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Key announcements from Reliance Industries 43rd annual general meeting

India’s most-valued private company Reliance Industries held its 43rd annual general meeting (AGM) virtually with Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani addressing shareholders. Ambani said the company has completed its capital raising target, and is now looking to add only a strategic partner. The company has raised a total of Rs 2.1 lakh crore through the rights issue, deal with British Petroleum and stake sales in Jio Platforms. Here are the key announcements made in its first ever virtual AGM due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Disclosure: Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments.)

Google stake buy in Jio
Google will invest Rs 33,737 crore for a 7.7 percent stake in Jio Platforms, becoming the latest A-list investor in the digital unit of RIL. The investment by Google — the 14th such deal in less than 13 weeks — takes the total stake that RIL has sold in Jio Platforms to a little over 33 percent

Debt-free ahead of schedule
The company had a target of becoming net debt free by March 2021. However, it achieved the goal ahead of the schedule. Cumulatively, the company has raised Rs 2,12,809 crore through the rights issue, the combined investments in Jio Platforms and investment by BP. (Image: Reuters)

Jio 5G
Jio is ready with a world-class 5G solution. Field deployment can happen next year. This 5G product will be available for trials as soon as the spectrum is available. Jio Platforms will be positioned for 5G solution to other telecom operators

Consumer, technology business gaining scale
The company’s consumer business continued to deliver 49 percent EBITDA growth this year. Consumer and tech businesses have rapidly achieved scale by their exponential growth.

New smartphone OS
Google and Jio are partnering to build a new smartphone operating system in India. RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani said, “Have sold 100 million Jio Phones till date. But there are many feature phone users waiting to upgrade to a conventional smartphone. We believe we can design an entry-level 4G or even a 5G smartphone. We believe that we can design such a phone at a fraction of its current cost. To power such a value-engineered smartphone, we also need an equally value-engineered smartphone operating system. And, such an operating system must be designed from ground-up.”

Delay in Aramco deal
Due to unforeseen circumstances and COVID-19 pandemic, the deal with Saudi Aramco has not progressed as per the earlier timeline. However, the company has been approached by global companies for strategic partnerships in its petrochemicals business. Potential partnerships will help build competitive manufacturing capabilities.

Retail business
JioMart, Reliance Industries’ (RIL) platform for customers and kirana stores, has now enabled a multipurpose point of service (POS) to enable smooth transactions between stores and their customers. Last year, Reliance Retail posted a revenue of Rs 1,62,936 crore and EBITDA of Rs 9,654 crore. The company is India’s largest and most profitable retail business

Jio Glass
Ambani announced the launch of Jio Glass, which is a new mixed reality headset. The device will enable holographic video calling. Jio Glass weighs only 75 grams, offers best in class, immersive mixed reality services. It remains connected by a single-cable and already has 25 apps that allow augmented reality video meetings and more

Net carbon neutral by 2035
“The energy industry must understand that fossil fuels and renewables are not mutually exclusive. The world needs access to clean and affordable energy,” said the company’s chairman. He stated, “The energy industry must adopt a planet-friendly model. We are committed to converting CO2 emissions into high-value products. We are targeting to become net carbon-neutral by 2035.”

Jio TV
Jio TV+ will curate OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar, among others, into one app. It will be voice-search enabled.

Consolidation of media and distribution businesses
The company plans to consolidate its media and distribution business. Network18’s 72 channel-strong TV broadcast network across news and entertainment reaches more than 80 crore Indians.


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