Archive for January, 2018

Reliance Jio to Launch an Android JioPhone while the Original Version Records a Good Performance

January 31, 2018

Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Jio may soon launch a new version of its JioPhone, which will be a 4G-enabled Android smartphone.

Android JioPhone

After capturing a large share of the feature phone market with its effectively free phone, Jio is shifting its focus to smartphones. Chipset manufacturer MediaTek confirmed its partnership with Jio. It said that the company will unveil a device powered by Google’s Android Oreo Go version. It is expected that the phone will be priced below INR 4,000. It will support popular apps like WhatsApp, which was missing from the earlier JioPhone.

Google’s Android Oreo Go

Google had launched the Android Oreo Go version in December 2017.  This new Android version is ideal for low-cost smartphones as it is compatible with phones that run on 1GB RAM or less. With this, Google is aiming to further expand the Internet adoption in markets like India.

This project comes under Google’s Next Billion Users initiative. Caesar Sengupta heads this initiative. He claims that all Google Play Store apps can be downloaded on the smartphones running on Android Oreo Go.

Counterpoint Research report

According to a Counterpoint Research report, Reliance Jio’s 4G VoLTE feature phone meets the expectations of buyers as well as industry players. As per the report, the phone has managed to outperform incumbent feature phones. It enjoys a market share of more than 26 percent.

Analysts of Counterpoint Research said that affordable data plans and low costs of the phones show a growing trend for the feature phone segment. Tarun Pathak, Associate Director of Counterpoint Research said that the 4G feature phone sector is expected to reach a volume of 200 million units in the coming five years. This is because hundreds of millions of current feature phone users are expected to upgrade to VoLTE handsets.

Pathak and his team stated that they expect JioPhone to record a hit number in the first quarter of 2018 after Jio had to wait to refill its inventory. They said that JioPhone witnessed a healthy sell-in during the last quarter.

These numbers represent only the shipment of devices and not the actual devices sold. The delivery of JioPhone began in September 2017.

JioPhone’s performance

Industry experts expected JioPhone to give a good performance. But the recent numbers suggest that Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Jio might have underestimated the low-cost feature phone. The ‘effectively free’ price and affordable data plan worked in the favor of the company. It hit well with the target audience of the phone. Reliance Jio managed to do this due to the company’s never-ending pool of funds.

As per the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Jio has added more than 6 million subscribers. Considering this, seeing the JioPhone’s sales increase wouldn’t be surprising.

The increasing demand for JioPhone has led to the highest-ever growth in a quarter of the feature phone sector. This growth is more than 55 percent. It is expected that the growth will be increased further.

Summary

Reliance Jio will unveil a new version of JioPhone powered by Android Oreo Go. Besides, the original phone recorded a good performance in the feature phone segment.

Akash Ambani Speaks at the India Digital Open Summit 2018

January 24, 2018

Akash Ambani, the elder son of Mukesh Ambani and Director at Reliance Jio, made his first solo appearance at a public event and spoke at the India Digital Open Summit 2018. He threw light on the importance of open source technology for his company.

Views on open source

Ambani said that open source was essential for Jio. He added that the company is committed to using open source and that will also be an important driving force. He further stated that Jio is focusing on positively enhancing the lives of people in India. Every day, their lives are enriched with open source when they use JioPhone, Jio apps, or an LYF device.

Jio is involved in a number of projects including the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), which is an open source networking automation standard. Ambani stated that the open source community helps to drive technology progression for areas of interest, globally.

The Director revealed that OpenStack, which is the biggest fully open source cloud project in the world, is being used for multiple projects. Across the globe, it is powering more than 60 data centers’ private and public clouds, which also includes Jio.

Evolution of new technologies

According to Ambani, 2017 saw the emergence of a number of new technologies. The year marked the initial stages of adoption of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies in India. He said that these technologies will grow at a 50 percent compounded rate at Jio for the next five years.

Cloud is also set to become a key technology in communications infrastructure. Cloud along with Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to grow exponentially over the coming years. Ambani is of the opinion that the public cloud market in India will reach USD 2.6 billion this year and cross USD 4 billion in the next two years.

Apart from this, Ambani also spoke on the growth of blockchain and AI. AI has leveraged open source for constant innovations. He said that last year, blockchain and digital currency were in the limelight due to the buzz surrounding bitcoin. Blockchain offers a distributed ledger system for facilitating transactions in a secured manner. One of the key features was bitcoin. Bitcoin has a number of applications in varied industries like education, banking, real estate, and the Internet of Things (IoT), among others.

According to a report, Jio is planning to work on blockchain products and launch its own cryptocurrency, JioCoin.

Statements of other authorities

Other speakers at the summit included Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan and Jio President Mathew Oommen. The government official said that India is marching towards an era from 3G to 4G to 5G. According to her, 5G will be an ideal prospect to adopt open source. Today, the country has the capabilities to emerge as a global digital leader, she added.

Oommen said that 5G is set to entirely revolutionize the country’s telecom sector. It will offer a range of capabilities. He said that the country has a one-of-a-kind opportunity to not only lead the world, but also create digital platforms and technologies for the global population.

Summary

Reliance Jio Director, Akash Ambani spoke on the power of open source and other technologies at the India Digital Open Summit 2018.

RIL to Invest INR 5,000 Crore in West Bengal

January 17, 2018

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) will invest INR 5,000 crore in West Bengal. Speaking at Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS)’s fourth edition at New Town’s Biswa Bangla Convention Center, the Chairman revealed that the company will also manufacture mobile phones and set-top boxes in the state in addition to making the investment.

RIL’s investment plans

RIL will invest INR 5,000 crore in non-Jio related businesses like retail and petro-retail in the next three years. Talking about the investment plan, Ambani said his company will establish digital service centers across India. He stated that with the help of West Bengal Government, RIL will roll out the plan immediately in five districts of the state.

The company will work with different partners to establish advanced electronic manufacturing facilities. The team will strive to make the state, a hub for innovation and state-of-the-art technologies for consumer devices like mobile phones and set-top boxes, among others, he added.

In honor of S.N. Bose, a former scientist, Jio will set up a chair in an esteemed university of the state. The company will also empower small shops and retailers across the state with digital tools so that they are able to do their business more productively. 

RIL’s commitments in West Bengal

As a part of his speech, Ambani made a few commitments. He delightfully announced that Jio will extend its reach to the entire population of West Bengal by the end of this year. He said that the team will begin its major project of connecting the state with optic fiber and delivering superior digital services to all homes and offices. Besides, the telecom operator will also connect all educational institutions and medical centers with its high-speed data.

Jio has around 1.2 crore customers in West Bengal out of the total population of 9 crores. The company aims to increase its customer base in the upcoming years. In addition to this, Ambani is also prioritizing JioPhones for the people of West Bengal.

RIL’s past investment

In 2016, Ambani was a part of the second edition of BGBS. Being new to the state at that time, the company committed to INR 4.5 thousand crore investment. Ambani revealed that surpassing the commitment, RIL made an investment of INR 15,000 crore in the past two years.

The investments of the company have increased employment opportunities by thrice in these two years. Its initiatives have delivered steady new development opportunities to over hundred thousand people in the state.

Ambani’s words for Mamata Banerjee

Mukesh Ambani praised West Bengal’s Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee. He said that under her leadership, the state is turning into “Best Bengal.” He appreciated the efforts of Mamata Banerjee and stated that due to her constant endeavor, today West Bengal tops the list of states in India in terms of ease of doing business. The state has parted ways with slow growth and is now moving forward with the agility and grace of a Bengal Tiger.

Summary

RIL plans to invest INR 5,000 crore in West Bengal for non-Jio related businesses in the next three years.

Reliance Jio to Soon Enter the Online Retail Market

January 10, 2018

In India, phones and data are becoming cheaper but e-retailers are still waiting to capture a larger market wherein a majority of Indians buy stuff online from them. Eyeing on this untapped market, Mukesh Ambani is trying to take the e-commerce market to the brick-and-mortar model and change the way how people buy basic grocery items or advanced electronic items.

Reliance Jio’s strategy

Reliance Jio is entering the online retail market by roping in neighborhood stores, while incumbent e-commerce platforms are fighting against the brick-and-mortar retail.

A pilot project has been running by the telecom company in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Chennai. After getting a sharp insight of the pilot project, Reliance Jio is expected to roll out the business, this year.

As per the model, Reliance Jio subscribers get digital coupons from a variety of brands through the JioMoney platform or through SMS. The customers may buy discounted products of all the respective brands through their neighborhood stores.

The brands will be charged a fee by Jio for using its platform for ‘below the line marketing.’ This is a money-saving option of advertising for companies that involve the distribution of leaflets and any other promotional material.

Reliance Jio’s model

Jio is linking the brands, consumers, and kirana shops through its network. The brick-and-mortar retail might have died in the West but that is not going to be the immediate future in India. E-commerce will still take a decade to become the biggest share of retail in the country. It will take time to spread to the villages and small towns. However, Indian locals are using phones for commercial transactions. And this is why Ambani has chosen the traditional retail stores to shape his plan.

Ambani’s competition to others

Ambani has stumped the offline e-retailers by his online to offline play. With its easy and quick digital coupons, the company will capture a big chunk of traditional retail. Ambani has spontaneous understanding of the Indian market that has driven his venture to the leadership status.

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has a large offline footprint because of its Reliance Retail. Other e-retailers won’t be able to match the reach of Jio. A major disruption is expected similar to what Jio created in the telecom market.

JioMoney might also be a major challenge for other mobile wallets like PhonePe and Paytm as it will be the platform used for digital coupons.

If the company rolls in with its plans in 2018, then it is surely going to change the way things are bought. It will cause a major disruption in the online retail market.

Reliance Jio’s disruption in the telecom market

Jio entered the telecom market in the year 2016. It started with giving away freebies. This lead to a disruption in the telecom market and many were forced to turn to mergers or buyouts and shutdowns. Jio has now captured 15 percent of the revenue market share of the telecom industry.

Summary

Mukesh Ambani Reliance Jio to enter the online retail market and change how people buy things.

RIL’s Petrochemical Business Completes an Expansion Plan of USD 16 Billion

January 3, 2018

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has completed its giant project, which was a massive petchem capex program. Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of RIL, said that this progress marks a paradigm shift in the business of petrochemical in terms of profitability.

Commissioning of the ROGC

Refinery off-gas cracker (ROGC) unit was commissioned, which lead to the completion of the largest capex of USD 16 billion in the RIL’s petrochemical business. This may double the revenue of the business. The refinery has a capacity of 1.5 million tons per annum (mtpa). This ROGC is world’s first downstream plan and marks a shift in sustainability and profitability of petrochemical business by RIL.

As input or feedstock, off-gases from two refineries at Jamnagar are used in this ROGC complex. This makes the cost of the raw materials nominal and boosts the profit margin of the company. It also allows them to compete with the low-cost producers of North America and the Middle East.

This ROGC plant will act as a link between the petrochemical units and refinery units run by RIL. To deliver high-value polymer, it will make propylene and ethylene from the off-gas refinery and this will go for further value addition.

Analysts have predicted that this unit’s commission is value accretive and the full impact can be seen in the next few quarters. RIL also has the capability to produce a range of PE grades that covers all end-uses in the market of India.

RIL said that the ROGC was built in record time with a capital cost that was approximately 40 percent lower as compared to other similar projects. It is also the latest addition to the cracker portfolio of RIL. The other cracker facilities of RIL are at Vadodara, Hazira, and Dahej in Gujarat and Nagothane in Maharashtra.

Ethylene plants and petrochemical business of RIL

Globally, there are 270 ethylene plants, according to RIL. The combined capacity is over 170 mtpa. After the commission of this unit, the total capacity of ethylene of RIL is 4 mtpa across five sites.

After doubling the ethylene capacity, RIL joins the league of top petrochemical producers in the world. With imported ethane and ROGC, RIL has one of the most flexible and competitive cracker portfolios.

The petchem division of RIL clocked revenue of INR 92, 472 crore in the year 2016-2017 with the operating profit of INR 12,990 crore. Industry watchers believed that the revenue and profits could surpass its core in refinery business due to the newly commissioned petchem units. 

Jamnagar manufacturing division

Mukesh Ambani led RIL’s Jamnagar manufacturing division is the world’s largest refining hub. It has a crude processing capacity of 1.24 million Barrels Per Stream Day (BPSD). It has also won several awards and is a trendsetter. This refinery exports fuels across the world to many countries and is ready for the future as it can produce petrol and gasoline of any grade.

Summary

RIL to complete the petchem expansion plan of USD 16 billion.