Reliance Jio, India’s largest telecom company by subscriber base, and the biggest data services provider globally, announced its earnings for the fourth quarter of FY 2019-20. The company, which recently saw a $5.7Bn investment from Facebook, clocked a record 27% growth in both revenues and subscriber count.
While operating revenue for the company stood at INR14,835 crore (~$2 Billion), company’s subscriber base stood at a staggering 388 million. Both numbers saw near about 27% year-over-year growth. Company’s net income stood at ₹2,331 crore (~$310 million) and average revenue per user at ₹130.6 (~$1.74).
Customer engagement continues to be robust with average data consumption per user per month of 11.3 GB and average voice consumption of 771 minutes per user per month. Jio has been able to reduce subscriber churns to 0.57%, one of the lowest among telecom companies globally.
Jio’s rise in the telecom space has been nothing short of meteoric. Launched less than half a decade ago by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, the company has made some unprecedented strides in the telecom industry. Within less than 5 years of its existence, the company has become India’s largest telecom company by subscriber base and the biggest mobile data services provider globally. Jio has been single-handedly responsible for making pulling down India’s data rates to the lowest in the world, rates which were once the most expensive globally.
Perhaps those numbers and the strong business fundamentals is what drew Facebook to make a massive $5.7 billion investment in the company recently. The investment valued Jio at $64 billion pre-money, as Facebook acquired a 9.99% stake in the company. Of the total investment, ₹14,976 crore (~$2 billion) will be retained at Jio Platforms to drive future growth, while parent Reliance Industries will redeem OCPS worth ₹28,598 crore (~$3.7 billion). The money will go significantly in reducing RIL’s large debt pile.
Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said, “Jio is embarking on the next leg of growth with a path-defining partnership with one of the world’s largest digital companies, Facebook. We are together determined to make India a truly digital society with best-in-class connectivity network complemented with disruptive digital technology platforms for entertainment, commerce, communication, finance, education and health harnessing world’s best tech capabilities”
The Facebook-Jio deal has already started to fructify in many ways. JioMart, the online retail arm of Reliance Jio, was recently spotted on Whatsapp. A much deeper integration of the same is on the way. Additionally, Whatsapp was seen changing its business objectives in India to include “credit” services. This is likely to be done in partnership with Jio, which has a significant merchant consumer base.
While Jio has significantly strengthened its consumer side of business, the company has been making strong strides on developing a strong enterprise business as well. Jio is on course to complete a nationwide fibre cable network. It also recently signed a crucial deal with Microsoft, to sell the Redmond giant’s productivity suite to its merchant customers.