Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani on Friday said India will become a $5 trillion economy well before 2024. “Thirteen years ago, when I spoke here, India was a $500 billion economy. And I said in 2004 that India would be an $5 trillion economy in 20 years. Today that prediction seems certain. Indeed, it will be achieved well before 2024,” Ambani said while addressing the HT Leadership Summit here.
He said: “Can we triple it to $7 trillion in the next 10 years and become the third largest economy in the world? Yes, we can. Can we cross the $10 trillion mark by 2030 and close the gap between India and China and India and USA? Yes, we can.” He said energy and technology have been the key drivers of human progress.
“No country has ever emerged as a global power without embracing new technologies whole-heartedly… and without using new generation energy sources widely.” Ambani said intelligent services were the next frontier of competitive differentiation and market leadership across industries.
“We are in the age of super-intelligence. What manufacturing was for China, super-intelligence will be for India. We have the opportunity to not only rapidly grow our own economy but also to be the provider of intelligent services to the rest of the world,” he added.
Saying that technology was a great leveller, he added: “It provides equal access to all without prejudice or judgment, benefiting only those who are best prepared.” Ambani said India ranked first in the world in terms of mobile broadband penetration, consuming more mobile broadband data than users in the US and China.
“Just one year back, India was ranked 150th in the world for mobile broadband. Now it is number one, after the launch of Jio.
“Today, Indians consume more mobile broadband data than users in the US and China. If data is destiny, new India is well and truly ready for its new tryst with destiny,” he added. “In the coming years, we will see many such success stories from India.”
Even as Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have locked horns over several issues, Ambani on Friday said Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal was a friend and not a rival.
“Let me correct you. Sunil is a good friend and not a rival. I think what he said and what may have been interpreted may be different. But let me make my point of view clear. I think that for all of us in the industry, profits and losses are risks that we take. And I don’t think that we can rely on governments and regulators to guarantee our profits and losses,” Ambani said while replying to a question at the summit.
He was asked to respond to comments by Mittal recently that said Jio’s foray into Indian telecom market with its free voice and data offer had made incumbent players to write off investments of up to $50 billion.
“To me what is most important is, do we really move the country forward and does the consumer gain. And I think that the question that you should be thinking about is that even if there are profits and losses, who gains and who loses? And as long as the consumer gains and the country moves forward, it is worth taking those losses, right? Some of us are big boys, we can afford that,” Ambani added.