Reliance Jio entails investment of over Rs 150,000 crore: Mukesh Ambani

Speaking at the inaugural day of FICCI Frames 2016, Mukesh D Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries, stressed on moving towards a digital world and highlighted five megatrends that will define the digital future.

The Year of the Digital – Change, Embrace and Prosper

Dear Friends,

Most respected Shri Ravishankar Prasadji, my friend Uday Shankar, Ramesh Sippyji and other distinguished guests

It is a privilege to be here with all of you at Frames 2016. I was here on the same stage at Frames 2004. At that time, the Indian media & entertainment industry was about USD 2 billion. Since then, in about 12 years, this industry has grown 9 times to USD 18 billion. My warm congratulations to all of you.

While this growth has been impressive, I truly believe that the best is yet to come. The Indian media and entertainment industry will be a USD 100 billion industry, in the coming decade. But numbers tell you only one part of the story. This industry is every Indian’s best friend, worst critic, role model, revered elder, loved child, teacher – all rolled into one. This industry has built a warm and emotional relationship forged through powerful storytelling.

With the world going digital, we have the opportunity to envelop the whole world with this emotional bond. To tell millions of stories in hundreds of different formats and ways. And technology will play a key enabling role in that story.

Dear friends, there couldn’t have been a better theme for Frames 2016 – the ‘Year of the Digital – Change or Perish’. Digitisation is the defining trend of this century.

In fact, that is the very reason that we at Reliance conceived Jio. It is one of the largest transformational green-field digital initiatives anywhere in the world with an investment of over Rs.150,000 crore.

The world is at the beginning of a digital revolution. Anything and everything that can go digital is going digital – at an exponential rate. Faster than you and I can imagine. Whether it is entertainment, commerce, healthcare, education – life is going digital.

Through the ages, information and knowledge have driven humanity’s progress. Life itself has relied on information to progress. Our genetic code, our DNA, the basis of our evolution – is nothing but information. When you put the power of information, connectivity and computing together, the price-performance ratio of everything changes drastically.

We are at the beginning of a new era for humanity. The defining characteristic of this era is a digitally networked and digitally connected society. I believe, in the next 20 years as human civilization, we will collectively achieve more than what has been achieved in the last 300 years.

If you are not digital, and if you don’t have globally competitive digital tools and skills, you will simply not survive. You will get disrupted. You will be outcompeted. You will be left behind. You will become irrelevant.

Friends, as the world goes Digital, India and Indians cannot afford to be left behind. Today, India is ranked around the 150th in the mobile Internet rankings out of 230 countries. We have a responsibility. To digitally empower India. To end this digital poverty. 1.3 billion Indians cannot be left behind as the world enters a new era.

We have the youngest population in the world. Give them the tools. Give them the skills. Give them the environment. They will surprise and support us.

It is this opportunity to transform the lives of our 1.3 billion Indians that motivated Reliance to enter and transform the entire digital ecosystem. And Jio is the result. I have no doubt that with the launch of Jio, India’s rank will go up from 150 to among the top 10 of mobile Internet rankings in the world.

How are we going to achieve this? Through 4 key interventions:

First is through Coverage: Coverage refers to whether you can access mobile broadband no matter where you are in India. Currently the coverage of mobile broadband in India is only about 15-20%. The comparative figure for USA is around 75%. Jio will start services with 70% coverage of India. From day one. And am sure that with the industry, India’s coverage will be over 90%.

Second is through Quality: Quality refers to the speed and strength of mobile broadband. From day one, Jio mobile broadband will offer speeds that are about 40 to 80 times faster than the current average speeds.

Third is through quantity and capacity of data available for consumption for every consumer. Current data consumption in India is about 0.15GB per month. Jio’s network is engineered to provide a capacity of 10GB per month for every user.

Fourth is to make through affordability: All of this is of no use if we cannot make it accessible and affordable to consumers in all parts of the country. Jio will significantly up the quantity, quality and coverage for broadband Internet while lowering the cost to the user.

With these four interventions, India will leapfrog to being amongst the top ten of the Digital revolution sweeping across the world. This initiative is a small and humble contribution to our Honourable Prime Minister’s vision of a Digital India – which is being ably executed by the Minister for Telecommunications.

So, what will people experience when they come on to the Jio network? Firstly, Jio is not just a telecom network. It is an entire ecosystem that allows Indians to live the Digital Life to the fullest. This ecosystem consists of devices, broadband networks, powerful applications and services, distributed to every doorstep in India.

Jio’s Media offerings will include the most comprehensive libraries and programming of recorded and live Music, Sports, Live and catchup Television, Movies and Events.

Secondly, Jio is about unleashing creativity and connected Intelligence. There are two kinds of intelligences in the world – machine intelligence and human imagination. Now combine the power of 6 billion brains with all the computers in the world - that is what connected intelligence means. Imagine the power that we will be putting in the hands of common Indians, if we can give them a smartphone in their hands and use an always-available, broadband connection to link them to the power of the Internet.

Thirdly, Jio is not just about technical brute force. It is about doing things in a smart, simple and secure way. Digital technologies give us an opportunity to not just do things a little better – but to reimagine how we do things.

Fourth, Jio is also about bringing people together. It is about inspiring people to join a movement – the digital India movement. Jio is about you and your family, friends, community and all Indians together in a movement to embrace and win in the digital world.

I have no doubt that Jio and Jio-enabled Indians will create a whole new digital economy, and we will witness a period of unprecedented growth, empowerment, employment and prosperity for our nation. To put it simply, everything that Jio believes, and everything that Jio does, is driven by a vision of this future.

Dear friends, let me now talk about five megatrends that I believe will define the Digital future. I believe that strategies factoring these megatrends will help us to win in this digital world.

First - the world is moving from orality to visuality. The world is undergoing a tectonic shift from the spoken and the written word to the visual world. Videos are emotive, intuitive, easy to understand, and hence compelling. A picture was always worth a thousand words. Images and Videos will rule in the digital world. And video will be the new voice. And thanks to Jio, India will have one of the most comprehensive and powerful Video network in the world. This transformation from voice to video, driven by this network will be available in every city and village in India.

An affordable video network has the power to change how we learn, play, communicate or entertain. Affordability changes everything. It brings millions on to a new platform.

Second, it is important to understand that digital technology is exponential. Human beings are linear, but technology can be exponential. Analog growth was linear – you walk ten steps to get to ten. But Digital growth is exponential. In ten steps you move from 2 to 1000. And in 30 steps to a billion. That is the power of exponential growth.

And any exponential change will create large opportunities. Opportunities for those who are willing to embrace the change. And challenges for those who want to resist the change. Change is inevitable. But progress is optional. It depends on the choices we make. Embracing the change will reap rich dividends for everyone. Each of us has the opportunity to experience and participate in this exponential growth.

Third, the world is graduating to a tele-media world. Earlier, Telecommunication, media and entertainment, television and broadcasting used to be more or less separate industries. The telcos used to focus on infrastructure and networks and the entertainment companies focused on content production and distribution. There were different players the large screen – the movie industry, for the small screen – the television industry, for the non-screen – the music industry and so on.

Now as fast mobile broadband is engulfing the world in which telecom/ICT and various media sectors are converging. We all are part of the tele-media future. The rules of the game have changed. The model will shift from ownership to digital access, and the user’s focus has shifted from downloading to streaming. The traffic in this world is not linear or one way – it will be interactive.

From monologues – it will be all about conversations. From copyright to usage rights. And more importantly, from paying with cash to paying with attention.

Hyper-collaboration will be the requirement of the day. The world is moving from an ego-system to eco-system. All of us together can thrive in this inter-dependent world and not individually. It will be a far more collaborative world. Interdependence is our future. We need to co-create a new reimagined ecosystem among all players that is win-win for all.

Fourth, abundance will be a global trend. Of choice. Of distribution. Of Content. Millions of songs, millions of videos. Anytime. Anywhere. And this kind of abundance will make intelligent analytics the need of the hour.

To my mind data is the new oil, and intelligent data is the new petrol. But this kind of extreme abundance also leads to scarcity of a certain kind. This scarcity will be on the inside – of context, happiness and purpose of life. Anything and anyone who can address this scarcity will be a winner. And this media and entertainment industry is well-positioned to address the twin issues of both abundance and scarcity that will co-exist.

Fifth: Ultimately it is not about technology but about humanity. Technology is just a means to an end. It cannot become the end goal by itself. The true power of technology is its ability to make human life better. The future belongs to creative empathisers, pattern recognisers, meaning makers. Because technology changes, but humanity evolves. And any transformation is eventually about humanity.

Dear friends, finally, all our efforts in the digital era need to be geared towards making the 21st Century the India Century. We have the opportunity to realise this – in a collaborative framework. Together, we are ‘Team Digital’. It is our responsibility to ensure that digital disruption leads to value for the nation. Our convergence – and not competition – can reshape and redefine India.

The power of our talent, visionary business minds and transformative policymakers and influencers is palpable in this audience today. When talent meets opportunity in this digital era, we can realize the vision for our nation. Together, we can make India a powerhouse in the world of digital media and entertainment and lead in the new tele-media world. And the media and the entertainment industry can be really very proud to have played a part. Because, all change is about humanity and more than one-sixth of humanity resides in India.

I look forward to all of us as equal partners co-creating this future of a digital India – that provides opportunities for all our people.

Thank you.


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