With the formal launch of Reliance Jio, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said that his group would invest Rs 5000 crore in Indian startups over the next five years. This investment will be channelled through Jio Digital India Startup fund. It will be mostly directed at digital and internet startups to create unique solutions for India as part of the country’s largest business conglomerate’s move to become a communication behemoth.
While addressing RIL’s annual general meeting and formally launching Jio, Ambani said on Thursday-
“We also have plans to partner with thousands of Indian entrepreneurs, whose digital ventures can bloom in the ground that Jio is preparing,…We are also working to create digital entrepreneurship hubs in key cities and towns of India. Our aim is to build a platform for young Indians who want to create digital businesses of the future,”
Sources are also saying that Reliance has already begun exploratory talks with the country’s two biggest startups — online retailer Flipkart and ride hailing app Ola — for potential integration of their services with Reliance’s mobile service Jio. Reliance has tied up with around 20 smartphone brands including Samsung, Micromax and LG to bundle Jio SIM cards with select handsets, offering free voice and data for three months. The cheapest 4G LTE enabled phone of Reliance’s own brand Lyf is available at Rs 2,999.
Ambani said the company would seek to have 100 million customers in the shortest possible time as it builds out its 4G network across the country. He added –
“Jio is also partnering with some of the leading digital and Internet players in the world. Together with Jio, these partners are keen to showcase the full power and range of their offerings to Indian customers,”