Archive for March, 2016

Mukesh Ambani Outlines 5 Trends That Will Define the Digital Future At FICCI Frames 2016

March 30, 2016

Mr. MukeshAmbani, Chairman of Reliance Industries, delivered an inaugural keynote speech at FICCI Frames 2016, held at the Renaissance, Powai.In his speech outlined five ‘megatrends’ that define the digital future. The visionary Mr. MukeshAmbani believes that strategies that factor these megatrends will help put us at the top in a digital world, which is fast moving from orality to visuality.

The Fast Changing Trend-From the Spoken To the Visual World

Mr. MukeshAmbani believes that the world is rapidly undergoing a tectonic shift from the written and spoken world to the visual world. This is because the videos are more compelling, as they are intuitive, emotive, and easy to understand. Besides, the power of images shouldn’t be undermined too, as a picture is worth a thousand words. The digital world is ruled by videos and images.

Reliance Jio’sPowerful Video Network

Reliance Jio is all geared up and is sure to have the most powerful and comprehensive video network in the world. This shift from voice to video will be successfully achieved, with Jio as the main network that will be available in every village and city in India. The Jio video network can change the way we play, learn, entertain, or communicate. As affordability is a key feature of the service, Reliance Jio has the power to change how we learn, play, entertain and communicate.

Affordability is the key to change

Mr. Ambani reiterated the view that affordability is one factor that has the power to bring millions to a new platform and change everything. It is critical to understand that digital technology is exponential, and thus it creates significant opportunities for those who wish to embrace the change. Those who wish to resist the change often face a challenge, as change is inevitable and depends on the choices we make. Mr. MukeshAmbani believes that embracing the change is the best way for everyone to reap rich dividends, allowing each of us toshare in the exponential growth.

The World is Graduating to a Tele-Media World

There was a time when telecommunication, television and broadcasting, and media and entertainment were separate industries. The telecommunication industry focused only on the network and infrastructure,while entertainment companies would focus only on the production and distribution of content. With high-speed mobile broadband havingtaken the world by storm and with new emerging media sectors, today we all are a part of the tele-media future. There is a change in the game plan, and the model has shifted from ownership to digital access, and the focus of the user has shifted from downloading to streaming.

Mr. MukeshAmbani emphasized that the traffic isn’t linear, it is interactive. There has been a shift from monologues to conversations and from copyrights to usage rights. He stated, “Hyper-collaboration will be the requirement of the day;the world is moving from an ego-system to eco-system”.

Abundance is the Global Trend

Mr. MukeshAmbani defines abundance of distribution, choice and content. There is an abundance of videos and songs that you can access anywhere at anytime. The abundance has made intelligent data the need of the hour. Mr. Ambani draws a beautiful analogy of data being the oil for the mind. He even highlighted that this abundance might create a scarcity of happiness, purpose of life, and context. Anyone who can address this scarcity will emerge as a winner.

It is About Humanity and Not Technology

Technology is not an end goal; it is just the means to an end. The aim of technology is to make human life better, and the future belongs to creative empathizers, meaning makers, and pattern recognizers. Humanity will continue to evolve as technology changes.

Summary

Mr. MukeshAmbani, Chairman of Reliance Industries outlined five megatrends that define the digital future in his inaugural keynote speech at FICCI Frames 2016.

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Reliance Retail Ready with Game Plan for LYF Sale

March 23, 2016

Reliance Retail has revealed that its LYF phones are poised to exploit 4G and are future-ready. Although the smartphone market demand has been dominated with ‘purchase by invitation’ and ‘flash sales’ of late, Reliance Retail has gone all out with the old-school marketing technique, ‘Shock and Awe’.

The subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries started its operations with 120,000 retail outlets and more than 1,200 distributors. As Indian customers often fret about the quality of after sales services, there are more than 1,000 service centers. Thus, LYF is strongly positioned in the digital arena.

LYF is the smartphone flagship from the largest electronics retail chain Reliance Retail that includes omnipresence through Digital Express stores and Reliance Digital stores. These stores give them a clout that can’t be replicated by newcomers.

LYF Tries to Enter a Competitive Market Segment

LYF is trying to make its presence felt in a highly competitive and cluttered segment of the market, and as per a Counterpoint Research report, India is the second largest smartphone market in terms of users. At present, there are more than 220 million, but the smartphone has reached less than 30% of its potential audience.

Market experts believe that 4G can be the next big inflection point for smartphone sales, and handsets between INR 6,000 to INR 15,000 are sure to witness the largest sales growth.

LYF Sales to Get a Boost with Reliance Jio Services

LYF is betting on the launch of Reliance Jio services, and through Reliance Retail, wants to push the devices across the price range starting from INR 5, 499 for Flame 1 to INR 19, 399 for Earth 1. The Earth series is the packed with high-end features, while the Wind series is oriented for its cutting-edge design and the Flame and Water series are moderately priced. The VoLTE platform offers what the people are looking for, fantastic features, extraordinary experience, and affordable prices.

Reliance Employees Doubled up as Beta Testers

The incredible range of LYF smartphones was designed after extensive research and taking valuable suggestions from employees at Reliance, who even doubled up as the beta testers. They have been using the devices for the past few months and some modifications have already been made, based on their feedback. One such instance is the introduction of the phone with a larger screen with the Wind series. Not only this, employees even played a role in package designing, resulting in box free of many tropes of cellphone packaging.

The company plans to go beyond the tech-savvy early adopters who need little or no convincing to shift to 4G. Reliance Retail aims for the consumers who previously owned a featured phone and are now ready to make a jump from 2G to rich media environment of 4G. To prepare for these first-time users, LYF outlets will feature a gadget that will enable instant data transfer from their existing phones to new ones.

Summary

Reliance Retail has its game plan ready to drive sales of the LYF handsets that have been much-awaited by consumers.

Reliance Reveals Tech Specs & Pricing of the Much-Awaited LYF Smartphones for Holi 2016

March 21, 2016

This Holi live it up with Reliance Retail’s LYF smartphone series. With the festival of color, just around the corner, Reliance Retail announced the launch of the three new LYF smartphones- Flame 2, Wind 4, and Water 7. The company has announced the official tech specs and pricing.

The Reliance Retail spokesperson said, “The Holi Celebration offer is to appreciate the confidence and trust that customers have shown in LYF. Our aim is to delight our customers with novelty factors.”

At the time of the launch of the new LYF smartphones, Reliance had announced that the handsets that were to be launched in late-March would make their way to the retail stores soon, though the tech specs and prices were kept secret.

Pricing of the Phones

The Mobile Indian was the first to spot the complete technical specifications and prices of the LYF Flame 2, Wind 4 and Water 7 smartphones on the official website. As per reports, the entry-level handset Flame 2 is priced at INR 5,549, Wind 4 is priced at INR 9,669, and Water 7 is priced at INR 18,750.

Technical Specifications and Other Features

LYF Flame 2 features a 5MP rear camera, with an LED flash, 4-inch WVGA display, 1500mAh battery, and 2MP front snapper. The phone is powered by a 1GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735M processor, 8GB expandable storage, and 1GB RAM. The handset also supports Wi-Fi calling, 4G LTE bandwidths with VoLTE, GPS, and Bluetooth. The phone is available in shades of white and black.

LYF Wind 4 features are slightly advanced and it sports a 5-inch HD display, 2MP front snapper, 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash and a 4000mAh battery. The phone is powered by a 1.1GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor,8GB expandable storage, and 1GB RAM. This phone is available in three colors that include brown, blue and black.

The premium LYF Water 7 smartphone is packed with a Dragontrail Glass 5-inch Full HD display, a 5MP front snapper, and 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash. What makes this phone premium is the fingerprint sensor on the phone’s back, to snap selfies. The phone is powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, and has 16GB expandable storage, 2GB internal storage, and a 3000mAh battery. This phone is available in two colors – gold, and silver.

Summary

Reliance Retail reveals the pricing and specification details of the LYF smartphones just in time for the Holi celebrations.

Reliance Industries to Invest in 5 Startups

March 16, 2016

The venture arm of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, GenNext Ventures will be investing in a minimum of 5 startups.

GenNext’s Investment in Startups

The company will invest in organizations that were a part of its startup incubator, GenNext Hub. The GenNext Hub trains new entrepreneurs for four months to establish their business.

The managing partner of GenNext Ventures, Vivek Rai Gupta said that the company aims to set up a single digital platform to accommodate a number of other companies. He said, “For example, within Energy, startups can work in many areas such as algorithms, data storage”. He informed that GenNext Ventures is coming up with a connected car. The startups may contribute by creating different applications for the car. They may design an application, which will review the performance of the car, an application that will notify a nearby hospital in case of an accident, an application suggesting correct routes and directions, or an application for music, movies, and other entertainment in the car.

11 startups graduated from the second batch of the GenNext Hub. According to Rai, at least, five of them will get investments from GenNext Ventures. The company may acquire 20% – 40% equity in the startups. GenNext Ventures is creating many digital platforms. It will make use of the startups’technologiesand ideas on these platforms.

One of the startups of the graduating second batch was Algo Engines, a technology venture that offers operational intelligence for wind turbines and solar power plants. Few others were Curefy, a healthcare application;Creditseva offering credit analysis; a procurement solution provider, Efficient Bazaar;and eLoan, a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending platform from Israel.

Reliance Industries’ Partnerships

Reliance Industries had partnered with Microsoft for the GenNext Hub. Microsoft provides infrastructure to the startups. Reliance Industries is now looking to join hands with companies like Intel and Cisco.

The company is in talks with other organizationsas well, for software, cyber security, and technology infrastructure.It has already partnered with Tel Aviv University and Stanford University. The universities are working on sectors like nanotech, storage systems, and advanced materials. Reliance Industries is seeking to bring these technologies to India and integrate them with the company’s work.

BSNL to Finalize ICR Deals with Reliance Jio
The State-owned company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has almost finished finalizing the intra-circle roaming (ICR) agreements with Reliance Jio and other telecom operators. The company hopes to earn revenue of INR 500 crores every year with such deals. BSNL will close the deals on 31st March.

Chairman and Managing Director of BSNL, AnupamShrivastava said that the deal with Reliance Jio is in the final stages and it will be completed by the end of the month. Currently, BSNL is looking into techno-commercial and legal aspects of the agreement.

Under the ICR agreement, BSNL will take 25 paiseeach for every call for 1 minute, and for every MB in data usage. It will also charge 3 paise per SMS. It will pay the same amount to other operators, where it will use their network.

Summary

Reliance’ arm,GenNext Ventures will invest in at least 5 startups graduating from the second batch of the GenNext Hub.

Reliance Industries to Pay INR 3,401 Crores in Interim Dividend

March 11, 2016

The largest private conglomerate of India, Reliance Industries announced that it will pay INR3,401 crores in interim dividend to shareholders, which includes promoters as well.

Reliance Industries’ Payout

In a statement to the stock exchange, the MukeshAmbani-led company announced a payout of INR 10.5 per share. This was declared after the board members of the company conducted a meeting on 10th March.

As of 31st December 2015, the company had INR 323.92 crore shares outstanding.

An analyst informed that the amount is more than what the company usually pays to shareholders as a full-year dividend.“The dividend payment exercise was more for the promoters and large individual shareholders to avoid additional liability in this year’s budget”, the analyst added.

This year’s budget has proposed a 10% levy on the yearly dividend incomeifresident investors like promoters and individuals earn more than INR 10 lakhs. This is charged aside from the 20.47% tax that companies in India pay as Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) ondeclared dividends.

Chairman MukeshAmbani will receive INR 3.79 crores of the total payout of INR 1,514.92 croresto his family. In the past 19 years, it is only the second time that Reliance Industries will pay an interim dividend. In March 2007, the company gave an interim dividend of INR 11 per share.At that time, the company took the decision after the budget increased DDT from 12.5% to 15%.

This year, Reliance Industries has set 18th March as the date when it will confirm the list of investors that hold shares in the company and are eligible to get the dividend payout. It is known as the record date.

Analysts predict that the interim dividend payment will not affect Reliance Industries’ dividend yield.For the last 10instances, shares of the company have been yielding dividend returns between 0.5% and 1.1%. The dividend yield is the total dividend a company pays in the financial year. It is denoted as the percentage of the company’s stock price.

Strategies of Other Companies

On 10th March 2016, 48 companies conducted a meeting to decide on interim dividend payments, one of them being Reliance Industries.

Until 9th March, 275 companies had already announced similar proposals. This will help them avoid paying the extra 10% levy.

Data of Reliance Industries

As per data at the stock exchange, the Ambani family owned 45.99% stake in Reliance Industries as of 31stDecember, last year. MukeshAmbani personally held 0.12% stake. 46.66% stake is held by promoter and promoter group.

Due to a fall in crude oil prices, margins of Reliance Industries’ core refining business reached the peak of the last seven years. As a result, the company set a record with its highest quarterly profit in the period October 2015 to December 2015.

A recent report from Morgan Stanley estimated that the market capitalization of Reliance Industries will double to USD 100 billion in the next 3-4 years from USD 47.97 billion. Downstream projects of the company sharpen its refinery edge. Reliance Industries will emerge as a significant gainer if oil prices increase, itadded.

Summary

Reliance Industries will pay INR 3,401 croresto shareholders and promoters in interim dividend.

6 Stadiums to get Reliance Jio’s Free 4G Wi-Fi Service

March 8, 2016

The much-awaited T20 World Cup begins on 8th March. Reliance Jio will present Indian cricket fans with a special treat on this occasion.

Reliance Jio’s Service in Stadiums

Cricket-lovers who visit the stadiums to enjoy the matches will be given free 4G Wi-Fi service. Reliance Jio will embrace the popularity of the World Cup to market its eagerly anticipated 4G service. The company has made provisions to deploy the service in 6 stadiums.

The stadiums include Wankhede in Mumbai, Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, IS Bindra in Mohali, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA)in Dharamshala, and Chinnaswamy in Bengaluru.

Reliance Jio has established an average of 650 high-speed Wi-Fi access points in the 6 stadiums. As one of the largest stadiums, Eden Gardens has 1100 access points. It accommodates nearly 60,000 people at a time. FerozShah Kotlaaccommodates around 40,000 spectators and has 668 access points. In total, all of the6 stadiums have a capacity of 226,000 people. The registration data from these stadiums will prove to be the starting point of the commercial launch of Reliance Jio’s4G service, which may roll out in April 2016.

Reliance Jio has supported the network with a 100Gbps backhaul. This will ensure that speed is not affected, even when the stadium is full. The company will offer a speed between 5 Mbps and 15 Mbps for users at the stadium. The service will be offered free of cost. Moreover, there is no upper limit set for data usage.

The company wants the users to fully enjoy the high-speed network while watching the match. A senior executive of Reliance Jio revealed, “We want users to experience the quality of the service. This allows people to experience the service and when we launch, the demand will already be high.”

Reliance Jio’s Deployments in 2015

Earlier in 2015,Reliance Jio had done a pilot run of such a kind of service during a cricket match between India and Australia at the Wankhede Stadium. The company had received a wonderful response. It said that around 30,000 spectators used the service. Out of these, nearly 20,000 were using the service simultaneously. The Reliance Jio network had offered a speed of 35 Mbps. In 4 hours, a total of 2.2 terabytes (TB) of data was consumed in the stadium.

In December, last year, Reliance Jio announced the soft launchof its 4G service. Employees of Reliance Industries and their families have been enjoying access to the service, with the issuance of free SIM cards. In addition to these, it sold 4G-enabled LYF branded phones to its employees at discounted rates.

Reliance Jio Wi-Fi service is available in some airports and touristlocations. The company is in talks with universities, municipal corporations, and colleges, to deploy the 4G service at other public places. To test its network, Reliance Jio has already provided the service in cities like Kolkata, Lucknow, Bhubaneshwar, Ahmedabad, and Surat, among others.

Summary

Jio will offer its free 4G Wi-Fi service in 6 stadiums during the T20 World Cup matches.

Nita Ambani Talks about Reliance Foundation and Women Empowerment

March 3, 2016

“Empowered Indian women means a stronger and better India,” says Nita Ambani, the Founder and Chairperson of one of India’s largest charitable institutions, Reliance Foundation. She was talking to an audience at the 2015 Indian summit of Women in the World, the renowned organization working for different causes about women and envisioning a transformational change in the world. An overwhelmed Ambani, who was asked to address the crowd about her CSR and philanthropic activities took to stage and shared candid stories about her childhood, her work, and her passion to serve.

She has led the activities of Reliance Foundation for more than half a decade now, providing healthcare and education to underprivileged population of India. Established in 2010 to provide an impetus to the various philanthropic activities of India’s largest conglomerate, Reliance Industries, Reliance Foundation has impacted the lives of more than four million people across India, in more than 5,500 villages and urban locations. Insisting that empowerment is not about oneself, but about uplifting millions of women in the country, Ambani says that her organization has positively impacted about 2.2 million women in the rural areas of the country.

As a child, she loved to dance, so she took Bharatanatyam lessons. As an adult, she wanted to teach and impart knowledge to others, so she became a teacher. And now, as the head of a foundation that strives to serve humanity, she has provided clean water and sanitation to hundreds of thousands of women. And she does not stop at that; providing employment so that these hapless women do not spiral back to poverty is another function of Reliance Foundation. Mrs. Ambani, who is the better half of India’s richest man, MukeshAmbani, believes that women should be given the power to make their own choices, and only then, will development follow.

In India, close to a million girls are killed before they are even born every year in the country, half of the female population are married off before the age of eighteen, and seventy percent of this population are not a part of the workforce. All this paints a grim picture of the state of women in the country, which is why Reliance Foundation is exploring new avenues to help and serve people so as to forever change these statistics into positive facts. The Foundation has been able to reach the nooks and corners of the country and create leaders like one Ms. Prakash Kaur from Jalandhar who has acted against female infanticide. She now runs a home for more than seventy young girls who were abandoned by their parents. Examples like this have set a precedent to the Foundation’s work, which Mrs. Ambani takes pride in.

“Supporting women is all about repaying the debt that I owe to my sisters. Supporting women is neither CSR nor philanthropy, it is our moral responsibility. A world with equal opportunities, a world where women can make their own choices, where India is at the forefront of change – that is what I aim for. It’s time for action, let’s make the dream real,” she signs off.

The 2015 India summit of Women in the World took place in New Delhi on November 20, 2015 where Nita Ambani delivered this speech on women empowerment.

Reliance Industries to Roll Out Online Fashion Portal, AJIO

March 1, 2016

Reliance Industries has expanded the Jio brand and is now set to roll out a fashion e-commerce portal named AJIO.com.

The telecom venture of Reliance Industries, Reliance Jio will be launching its much-awaited 4G services in April this year. The MukeshAmbani-led company has launched many applications and services under the Jio brand. These include messaging application, Jio Chat, the music streaming platform, Jio Beats, and a digital wallet service, Jio Money, among others.

AJIO Fashion Portal

The AJIO website is being tested since December, last year. The website will soon be accessible to employees for a pilot run. It is expected that the website may be initiated through official communication, this week.

Reliance Industries will replicate the dual ecommerce model of Flipkart. It will have a website as a general marketplace and another one dedicated only to fashion products. Fashion products have high margins, while the former platform will offer a wide range of products of low margins.

The fashion portal AJIO will have brands like Holster of Australia, mds from Singapore, and Gizia of Turkey. It will also have brands from Russia and the United States (US).

Reliance Industries has decided to make a distinguished portfolio, by picking the best and exclusive designs from national and international brands. In addition to these, the company will also have selected artisanal products. In this way, AJIO will be distinctive from Reliance retail outlets, Reliance Trends and Reliance Brands. AJIO will give a new outlook to Reliance Jio’s digital platform.

Reliance Industries’ E-commerce Venture

Reliance Industries has been preparing for its e-commerce venture for a considerable period of time. The company gave a presentation to analysts in October 2015. The presentation said that the company was ready with its e-commerce platform for electronic items. It said that an online grocery website will be rolled out by March end, this year. The company revealed its plans of engaging 1.5 lakh small and medium vendors for its ecommerce business by that time.

In July 2015, Sanjay Mehra was appointed as the Chief Executive of the fashion and lifestyle online venture of Reliance Industries. Mehra earlier worked for US-based Wolverine World Wide. The company is the owner of Caterpillar shoes and Merrell apparel.

Industry experts predict that the entry of Reliance Industries will give stiff competition to other major market players.

Reliance Industries’ LYF Phones

The retail arm of Reliance Industries, Reliance Retail, launched a limited edition of  Reliance LYF branded smartphones on the occasion of Valentine’s Day.

It introduced a ‘togetherness offer’ in the cities of Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Jaipur, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, among others.

Reliance Retail is selling the models of Flame 1 and Wind 6 at INR 6,399 and INR 7,099 respectively. Buyers get a number of offers along with the handsets. The offers may be enjoyed at popular places like Cafe Coffee Day, and Mainland China, among others.

Aside from the handsets, Reliance Retail is also selling power banks and selfie sticks. The company is offering huge discounts on them. With discounts of 40% off, power banks are available at INR 720. The selfie-stick is offered at INR 600, while its original price is INR 999.

Summary

Reliance Industries will be launching a fashion e-commerce platform under the name, AJIO.com