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RIL AGM key highlights: Mukesh Ambani announces Google deal; Jio readies 5G solution

The oil-telecom-to-retail major recently crossed Rs 12 lakh crore in market capitalisation, becoming the first listed Indian entity to achieve the milestone.

July 15, 2020 / 04:20 PM IST
Mukesh Ambani; US$88.7 billion

Mukesh Ambani; US$88.7 billion

The 43rd annual general meeting (AGM) of Reliance Industries (RIL) started with a bang.

The Chairman and Managing Director of India's most-valued private company, Mukesh Ambani, held a virtual meeting.

Track all the updates on RIL AGM by following our LIVE blog here

The oil-telecom-to-retail major recently crossed Rs 12 lakh crore in market-capitalisation, becoming the first listed Indian entity to achieve the milestone.

Key highlights:

Google deal announced

Google will invest Rs 33,737 crore for a 7.7 percent stake in Jio Platforms, becoming the latest A-list investor in the digital unit of Reliance Industries (RIL).

The investment by Google—the 14th such deal in less than 13 weeks—takes the total stake that Reliance sold in Jio Platforms to a little over 33 percent. Mumbai-based RIL has now raised a combined Rs 1,52,056 crore from some of the world’s leading tech investors in the largest fundraising exercise by a company anywhere in the world and during a global lockdown at that.
Debt-free ahead of schedule
The company had a target of becoming net debt-free by March 2021. However, it achieved the goal ahead of the schedule.

Cumulatively, the company has raised Rs 2,12,809 crore through the rights issue, the combined investments in Jio Platforms and investment by BP.

"This capital raise is significantly in excess of our net debt of Rs 1,61,035 crore at the end of FY19-20. Reliance is now truly a zero net debt company, well ahead of my goal of March 2021. We now have an extremely strong balance sheet that will support all our growth plans for our three hyper-growth engines – Jio, Retail and O2C. Our target for capital raise is now complete and we now look forward to only adding strategic partners who share our vision in each of our current and future businesses," said the Chairman.

Ready with 5G solutions
Mukesh Ambani said Jio is ready with a world-class 5G solution. Field deployment can happen next year. This 5G product will be available for trials as soon as the spectrum is available. Jio Platforms will be positioned for 5G solution to other telecom operators.

Consumer, technology business gaining scale

The company's consumer business continued to deliver EBITDA growth of 49 percent this year, said the company's Chairman.

Consumer business contributed 35 percent of EBIDTA. Consumer and tech businesses have rapidly achieved scale by their exponential growth. Our consumer and technology business have rapidly gained scale, said Ambani.

New smartphone OS

Google and Jio are partnering to build a new smartphone operating system in India.

"Have sold 100 million Jio Phones till date. But there are many feature phone users waiting to upgrade to a conventional smartphone. We believe we can design an entry-level 4G or even a 5G smartphone. We believe that we can design such a phone at a fraction of the current cost," Ambani said.

"To power such a value-engineered smartphone, we also need an equally value-engineered smartphone operating system. And, such an operating system must be designed from grounds-up. Google and Jio are partnering to build a new smartphone operating system in India," he added.

Delay in Aramco deal

Due to unforeseen circumstances and COVID-19, the deal with Saudi Aramco has not progressed as per the earlier timeline.

"Due to unforeseen circumstances in the energy market and the COVID-19 situation, the deal has not progressed as per the original timeline. Our equity requirements have already been met. Nevertheless, we at Reliance value our over two-decade-long relationship with Saudi Aramco and are committed to a long-term partnership," said Chairman Ambani.

He added the company has been approached by global companies for strategic partnerships with the petrochemicals business. Potential partnerships will help build competitive manufacturing capabilities.

Retail business outlook

JioMart, Reliance Industries' (RIL) platform for customers and kirana stores has now enabled a multipurpose point of service (POS) services to enable smooth transactions between stores and their customers.

Last year, Reliance Retail revenues were Rs 1,62,936 crore and EBITDA was Rs 9,654 crore. The company is India's largest and most profitable retail business.

"Four things that give me huge satisfaction are: First, more than two-thirds of our nearly 12,000 stores are operated in Tier II, Tier III and Tier IV towns. Second, the deep-rooted bond with tens of thousands of farmers that has helped us source over 80% of our fresh fruits and vegetable directly from farmers. We sell more fruits and vegetables than any other organised retailer in the country. Third, we continue to provide large employment and development opportunities for lakhs of people across India. Fourth, our growth model is based on partnership with small merchants and shopkeepers," said the company's Chairman.

Aim of making O2C a separate entity

The energy industry must understand that fossil fuels and renewables are not mutually exclusive. The world needs access to clean and affordable energy, said the company's Chairman.

The energy industry must adopt a planet-friendly model. We are committed to converting CO2 emissions into high-value products. We are targeting to become net carbon-neutral by 2035.

"We will approach the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) with our proposal to spin-off our oil-to-chemicals (O2C) business into a separate subsidiary," said the Chairman.

The company expects to complete this process by early 2021.

Jio TV

Jio TV+ will curate OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar, among others, into one app. It will be voice-search enabled.

Jio Glass

Reliance announced the launch of Jio Glass which is a new mixed reality headset, will enable holographic video calling.

JioGlass weighs only 75 grams, offers best in class, immersive mixed reality services. It remains connected by a single-cable and already has 25 apps that allow augmented reality video meetings and more.

Consolidation of media and distribution businesses

The company plans to consolidate its media and distribution business.

Network18 Group's 72 channel-strong TV broadcast network across news and entertainment reaches more than 80 crore Indians.

"Our digital properties are now used by almost 200 million people every month. We are amongst the top 10 digital news players across sectors. We are consolidating our media and distribution businesses. Den and Hathway are being merged with Network18 and TV18, subject to regulatory approvals. This will make the Network18 group the largest listed media and distribution company in the country," said the Chairman.

 Disclosure: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd which published

Moneycontrol News
first published: Jul 15, 2020 02:48 pm
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