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Feb 16, 2017, 08.21 AM | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Mukesh Ambani: Data the 'new oil', will trigger fourth industrial revolution

Reliance Industries rode the commodities boom that started in the 1980s but Mukesh Ambani has no qualms in admitting that data is the greatest natural resource today.

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Mukesh Ambani: Data the new oil, will trigger fourth industrial revolution

Reliance Industries rode the commodities boom that started in the 1980s but Mukesh Ambani has no qualms in admitting that data is the greatest natural resource today.

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Reliance Industries rode the commodities boom that started in the 1980s but Mukesh Ambani has no qualms in admitting that data is the greatest natural resource today.

Speaking at a NASSCOM summit, Ambani said data will be the “next oil” – reinforcing an opinion he had expressed at the launch of the multi-billion dollar Reliance Jio venture – and said it would trigger the fourth revolution.

“Coal and steam taught us mechanization; electrical power and oil gave us tools of mass production; electronics, automation and silo-ised software gave us the basics of efficiency and productivity. Now we are at the doorsteps of the fourth revolution, which will be triggered by the convergence of the physical, digital and the biological science,” Ambani said, while speaking to Neelam Dhawan, MD of HP India.

He added that the convergence of these sciences will result in exponential growth – a concept understood only a few years ago – and said this would mean humans will be able to solve a lot of big problems in a short time. “I believe that in 20 years, we will achieve more than we did in the last 300 years. It’s a very exciting time.”

The realization of the potential that digital connectivity offers must have driven the industrialist to make an Rs 1.8 lakh-crore bet on Jio – an investment so mind-boggling it only makes sense because it comes from a person known for his affinity for scale.

“Jio was conceived when the world was fast digitizing. If India did not have access to next-generation digital infrastructure, we would have been out-competed and left behind,” he said. “In 2015, India was 155th out of 240 countries on mobile broadband access. I am confident that because of the investment in Jio and the concurrent action by industry, spurred by Jio, India can be in the top 10 countries in the world on broadband access.”

He added that India’s 1.3 billion propulation lends it a huge advantage and the data it will generate will be converted into intelligence. “It will be a huge competitive advantage for us.”

Disclosure: Reliance Industries, which owns Jio, also owns Network18, which publishes Moneycontrol

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