Archive for June, 2016

Reliance Foundation Helps Magan Bai Gain Control of Her Life

June 30, 2016

Nita Ambani led Reliance Foundation’s work in the field of rural upliftment is commendable. Making efforts to improve the life of marginalized communities in India, the foundation strives at encouraging them to be self-sufficient.

One success story which depicts how rural lives can be truly transformed is that of Magan Bai.

Magan Bai’s story

A resident of Bhanpura village in Madhya Pradesh, Magan Bai was widowed eight years ago. Her alcoholic husband squandered the property, selling off most of the land, leaving behind barely one acre. Her two sons, also alcoholics, did not offer much support.  In order to provide for herself, she ended up mortgaging over 80% of the remaining land.

Problems encountered

Having mortgaged most of her land, Magan Bai was left with only 0.2 acres. The harvest she acquired in 2011-12 was a meager 2 quintals of soybean. The lack of proper irrigation facilities, worsening soil health, and low capital investment were largely to blame for the conditions. Besides, the total annual income of her family was only Rs. 24,000.

Help from Bharat India Jodo (BIJ)

Reliance Foundation (RF) works towards bridging the gap between urban India and rural India, and its Bharat India Jodo (BIJ) project does exactly this. It is aimed at creating sustainable practices and enhancing the overall lifestyle of people in rural India.

This flagship program operates on three primary principles which are direct action, sustainable development, and a participatory approach.

RF’s BIJ program helped Magan Bai transform her entire life, and become a self-sufficient farmer.

Her transformation

Thanks to the Village Association (VA) set up in Bhanpura by Nita Ambani led Reliance Foundation, Magan Bai was able to pay off her debt of Rs. 20,000 and reacquire ownership of her one acre of land in 2013. Both the VA and the RF team helped her cultivate the land, and boost its fertility.

They also helped her construct a pond on the farm which would make optimum use of water, avoiding wastage. For the first time, she could reap two harvests, thereby earning Rs. 58,000 in the first year itself, which enabled her to repay all her debts.

Current scenario

Magan Bai went from depending on her two sons’ incomes to becoming the decision maker of the family. Not only is she a successful farmer now, but also an entrepreneur because of her participation in an orange orchard development program.

When asked about her progress, she stated that, she had never thought she would be able to cultivate her farm in such a way. Reliance Foundation made a massive impact on her life, and their support changed her life for the better.

Summary

Reliance Foundation’s BIJ program enabled Magan Bai to transform her life; enabling her to become a successful farmer and entrepreneur.

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Reliance Jio’s Marketing Strategy

June 27, 2016

As the date of Reliance Jio’s commercial launch draws closer, the world’s biggest start-up is finalizing its game plan to effectively penetrate the smart phone industry in India. Jio aims at serving over 100 million users within one year of its launch.

Competitive pricing

Jio 4G data services are not intended to lure only the high-end customers but also focus on the low to mid range segments. These sections of the market are being targeted by offering all services at reasonable prices.

LYF smart phones are priced between Rs. 4,000 to Rs 19,000 which provides maximum off take, therefore helping Jio derive high returns.

Single-device country

The prices of LYF handsets have been determined considering that India is soon becoming a country where smart phone users prefer to perform most tasks on their cellular devices. Recently, Reliance Jio launched LYF WIND 1 which is one of the best mobile under 10000 under the LYF brand. From keeping a track of the latest news, watching movies, playing games, to reading books, the smart phone is becoming an all-encompassing device.

This very reason is the motivation behind Reliance Jio’s attempt at creating affordable handsets and services that meet high-quality standards.

Jio services

Jio aims at creating an entire digital ecosystem, offering broadband services, applications, smart devices, and mobile telephony facilities. It’s offerings range from a wide library of recorded and live music programs, television shows, sports programs to movies. .

Jio Money and Jio Play are among the most popular Jio applications.

Jio Play

The Jio Play content streaming service allows users to conveniently catch up on their favorite TV shows.  It allows uninterrupted entertainment without buffering videos and also provides a seven-day back-up of shows.

E-health services

Reliance Jio has recently entered into an association with a public health center in Punjab. The company’s e-health services are currently being tested there. The goal is to create a platform wherein video calls can enable both medical examination and diagnosis of patients.

Reliance’s stake

Titled as the biggest bet made in the telecom industry, the parent company – Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has invested more than $ 22 billion in Jio. This investment helps Jio provide high-quality services due to its extensive 4G spectrum, advanced technology, and the widest accession of optical fiber network in the country.

A source stated that prior to the commercial launch, everything will be checked, and re-checked in order to eliminate all glitches and create a seamless experience.

Infrastructural support

Reliance Jio is equipped to offer data plans operating at speeds of 8 to 10 MBPS. The company has also invested in 500,000 sq.ft of data centers which are currently functioning in Noida, Nagpur, and Navi Mumbai. An additional 500,000 sq.ft of area will also become operational for the same prior to the commercial launch. These centers not only aid efficient storage of data but also act as servers for Jio applications.

The fifth-largest smart phone provider in India (within the first quarter after its launch), according to data by Counterpoint Research, Reliance Jio’s commercial launch is much awaited.

Summary

Reliance Jio’s marketing strategy relies on targeting low-to-mid price ranges in terms of LYF devices, as well as Jio 4G data services. Many Jio services are undergoing final tests, as the company prepares for the anticipated commercial launch.

Nita Ambani’s Commitment to Women Empowerment

June 22, 2016

The World Summit which was recently held in New Delhi witnessed a line-up of some of the most-renowned global personalities. The occasion was also graced by Reliance Foundation Chairperson, Nita Ambani, who voiced her views on women empowerment at the event.

The Reliance Foundation

Speaking of women empowerment, Nita Ambani’s foundation has reached out to women across the country having already assisted around 2.2 million women. While addressing the crowd at the summit, she mentioned that the foundation’s goal to help women is not driven by the need to engage in corporate social responsibility or philanthropy. Rather, she said that it is her own way of helping women who are not as privileged as her.

Helping the less fortunate

With regard to the subject of uplifting women, she considers herself fortunate to have been brought up in a family that did not believe in gender discrimination. Having grown up with 11 sisters and a brother, she feels blessed for having received a good education, something that women in our country are generally deprived of. A trained Bharatnatyam dancer and teacher, Nita recalled the time when she agreed to marry, only if she allowed to pursue her ambitions post marriage.

Nita Ambani’s vision for women in India

She gave insights into the skewed sex ratio and the horror of female feticide that continues to grip the country. Nita focused on the issue of poor sanitation that compels many young girl students to leave school. She expressed her views on how India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could rise higher if the country’s workforce comprised a balanced number of men and women.

The significance of educating women

In a recent interview, when quizzed about the one thing that she wanted to change with regard to the condition of women in India, she spoke about the significance of educating women. She added that by equipping them with necessary skills, they would be at a position to unleash their full potential. When asked of her thoughts about crimes perpetrated on women, she said that the progress of our society is highly dependent on the safety and freedom of its women.

Nita Ambani as Director of Reliance

Apart from the grassroots initiatives to empower women, Reliance Foundation has done commendable work in various fields including disaster response, sports, healthcare, and rural development. Nita Ambani’s appointment as the Director of Reliance Industries reflects the recognition she is receiving for her efforts. In fact, she is the first woman in India to hold office on the board of this multi-billion dollar company.

Nita Ambani has also been integral to the growth of the company since a long time through her contribution in the Jamnagar project and the development of institutions like the Dhirubhai Ambani International School.

Summary

Nita Ambani’s efforts to empower women through education in India remains her foremost priority.

Reliance Industries Strongly Comes Out Against Essar Tapes Content

June 20, 2016

Reliance Industries has come out unscathed by allegations that have developed to mar the status of the business giant. An official statement by the company was issued to confirm the fallacy of the accusations. It stated that the conversations on which the false reports are based have been purely doctored to hinder the growing success that Reliance Industries has been achieving over the years.

Attempt at invading privacy

A report by Outlook magazine reported the events that unfolded, which put Reliance Industries in the spotlight. The report on Friday stated that malicious Essar tapes were leaked to defame several influential people. The activity is being termed as an invasion of privacy and Reliance Industries intends to resort to legal action to determine the root of the issue.

Unlawful wire tapping

The tapes supposedly contain fabricated conversations of politicians, bureaucrats and several influential businessmen over a span of 11 years. Reliance Industries Chairman, Mukesh Ambani and Reliance Communications’ owner Anil Ambani are among the victims of the phone tapping incident which have outraged the brother duo.

Role played by Albasit Khan

The man in question responsible for the phone tapping of several well-known personalities is Albasit Khan. He was a former employee at the Essar Group and held the position of head of security and vigilance at the organization.

Counterfactual allegations

Among the irrelevant allegations include a conversation between Reliance Chairman, Mukesh Ambani and Satish Seth, the company’s director. The duo has been falsely rumored to have commented on the managerial condition of the Supreme Court.

Based on inaccurate evidence

Furthermore, the perpetrators of the offence have gone on to divulge distorted information of the two discussing ways to disintegrate the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) by illegal means. The reliability of these revelations are highly questionable as people responsible for the same refuse to vouch for them.

Law abiding company

Reliance Industries Limited though, remains undeterred by these developments. The spokesperson for Reliance reflected the company’s utter disbelief at the recent reports. At the same time, Reliance believes in the sheer integrity of their actions and vouches for the transparency they’ve maintained throughout. In the words of the spokesperson, the company has a record of adhering to the law of the country and at no point in time have they made an exception with regard to the same. The sensational allegations are being touted as irrelevant and an attempt at gaining unnecessary attention.

Reliance Industries expects higher authorities to look into the matter and come to a resolution. The company is willing to offer complete support to the authorities in investigations to negate the allegations.

Summary

Reliance Industries Limited falls victim to false allegations; the company claims the same as an attempt to mar its reputation.

Nita Ambani’s Foray into the Art World

June 15, 2016

Founder and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation (RF), Nita Ambani is making waves in the art industry. In a Forbes list that included 50 women leaders; of which eight were Indian, she was named the most powerful businesswoman in Asia.

The art community seems to be welcoming Mrs. Ambani with open arms. One major achievement in this field is her inclusion, along with her husband – Reliance Industries’ CMD Mukesh Ambani – in the Art Institute of Chicago’s (AIC) President’s Council.

The Pichvai Exhibition

Reliance Foundation supported AIC’s Pichvai exhibition titled ‘Gates of the Lord: The tradition of Krishna paintings’. Krishna being the family deity of the Ambani’s, it comes as no surprise that Shrinathji’s paintings were backed by them.

Nita Ambani said that she personally feels drawn to all traditional art forms, owing to her background in classical dance. As part of the AIC Council, she aims to shed more light on ethnic Indian art forms, and showcase the work on an international level.

Collaboration with The Met

Nita Ambani was also the biggest funder of one of the debut shows at The Met, displaying Nasreen Mohamedi’s modernist drawings. A retrospective of her work in America, it serves to celebrate Nasreen’s legacy.

Mrs. Ambani said that Nasreen’s strong work, and their relevance has always inspired her. She explained how Reliance Foundation is strongly committed towards conserving dying Indian art forms, and promoting them on a global scale.

Museum in India

According to the Wall Street Journal, Nita Ambani is planning to open a museum of her own in India. She would join the list of hotelier Anupam Poddar, and Kiran Nadar who own private museums that display their art collections in New Delhi.

The museum, based in Mumbai, would be built on a 19 acre plot. It would house a 2,000 seat equipped theatre, exhibit areas for art shows, retail spaces, offices, and residences. The launch is expected to be in the year 2018.

Antilia and art

Nita Ambani’s love for art reflects in her Mumbai house. Artworks ranging from modern, abstract, Indian, to contemporary adorn Antilia. She said that some of the pieces are really old; referring to the MF Husain painting of the British Raj she got about 30 years ago, and can be found hanging in her living room.

When it comes to her favorite museums, Le Louvre grabbed the top spot. She said that she enjoys how the British Museum continues to display varied art from around the globe, and likes the modern art and sculptures displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Nita Ambani’s promise to continue funding art exhibitions may really prove to be beneficial to the art scene in India.

Summary

Nita Ambani plans to open a museum in Mumbai, which would launch in 2018

Why Reliance Chairperson Nita Ambani Makes a Fitting Candidate for the IOC

June 9, 2016

Nita Ambani has been nominated in the volunteer category of the International Olympic Committee. The nomination comes as no surprise owing to her role in popularizing sports in India, right from the grassroots level. She enabled over three million children to fulfill their dreams in various sports, either directly through Reliance Foundation, or their several joint ventures.

The International Olympic Committee

Created in June 1894, the IOC acts as the central head facilitating coordinated collaboration of the numerous federations and organizing committees constituting the Olympic family.

Nominations

The IOC will host their 129th session at Brazil ahead of the Olympics. The election will be conducted between the 2nd and 4th of August, in Rio de Janeiro.

Nominees need not be sportspersons themselves; their selection is affected by their involvement in the field and the potential value addition. The nominations made to the IOC promise to ensure a truly diverse mix of views involved towards bettering the Olympic Games.

Indian Nominees

The Indian nominees’ list currently includes Sir Dorabji Tata, and Randhir Singh. Mrs. Ambani’s addition will make her the third and she would also be the first Indian woman to be featured in the IOC members’ list.

Nita Ambani

The field of sports comes naturally to her, considering Reliance Foundation’s persistent endeavors in cricket, football, basketball, and kabaddi, to name a few. Dhirubhai Ambani International School and their 13 other institutes strongly focus on athletics. The international school offers activities like judo, taekwondo, basketball, and football apart from cricket.

Indian Super League

The Indian Super League grassroots movement, backed by Reliance Foundation is aimed at reaching 500,000 children across the country in its first run. The program focuses on initiating the children’s interest in football, their training and eventually top talent-picking.

Future plans of the IOC

Nita Ambani’s involvement in the Indian Premier League as the owner of the Mumbai Indians team makes her a suitable choice. As the IOC is looking to make a foray into cricket, she would prove to be an asset to the committee.

The committee is currently working towards creating an all-year sports platform for athletes and sportspersons termed ‘the Olympic Channel’. Since this is a long-term plan, it would require careful planning. Nita Ambani’s experience as a media house owner would profit the International Olympic Committee.

Olympic Agenda 2020

‘The strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement’, as it is called, the Olympic Agenda 2020 focuses on improving the uniqueness of the Games in 2020, as well as the field of sports in general.

Key areas include eradicating discrimination of the basis of sexual orientation, strengthening the ethics, and discouraging athlete doping.

Summary

Nita Ambani is a suitable Indian candidate for the IOC.

Reliance Foundation Chairperson, Nita Ambani Nominated to Become a Member of the IOC

June 7, 2016

The country has yet another reason to be proud. Reliance Foundation Chairperson, Nita Ambani has recently been nominated as a potential member for the International Olympic Committee. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the body responsible for conducting the winter and summer Olympics as well as Paralympics. If her candidature is accepted, she will become the first Indian woman on the panel.

About IOC

The International Olympic Committee is the sole point of contact between other sports bodies like International Sports Federations (ISFs), Organizing Committees for Olympic Games (OCOGs), United Nations agencies, National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and athletes.

Nomination process

The electoral event is expected to be held on the 129th IOC session from August 2nd to the 4th, at Rio de Janeiro. The term expiration for elected candidates is till they reach 70 years of age which means Mrs. Nita Ambani will hold office till she reaches the age. She has been nominated under the category for volunteers wherein she will represent the IOC movement in India.

Nita’s response to her nomination

With regard to her nomination, Nita spoke about the significance of sports and its ability to unite people. She further expressed her gratitude to the International Olympic Committee for the chance, and views it as a wonderful opportunity for India to be acknowledged on a global platform. Many have attributed her election to her noteworthy contribution in the education as well as sports industry.

A proud moment for India

Following the news, Nita Ambani has been flooded with greetings from many organizations like Hockey India. Referring to her nomination, Hockey India President, Narinder Batra was all praise for Mrs. Ambani. He highlighted her active participation in the field of sports, calling her the perfect delegate to represent India on the committee.

So far, Nita Ambani’s involvement in promoting various sports in the country has not only earned her recognition, but has also helped pick out the best talent from across the country.

Congratulatory messages

Her impending election has been met with much fervor back home, with many celebrities and sportspersons taking to social media to congratulate her. Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar expressed his happiness by referring to her nomination as an empowering experience for the country as well as women in India. Sports greats like Abhinav Bindra and Sania Mirza also wished Nita on her achievement.

Actor Shahrukh Khan stated on his Twitter handle that Nita Ambani could now keep up her good work by promoting sports at a grassroots level. Anil Kapoor too lauded the lady and said that it was a great step ahead for Indian sports.

Summary

Nita Ambani has been nominated by the International Olympic Committee to be a member of the sports authority.

Reliance Starts Sale of LYF Smart Phones with Free Data for Three Months

June 3, 2016

Reliance Jio has given a head start to its telecom venture by commencing the sale of LYF smartphones and SIM cards in major Indian cities. These services will ensure that users get a rich digital experience. Jio’s high-speed network is already creating waves with the company resorting to network optimization as well as a test phase to avoid glitches.

Invite-only program

The test phase for employees and associates was followed by an invite-only program that was executed by Reliance employees themselves. The scheme allowed employees to invite 10 members on Jio’s bandwidth using a Jio 4G SIM. This program has now drawn to a close as the company gears for commencement of full-scale operations.

Services available in select cities

The services offered by Jio comprise free unlimited 4G data and voice calls for 4,500 minutes. The commercial launch is expected to happen in the succeeding months. Analysts though have predicted the roll out of services in the month of December.

These handsets are currently on sale at large-format outlets in cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru. LYF devices are also available in tier-1 cities across states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Karnataka.

Jio.com website

The telecom company has gone a step ahead to ensure the convenience of its customers by launching an online portal called Jio.com to facilitate subscription of Jio’s services. The website is also viewed as a smart marketing strategy to draw customers and build its database. It will help customers gain easy access to Jio applications and also avail of exclusive discounts. The website also offers customers the option of browsing through several apps like JioOnDemand, JioChat, MyJio and Jio-Play.

Spectrum-sharing pact

To enhance Jio’s network framework, the company has also entered into a spectrum-sharing deal in 17 circles with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications. A spectrum-trading agreement has also been finalized between the two companies. Anshuman Thakur, Jio’s strategy and planning head also confirmed that the spectrum would soon be integrated. Additionally, Jio has also struck deals with telecom tower organizations like Indus Towers, Reliance Infratel, Viom Networks and Bharti Infratel.

Investment towards the telecom venture

Considered to be one of the world’s biggest start-ups by Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Jio has a lot of money riding on its telecom venture. An estimated Rs. 1.5 lakh crore has been invested on the same. The company’s USP is its affordable high-speed data that is 80 times faster than services offered by rivals.

Jio’s entry is also expected to jeopardize the strong-hold of incumbents who would have to lower prices of services if they are to survive in the competitive market. The company already has user base of 500,000, and will plan the commercial launch once the numbers go up to a few million. Jio has also consolidated with several established vendors like CK Telecom, Tinno, ZTE and Wingtech for the supply of LYF smart phones such as LYF EARTH 1, LYF WATER 1, LYF FLAME 1, LYF Water 2, LYF FLAME 2, LYF FLAME 3, LYF FLAME 4, LYF FLAME 6, LYF WIND 4, LYF WIND 6 and LYF WATER 5.

Summary

Jio commences sale of 4G-enabled LYF smart phones and SIMs packed with free data for three months.

Reliance Retail Emerges as the Largest Retail Chain in the Country

June 1, 2016

Reliance Industries’ fiscal report for January to March 2015 revealed that Reliance Digital has outdone incumbents like Croma and Nexthave to emerge as the largest retail chain in the country with 1000 outlets.

Reliance also operates several consumer stores across the country like Reliance Market and Reliance Digital Xpress Mini. While the former is a hub for a variety of customer items like groceries, the latter is now the leading channel for supply of mobile handsets in the country. The 43 market stores operated by Reliance’s Retail have seen a surge in customers, with around 15, 00,000 people registering including several organizations, grocery stores and hotels.

Reliance Trends

The company also manages Reliance Trends, one of the most established departmental stores in the country. With 200 outlets across the country, this chain witnesses an impressive sale of around 1.5 lakh garments daily and is a favorite with fashion-conscious customers. Reliance’s pursuit for customer satisfaction does not end here, the company’s foot wear business has been gaining momentum with around 200 outlets in 100 cities.

Retail chains across cities

Around 2,621 stores by Reliance Retail have branched across 200 cities in the country. These stores span an area of 12.5 million square feet. Apart from this, the company also introduced 930 more outlets that take up 0.9 million square feet. The good news being that, stores that have been functional for over a year have reported a 17 percent growth.

Profit derivation

Reliance also aims to build up its work force; from 35,000 in 2013, the company intends to increase the number to 1, 20,000 by 2018. Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Retail also reported an increase in profits in FY14-15 in comparison to the previous year, with an increased revenue of 21.2 percent (scaled up to Rs. 17,640 crores). Profits also witnessed a rise from FY13-14s Rs. 363 crores to Rs. 784 crores.

Rebranding stores

Reliance Digital Express and Digital Express Mini outlets will now be revamped and rebranded as Reliance Jio. This marketing strategy is considered to be a smart move as the same is likely to push sales of LYF handsets and 4G data services a notch higher. These will be a one-stop-shop for consumers to purchase LYF phones, data packages and avail of customer service facilities, particularly after the October launch of the company’s telecom services. Customers could also avail of Jio’s free 4G data services for around three months. In addition, Reliance’s rebranding concept could also increase the number of stores in the country. Sales are also more likely to be affected positively because of the company’s tie-up with 1.2 retailers and the strategic location of stores.

Fifth largest smart phone brand

Lyf Smartphone’s increasing popularity has also been attributed to experienced personnel like Sunil Dutt. He is the president in charge of managing the devices segment at Reliance Jio and a former business chief at Samsung and Blackberry.

A report by Counterpoint Research Technology also stated that Jio is now the fifth largest smart phone brand in the country with a seven percent share in the market, in the first quarter itself. It is also a leading LTE provider in India.

Summary

Reliance Retail leads with the most number of consumer outlets in the country.