Reliance Industries Limited, led by Mukesh Ambani, once again made big Jio-centric announcements at its 46th annual general meeting that took place here in Mumbai today. As customary, investors awaited significant revelations during this annual event. The event was streamed live on the company’s website, social media platforms, and YouTube channels. Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries began the virtual keynote at the AGM.
JioFiber, which is nothing short of a household name today in the fiber broadband space in India, has now crossed 10 million subscribers, said Ambani. And now looking to make the plug-and-play hotspot space its own, he announced the launch of Jio AirFiber, set to launch on September 19, 2023 (on the auspicious Hindu day of Ganesh Chaturthi). AirFiber will speed up Jio’s 5G deployment across the country, as it eliminates the need for last-mile fiber connect with its 5G network and wireless technology. Reliance expects to have over 250 million users to sign up for Jio AirFiber. It is said to provide 150,000 connections a day (something that is 10 times faster than the broadband connections through physical fiber).
“We remain focused on fast-track execution of our Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Manufacturing Complex at Jamnagar. Our first priority is to deliver a fully integrated, end-to-end solar PV manufacturing ecosystem,” Mukesh Ambani said, adding that Reliance now aims to set up its battery giga factory by 2026. The factory in question will manufacture battery chemicals, cells and packs, as well as energy storage solutions, and will include a battery recycling facility as well.
Furthermore, Reliance introduced Jio True 5G lab, a comprehensive facility that is slated to accelerate the transformation of the industry. The inaugural Jio True5G Lab will be located at Reliance Corporate Park. Reliance is also set to team up with HP and Google to introduce Jio Cloud PC, an affordable laptop, which is likely to be powered by Android OS. Jio is also set on developing India-specific AI models, Mukesh Ambani announced. “India has scale. India has data. India has talent. But we also need AI-ready digital infrastructure that can handle AI’s immense computational demands. We stand committed to create up to 2000 MW of AI-ready computing capacity,” he said.
Smart Home Services
And if this is not enough, Reliance also made another noteworthy announcement at the AGM – Jio Smart Home services. Reliance revealed that Jio Smart Home services can be accessed via the JioHome app, and the company is using AI to optimize the Wi-Fi network. “Over 80% of data consumption in India happens indoors. I’m thrilled to introduce Jio Smart Home services, which is poised to redefine how we experience and manage our homes,” Akash Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Jio, announced. “Our extensive Jio Fiber service already serves 10+ mn customers, with thousands getting connected each month. With Jio AirFiber, we are expanding our addressable market to 200+ mn homes and other premises,” he added.
Coming to Reliance’s Retail business, Isha Ambani revealed that its valuation has doubled to ₹8.28 lakh crore (a steep increase from ₹4.28 lakh crore in September 2020) and has become one of the biggest employers of the country. In fact, several global and marquee investors have already shown interest in Reliance Retail, and its digital and new commerce sales contributed nearly ₹50,000 crore in the financial year ending March 2023. “We opened 3,300+ new stores last year, taking the total to 18,040, covering 6.56 cr sq.ft. Two-thirds of these stores are in Tier II, III and smaller towns, which is a testament to commitment of making retail inclusive,” she announced.
Massive Reliance Numbers
At the AGM, Mukesh Ambani claimed that at the current pace, the company is adding one 5G cell every 10 seconds. Jio’s data traffic grew by 45% compared to a year earlier. while the company’s digital services business posted an all-time high revenue of ₹1.19 lakh crore for FY23. He spoke more about Jio 5G, revealing that in the past nine months, Jio 5G services have been made available in 96% of towns, and Jio’s extensive network is set to cover the entire country with its 5G coverage (via 1 million 5G cells) by the end of the year. Today, 85% of total 5G cells operational in the world’s second-largest internet market can be attributed to Jio’s network, and Jio 5G has currently over 50 million 5G customers.
“We have invested our heart and soul in building a digital public service infrastructure. Now, our ambitions are even higher and they go beyond the shores of India,” Ambani said. “We are in a position to move our 4G customers seamlessly to 5G without incurring additional capital expenditure, says Chairman Mukesh Ambani. Jio has transformed from implementers to creators of cutting-edge new technology. Today’s Jio’s 5G rollout is powered by its own, homegrown 5G stack,” he added. Jio Financial Services is set to enter the insurance industry by offering life, general, and health insurance products through its digital interface, Reliance added.
Children added to board, wife resigns
In his address to shareholders, Ambani revealed that Reliance Industries cumulatively invested $150 billion in the past 10 years, an amount that is bigger than any corporate in the country. He further announced that Reliance’s consolidated revenues for the year amounted to ₹9,74,864 crore, while its EBITDA for FY23 amounted to ₹1,53,920 crore. The giant’s net profit for the same period amounted to ₹73,670 crore. Currently, Reliance has over 3.9 lakh employees, and added 2.6 lakh jobs during the year. Nita Ambani will be stepping down from Reliance Industries’ Board (although she will continue as the Chairperson of Reliance Foundation). In return, Isha Ambani, Akash Ambani and Anant Ambani are set to join the Board of Directors.