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Next Gen steps in: Mukesh Ambani introduces daughter Isha as Reliance's retail biz leader

MUMBAI: Mukesh Ambani, while addressing the virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Reliance Industries on Monday, introduced daughter Isha Ambani as the "leader" of the group's retail business.

This conspicuous gesture came as a strong indication that the billionaire was gradually handing over key responsibilities in the conglomerate to the next generation.

"At a time when a bright future is beckoning Reliance, what gives me optimism is our huge reservoir of young, dynamic and best-in-class talent. Our next-gen leaders are confidently taking over the reins across businesses," Mukesh Ambani said.

The business magnate also indicated the direction which the younger members of the leading business clan were taking.

"Akash and Isha have assumed leadership roles in Jio and Retail respectively. They have been passionately involved in our consumer businesses since inception. Anant has also joined our New Energy business with great zeal. In fact, he is spending most of his time in Jamnagar," Mukesh Ambani informed shareholders.

He added that all three were being "mentored" on a daily basis by senior leaders, including himself and those on the board of directors.

Earlier this year, son Akash Ambani was appointed as chairman of the Reliance's telecom arm Reliance Jio Infocomm.

Speaking at the AGM, Isha Ambani announced that Reliance Retail will launch an FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) business this year.

"The objective of this FMCG business is to develop and deliver products that solve every Indian's daily-needs with high quality products at an affordable pricing," Isha Ambani said.

In her address, she said Reliance Retail had served over 200 million registered customers through brick and mortar stores as well as digital platforms.

"Our digital commerce platforms continued their growth with nearly six lakh orders being delivered every day, an increase of 2.5 times over last year. JioMart, delivering in over 260 towns, was rated India's number one trusted brand for online grocery," she said.

JioMart works on a hyperlocal delivery model, and is India's largest deployment of omni-channel capabilities. "We invested in acquisitions and partnerships during the year to enter new categories, strengthen our service capabilities, and extend our reach to new markets. We continue expanding our reach to more customers through addition of store network and merchant partners," she said.

Reliance Retail has achieved a record of Rs 2 lakh crore turnover and an EBITDA of Rs 12,000 crore is among the Top-10 retailers in Asia.

Meanwhile, Reliance Jio is all set to launch high-speed 5G telecom services by Diwali this year in multiple key cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

Subsequently, it intends to expand its 5G network to each and every town, tehsils and talukas across the country by December of 2023, which is nearly 18 months from now.

Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani made the announcement while addressing the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting via immersive and interactive metaverse technology. Jio will deploy the latest version of 5G called standalone 5G. It will invest Rs 2 lakh crore on 5G infrastructure.

Besides Metaverse, AGM was live on different social media platforms apart from their homegrown HD video conferencing application JioMeet. It is probably the first company globally to conduct its annual general meeting on a virtual reality platform and various social media platform.

Investors were eagerly waiting to know the launch details of 5G services from the Reliance top boss. RIL's telecom arm Reliance Jio Infocomm topped in India's 5G spectrum auction bidding.

Reliance Jio Infocomm has acquired spectrum in 700MHz, 800MHz, 1800MHz, 3300MHz and 26GHz bands in the recently-concluded 5G auctions conducted by the Department of Telecommunications, where the government received around Rs 1.5 lakh worth of bids.

Launched six years ago, Jio has created multiple world records during its rollout of the largest 4G network in the shortest period of time. Jio's 4G network provides the highest quality, most affordable digital services to over 400 million loyal and delighted customers. Jio is expected to now raise the bar even further with its 5G services.

The 5G rollout is also expected to bring more development in remote data monitoring in sectors such as mining, warehousing, telemedicine, and manufacturing, among others.

Reliance Jio, Adani group, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea were the four major participants in the spectrum auction.


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