The deal seals the opportunity for RIL to function through e-commerce across traditional and non-traditional states.

“All of us at Reliance and Jio are pleased to welcome Facebook Inc. as our long-term and esteemed partner. At the core of our partnership is the commitment that Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, and I share for the all-round development of the digital transformation of India, and for serving all Indians.” – Mr. Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries Limited.

The Reliance-Jio-Facebook deal between the Reliance Industries Limited and Facebook Inc. wherein the latter bought 9.9% of the stake in Reliance Jio for $5.7 billion (=Rs. 43,574 crore). With the deal closing in, RIL gets to tap into a number of social media platforms managed by Facebook, including WhatsApp, which has the widest user base among all social media networks.

The deal seals the opportunity for RIL to function through e-commerce across traditional and non-traditional states. AJIO by Reliance had always been an e-commerce venture on fashion and lifestyle. 

However, with the largest foreign direct investment deal in the Indian business scenario has come up a giant opportunity for small businesses in India. The company has said that the deal will “enable new opportunities for businesses of all sizes, but especially for the more than 60 million small businesses across India.”

In his recorded statement, Mr. Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), further says that his deal with Facebook aims at constructing the edifice of India’s digital economy, in order to empower, enable and enrich the masses of India.

Keeping these three E’s in view, the first venture started days after the Reliance-Facebook-Jio Deal is that they want to collaborate with retail stores in order to facilitate grocery buying. In fact, it is believed by Mr. Ambani that their partnership will lead to India becoming the biggest Digital Society in the years to come. 

In an average household in India, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram have become commonly used applications. WhatsApp most certainly has a maximal user-base and therefore, days after this deal were sealed, Reliance started testing the JioMart, an invention that will preponderantly reduce the hassle in shopping for essentials. 

Reports by Cisco say that the number of internet users will only increase with the cheaper rates of smartphones and internet plans. 

The key highlights listed by Business Today talks about how WhatsApp needs to enter the e-commerce sector and not Jio or RIL which already has Retail-Jio. The deal is certainly mutually beneficial and not only centred on the digital expansion of RIL. 

We have also to understand that in this case, Facebook is the lesser partner. We are inattentive to this fact considering Facebook’s dominance across the globe. 

Reliance-Jio can, with this deal, utilise Facebook’s advertisement platforms. An insight into the Facebook or Instagram ads will tell us that these are mammoth scorers in pooling audiences in. A post on your feed, which is all it takes for a small business to grow. 

One can expect that in-app purchases will be enabled on these apps just like initially on WeChat in China, you could scan a QR Code and add an item to your cart, after which you could pay through the apps.

Online payments and digital wallet is a segment in which Calibra, WhatsApp Pay and Messenger Pay can collaborate, also with Jio Wallet and JioCoin. These means will enable the online payments a customer can make for smooth and cashless payments. 

E-commerce through Facebook Marketplace, Reliance Smart, HomeShop18, AJIO, Meesho, Facebook for Business, U-Academy, Biz Manager, BYJU’s, Facebook Games, Jio Games, has been managed all along by the two companies. Collaborations between these will serve well for a digital economy without a doubt. 

However, reports say that WhatsApp Pay was launched two years ago and beta testing had begun, but it was one of Facebook’s woes that it has not been functioning well in India. It is hoped by the Mark Zuckerberg-led firm in India that this deal can help with functions in India. 

For Facebook, India has always been a market of paramount importance. Hence, it is a deal that will cause a significant increase in the consumers of the app. 

Once Reliance starts providing essential services to the people of India, it will initiate digital growth even in the remote areas where telecom has not been able to reach yet. In a Digital Society, where most people start relying on these convenient means to procure daily needs, even the multitude from the villages will realise the wonders of technology and would want to avail these offers. 

Such initiatives will also induce a spirit in young entrepreneurs to set up their retail stores in the inaccessible and traditional villages. They will be able to create awareness of hygiene, health and the consciousness of quality of goods used in the households of the village. 

One can only imagine the splendour of a country with not just smart cities but smart villages, where sanitary napkins are available with a tap for the women, where the people from the villages are using the same quality of goods as those from the cities, where everyone has access to a cashless economy and markets are only a click away.

When Jio was launched, it did reach to the masses with it’s inexpensive data plans and strong network. The Reliance Industries have certainly brought a digital revolution in India, by introducing an affordable and easily available 4G network. 

In the words of Mr. Ambani, WhatsApp is “not just an application” anymore. It has become aapka, aur hum sabka, pyaara dost. He says that it is an application which brings together friends and families along with being a platform for information exchange or businesses. 

Digital interactions are competent in faster action. Giving an opportunity to our Small and Medium enterprises, teachers, students, healthcare workers, and the youth is the aim of the deal between Jio and Facebook, which have both successfully established a very intimate relationship with the multitude. 

The goals cited by the Digital India Mission launched by the NDA government include two keypoints, which Mr. Ambani also highlights: (i) Ease of Living and (ii) Ease of Doing Business. In accordance to these is the the idea of bringing this ease of living for all Indians, especially the common Indians and for all entrepreneurs, especially focussing on small-scale business entrepreneurs. 

One is assured that with this deal, these two goals will be realised. The convenience that the common folk of India have long aspired for is finally served on our platter with this historic agreement between two industrial giants. 


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