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RIL to invest Rs 20,000 Cr in Jio to fuel its 5G and e-comm play


Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has an aggressive expansion plan for its telecom business Reliance Jio.

After witnessing decent growth in over 33 months of its launch as telecom network, RIL plans to expedite its 5G and e-commerce play with an investment of around Rs 20,000 crore.

The company plans to use the capital to expand operations, said a Mint report quoting sources aware of the development.

The telecom firm will issue 4 billion non-cumulative optionally convertible preference shares to its parent at Rs 50 each for cash, it added.  Jio, which has borrowed heavily to expand its services, is also planning to cut debt through transferring fibre and tower arms Digital Fibre Infrastructure Trust and Tower Infrastructure Trust.

The company now looks to reach out to more people in smaller towns and focus on the expansion of its services including GigaFiber fixed broadband services.

Last year, Ambani had emphasized that there is a big growth opportunity in creating a hybrid, online-to-offline new commerce platform. RIL has been working with kiranas stores and consumer brands to create an operational model for the same. To strengthen its e-comm play, RIL had also acquired Haptik and Fynd.

Ambani-led firm is reportedly planning to replicate Wechat, through a super app, in India.  As per media reports, Softbank is also looking to get a pie of Jio with $2-3 billion investment.

As per Industry Observers, RIL has all the products, supply chains, tech team, internet user base, logistics capability and huge capital to back it up to its plan.

Launched in 2016, Mukesh Ambani-telecom network has built a subscriber base of 306.7 million and a revenue market share (RMS) of 31.7% as of March, which is more than Airtel’s 27.3%.

In a year time, Jio net profit rose over four times to Rs 2,964 crore, from Rs 723 crore in 2017-18. In the March quarter of FY 2018-19, the company witnessed an increase of 7% to Rs 11,109 crore.

In September last year and March this year, Jio emerged as the only network to add mobile subscribers in those months.

Jio, in the month of March, has added about 9.4 million users, whereas all other telecom operators lost subscribers, according to latest TRAI subscription data.

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