Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) held its first virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) today through the video conferencing platform ‘Jio Meet’ that was launched by RIL some time ago. All the shareholders were invited to the 43rd AGM of Reliance Industries Limited and this is the first time that RIL is holding its Annual General Meeting online. This decision was taken owing to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the decision was announced shortly after Tata Consultancy Services held its first virtual AGM. Many big announcements were made during today’s AGM. But the most significant of them all is that Google has announced that it will invest $4.5 billion which is approximately 33,737 crores in Reliance Jio at a stake of 7.7 %.
After only 2 days since Google announced that it will invest $10 billion or 75,000 crores in the Indian digital market, Reliance has made this announcement. Google has joined Facebook in the big investors' list of Jio, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google, addressed the sixth ‘Google For India’ event in which he informed that Google will be investing approximately $10 billion as a digitization fund during the next 5-7 years. He also said that one of the primary goals for this investment is to spread the reach of the internet and technology to every part of the country. RIL announced in the AGM that Google along with Reliance Jio will work on developing low-cost, entry-level mobile devices with a customized version of Android to serve millions of new customers in India. Mukesh Ambani informed that these mobile phones will come with the support of the future of wireless networks - 5G, and the Google Play services.
Sundar Pichai also sent a video message regarding the partnership of Google and Jio Platforms. In the video message, he said, “Getting technology into the hands of more people is a big part of Google’s mission. To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful is another part of the mission. Through this partnership with Jio Platforms, we see the chance to have an even greater impact than either company could have alone. ”
He also added, “This partnership is a key part of Google’s next chapter of investments in India. Our investment of $4.5 billion in Jio is the first and biggest through the digitization fund of $10 billion. I am excited that the collaboration will focus on the increase in access for hundreds of millions of Indians who do not currently own a smartphone and the improved mobile experience for all.“
Mukesh Ambani informed the shareholders of RIL that Jio Phone still remains the most affordable 4G supporting phone. He informed that about 100 million Indians have upgraded their feature phones to Jio Phones, but 350 million Indians still own a 2G feature phone who are waiting to upgrade to an affordable and conventional smartphone. He said that Jio aims to develop affordable 5G phones at only a fraction of its cost and to achieve this they need an equally value-engineered smartphone Operating System which will be provided to them by Google under their new partnership.
Mukesh Ambani further said, “Putting a smartphone in the hands of every Indian is our aim. India is standing at the doorsteps of the 5G era. They should not be deprived of the benefits that the digital and the data revolution offers. Jio is determined to make India ‘2G Mukt’ ”.
Mukesh Ambani also talked about the ‘Digital India’ movement. It is very clear that this partnership of Google with Jio Platforms will definitely help India towards its goal of ‘Digital India’.
Google, only after 2 days since the announcement of the digitization fund, Reliance Industries Limited has announced that the first and biggest investments through this fund will be received by them. This partnership will prove out to be very beneficial for India and Indians who were waiting for affordable smartphones. After Jio Platforms created the world’s most affordable 4G phone, the Jio Phone, they now aim to create the world’s most affordable smartphones. After Facebook and Microsoft, Jio Platforms is now officially partnering with Google with the aim of spreading the latest technologies and the internet to every corner of the country.