Reliance Industries is gearing up to launch its pan-India 4G datacom services under 'Jio' brand soon. The company has given its retail arm the mandate to develop the market for compatible devices and drive its growth.
The Chairman of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani informed, "Devices are the cornerstone in bringing broadband to the masses. The long-term evolution (LTE) ecosystem for devices in India is nascent." This was stated in a letter to the Reliance Retail team, referring to the standard industry jargon for the 4G technology. He further informed, "Reliance Retail is pioneering this LTE device ecosystem, building sales and distribution channels including retail stores."
The Managing Director of Reliance JioInfocomm, Sandip Das will quit his executive role and join the board of Reliance Retail to mentor the Jio Division of Reliance Retail.
Ambani is highly ambitious for this project. According to company sources, he is giving a greater importance to the 4G data telecom space. The chairman also sees it as one of the major drivers of growth within the $75-billion group.
Among new members on the board of directors of Relince JioInfocomm, a recent approval was given to appoint two of Ambani's children, Isha and Akash. Isha has studied in Yale while Akash is a Brown University graduate.
Shifting role for Sandip Das
Sandip Das joined Reliance Group in 2013. Hehas been associated with a host of Indian and global telecom firms in the past.He agreed that he had personally sought a shift in his role to mentor the Jio initiative of Reliance Industries. His role is to ensure sales and distribution channels of 4G devices and branding at Reliance Digital outlets.
"It will take the resources, deep conviction and substantial expertise of Reliance to build an LTE device ecosystem to a level similar to the availability of 3G devices. As Reliance Retail is building electronic goods sales stores and channels to pioneer and dominate this ecosystem, it will be a wonderful challenge for me to mentor this," he said.
The Reliance group has increasingly been looking for synergies between the retail and telecom wings of its business. In the previous year too, the group internally expanded role of the Reliance Retail human resources' head Sanjay Jog to include Jio after Steve Correa quit.
The scope in telecom
The watchdog authority, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI),gave a data that stated, India's total telecom subscribers base as on 1st December, 2014 including multiple users, was around 965 million while the broadband base was around 82 million.The country is seen as the next big market for telecom after saturation in the US and China.
About Reliance Retail
Reliance Retail Limited, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, was started in 2006. The company's retail outlets provide grocery, clothing, footwear, electronics, lifestyle and home decor products, and farm implements and inputs. It aims to give growth opportunities to farmers, vendor partners, small shopkeepers and consumers. Reliance Retail has multiple brands like Reliance Fresh, Reliance Footprint, Reliance Trends and Reliance Digital under it. These brands operate their retail outlets in 146 cities in India.