After disrupting the telecom sector with Jio and its ultra-affordable data-voice combo offerings, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is gearing up to take on the broadband space in the country with its upcoming JioGigaFiber service. However, that’s not the only project that the conglomerate has in the pipeline.
Aiming to take on bigwigs of online shopping like Amazon and Flipkart, RIL has announced that it’ll be launching its own e-commerce platform soon. To be launched in collaboration with Reliance Retail, RIL’s offline retail subsidiary, the platform will be first rolled out in Gujarat, said Reliance Industries Limited’s Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani.
“The new e-commerce platform will empower and enrich our 12 lakh small retailers and shopkeepers in Gujarat,” said Ambani during the inaugural ceremony of Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019. According to a report by Bloomberg, RIL’s upcoming e-commerce platform will combine (some) services from Reliance’s Jio cellular network and the company’s retail presence. The report further mentions that the new ‘offline-to-online’ platform will be launched in the next 12 to 18 months, quoting unidentified sources familiar with the matter.
Reliance Industries Limited’s e-commerce platform will also be unique in the sense that it’ll ‘partner’ with India’s countless neighborhood shops as the delivery and distribution points, for some of the products available on the platform. These shops will be helped by the company’s wholesale stores for stocking and other operations, mentioned the Bloomberg report.
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The e-commerce space in India is already a fiercely-contested one. While Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart can be considered as the major players, there are a lot of other companies like Paytm and Snapdeal operating in the market. It’ll be interesting to see how RIL’s upcoming e-commerce platform leverages the company’s offline retail presence and Jio’s cellular network penetration to take on the competition.