The system under which this works is quite simple. Each family receives a health card that covers the member of the family for an easy access to primary healthcare at any of these SMUs or MMUs. Around 60,000 consultations have taken place in this short period. The consultations and medicines are completely free of cost at MMU while at SMUs the poor get free services.

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Excitement Building for IMG-Reliance’s Indian Super League

May 6, 2014

Reliance Foundation backed Indian Super League is finally shaping up. The eight cities where the teams in this hot new league will be based were announced recently. The league’s financial muscle is provided by IMG-Reliance and Star TV with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) as a partner. The league is set to kick off in September 2014 and the preparation for the teams in underway.

To nobody’s surprise, Goa featured on the list of eight places where an ISL team will be based out of. A hotbed of football in India, Goa has had a long and fruitful relationship with the beautiful game. A big part in this was played by the State’s Portuguese Roots. The Goa franchisee of the Indian Super League is owned by a consortium of Dattaraj Salgaocar, Srinivas V Dempo and Venugopal Dhoot of Videocon.

A Vision for the Future:

Many football fans in India have been longing for a league like this for a long time now. While many foreign coaches have taken an active role in developing the young talent in the country, the ISL is considered by many to be a game-changer in what it’s going to offer to the youth. The first and possibly the most invigorating point being the presence of foreign players; and they’re not your average Sunday League type players. We’re talking about world class players who’ve captivated global audiences for a long time now; players like Thierry Henry, Michael Owen, Hernan Crespo and many others!

The Goa franchise would of course want to build a string team that’s capable of winning the ISL. But’s that’s not the whole story. The bigger picture is that the franchise wants to develop the youth players, inspire them and elevate them to a much higher level than where they’re now. Srinivas V Dempo is experienced in Indian Football having overseen the rise of Dempo FC and taking on giants like East Bengal and Mohun Bagan on the pitch. It’s heartening to see owners playing such a proactive role in the development of the youngsters.

Fan Participation:

The Goa franchise has carefully studied football clubs across Europe and South America where fan support is often feverish and clubs are an integral part of the local culture. As a result, fan engagement has been given priority. Rather than running contests and offering prizes, the Goa franchise has ventured into hitherto unknown territory by asking its fans to suggest a team name and a nickname. This bold move is sure to attract a lot of engagement from football fans across the country and these fans are sure to be treated to high-quality football once the league commences.

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