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Reliance Jio launches 4G service for employees; targets 100 mn subs in first year
MUMBAI: Setting the stage for competition among the telecom majors, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani Sunday launched Reliance Jio 4G telecom service, which is his most ambitious project, for his group employees.
This is the first time in the history of corporate India that such an employee-first initiative has been launched at this scale.
Speaking at the event, Ambani said: “On the 83rd birth anniversary of our founder (Dhirubhai Ambani), I wish to offer you Jio services from tomorrow (Monday). This is the first time we have 150,000 people in 1,100 locations across India all together.”
The event, which was held at the sprawling Reliance Corporate Park in Navi Mumbai, was attended by 35,000 Reliance employees with thousands more across India connected virtually.
The commercial rollout of Reliance Jio’s 4G services will happen in March-April. Ambani expects that Reliance Jio will help the group, which has interests across refining, petrochemicals, textiles and retail, to double its size in the next two years.
Ambani said that Jio will prove naysayers wrong by touching 100 million customers in first year itself. “Today, nobody believes Jio will have 100 million customers in our first year. But we will accomplish it because we believe so,” he asserted.
Ambani said that the human race was set to accomplish more in the next 20 years what it couldn’t achieve so far in terms of technological advancements and India with its huge population should not be left behind.
“In the next 20 years humanity will achieve more than it has in the past 300 million years. With the launch of Jio, I have no doubt that India’s rank in the Internet and mobile broadband penetration will go up from around 150 to among the top 10 in the next few years. 1.3 billion Indians cannot be left behind. This is our motivation for Jio,” he noted.
Reminiscing about Jio’s early days, Ambani said that the 4G project started with a handful of people and today it has attracted talent from 26 nationalities.
Jio, Ambani said, is not about technical brute force but to re-imagine how to do things better.
He also had a word of advice for his employees. “I want all of you to take 5 things back: digital life, connected intelligence, Jio life, Jio together and Jio celebration,” he stated.
Talking about his media business, Ambani said, “With Network18, we not only have the best news channels but my favourite channel – Colors.”
Ambani also had a word of praise for his colleague and long time associate Manoj Modi, who is leading Jio’s execution efforts.
“With Manoj, I am able to do the easy things and let him do the difficult things. One person who has stood behind me all through 30 years is one man – Manoj Modi, I don’t need to thank him but today I do,” he said.
Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani said that Jio will be used to deliver health and education across the country. “Jio is not just 4G it is an ecosystem that will prepare the future generation for the world. It will break the rural-urban divide,” she stated.
The glittering event began with the lighting of the lamp by the late Dhirubhai Ambani’s wife Kokilaben, son Mukesh, daughter-in-law Nita Ambani and grandchildren Isha, Akash and Anant.
The event saw performances by AR Rahman and Shah Rukh Khan, who is the brand ambassador of Jio. SRK entered on a motorcycle amid thunderous cheers from the crowd.
Also present at the event were Mukesh’s younger brother Anil, his wife Tina, ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor and Congress leader Milind Deora among others.