The Jio Empire

    In one headline or another almost every week, this company is touching unseen and phenomenal heights. For most of the decade, India was worried and the enthusiasts were often spotted asking, “When will India have its own google” but now no sooner than later, the tables have turned.

    Founded by Mukesh Ambani, JIO has successfully impressed almost every big company you can think of.

    The telecommunication service provider which emerged in 2016 as the greatest threat to all the existing service providers in India, like Airtel and Vodafone, is now leading the Indian market. 

    Mukesh Ambani, in 2016, unleashed Jio, announcing free voice calls and zero roaming charges for its customers till end of the year.This forced other telecom companies, who till now were enjoying higher profits to alter their policies and fall in line with Jio. 

    Following its success, in the same year, Jio came up with Jio Platforms (Jio Apps then) which included apps such as JioBrowser, JioNews, JioMoney, JioSaavn, and so on. While the apps were available to download for everyone, a Jio Subscription and a Jio Sim were required to avail them all. Jio became the first operator in India to register 100 million users on its network in less than 6 months. In 2017, right before Jio was about to start its paid services, it announced new data plans and its Jio Prime membership that offered attractive data plans for a nominal annual fee of Rs 99 with additional benefits for the members. 

    Today, despite all the breaches and controversies, Jio rules the market with its new innovations like India’s first 4G-enabled feature phone, called the JioPhone whose cost is effectively zero. To further cement their market position, Jio effectively announced more apps such as JioTV, JioMusic and JioCinema to its users satisfaction.

    In 2018, Jio took a drastic step by launching JioFiber, a broadband internet with speeds ranging from 100 to 1000 Mbit/s, as well as television and landline telephone services. Jio further moved ahead building its own Wi-Fi service now known as JioFi

    JioMart, an Indian online grocery delivery service was launched in a similar manner starting December 2019. 

    Jio’s performance in the last four years has been very consistent and the company does not intend to stop anytime soon. Jio which has a customer base of around 400M declared the rise of net profit by 88% during the FY 2020. 

    During the pandemic, it took several measures to support its customers PAN India. It invested in online platforms with a motive to support Digital India. JioChat, an instant messaging app was set up on April 12 2020. 

    Recently, after the ban on Chinese apps, Jio has launched its own video conferencing app, ‘JioMeet‘, another addition to Jio Platforms. The app allows users to have unlimited and uninterrupted conference calls. The features of the app mirror the currently well performing US based Media platform, Zoom and successfully poses a great challenge to the later. The app, after its launch on July 3rd now has over 100,000 downloads in a short span of 15 days. 

    In April 2020, Facebook acquired a stake of 9.99% in Jio Platforms, India’s most valuable firm for $6.1 Billion and similarly, Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries stated in July that Google had invested around $4.5 million for a 7.73% stake in the company. This has created ripples as this is one of the rare instances when Google has joined its global rival Facebook in backing a firm. The new investment has given Jio Platforms an equity valuation of $58 Billion  which is the same valuation implied by Facebook. 

    12.5% premium stake in Jio Platforms is owned by other investors such as Vista, Intel. General Atlantic, Silver Lake and Qualcomm. Jio Platforms has raised about $20.2 billion within the past four months from 13 investors by selling about 33% stake in the firm.

    As mentioned by Ambani recently, Google and Reliance Jio Platforms are going to be engaged on a customized-version of Android software to develop low-cost, entry-level smartphones which will support Google Play and future wireless standard 5G to serve the following countless users. 

    In the Virtual meeting held on July 15, Ambani said that Reliance Industries has become the first Indian company to cross 12 million in terms of market capitalisation and a net debt free company before the scheduled date enabling Mukesh Ambani to surge past Silicon Valley tech titan, Elon Musk and Alphabet co-founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page to become the world’s sixth richest person. 

    Jio is leaving no stones unturned in its pursuit towards glory. It has acquired a dominant market share in almost every possible sector and is moving ahead in its development of Jio Platforms. Backed by tech giants and keeping in mind the ongoing popularity of Indian Applications, the “Aatmanirbhar” movement is surely aggravating the ongoing development. Once criticized for its way of operations, today, JIO is clearly enunciating it’s worth and tremendous potential. In the end, we can only imagine the future JIO holds for itself and the stakeholders (including India itself). The cards have been dealt, the stakes are as high and now there is no going back.

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