Reliance AGM 2021 Highlights: Jio working to make India 2G-mukt, 5G-yukt, says Mukesh Ambani
The 44th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has concluded. The event was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During the event, Mukesh Ambani made announcements across RIL’s telecom, retail and oil-to-chemicals business.
Ambani announced the launch of a new affordable smartphone developed jointly by Google and Reliance Jio. He also announced major transformations in Reliance’s core energy business to focus on green energy besides expansion plan for the retail business.
On the business front, Mukesh Ambani informed shareholders that the company has grown successfully despite the challenging pandemic environment. He announced that Saudi Aramco Chairman and Governor of the Kingdom’s wealth fund Public Investment Fund Yasir Al-Rumayyan will join the board of Reliance Industries as an independent director.
RELIANCE AGM HIGHLIGHTS:
3:57 PM: Even though Mukesh Ambani laid out an elaborate roadmap for transforming Reliance’s core energy business while expanding the retail and technology business, RIL’s shares fell over 2.6 per cent on the stock market at today’s closing.
3:55 PM: Before concluding his address, Mukesh Ambani said Reliance is probably the only large company in the world that has successfully transformed itself from a traditional industrial business into an enterprise that now includes two mega-scale consumer and technology businesses.
“In last 10 years, Reliance invested $90 billion in creating substantial wealth for nation and value for shareholders. In the coming decade, Reliance has the capacity to catalyse investments of over $200bn directly and through partners,” Ambani said.
“These investments will create value on an exponential scale. They will also create over 10 lakh new employment opportunities, besides fostering thousands of small and medium enterprises across the country,” he added.
“India is destined to emerge as one of the top three economies in the world. And as your company in its Golden Decade transforms itself as New Reliance, it is destined to play a proud role in the emergence of a New India.”
3:40 PM: Speaking about Reliance Retail, Mukesh Ambani said that it has delivered despite the challenges. He said Reliance Retail has added 1,500 new stores, which is amongst the largest retail expansion undertaken by any retailer during the period. The stores under Reliance Retail have now increased to 12,711.
“Our apparel business sold nearly five lakh units per day and over 18 crore units during the year. This is equivalent to dressing the entire population of UK, Germany and Spain once,” he said.
“Reliance Retail sold 4.5 crore units of electronics last year which translates to over 120,000 units per day. We sold over a billion units of groceries or about 30 lakh units per day,” Ambani added.
Mukesh Ambani also said that JioMart has registered 6.5 lakh peak orders in a single day. “Expansion is underway to onboard 1 cr merchant partners over next 3 years,” said Mukesh Ambani.
He went on to say that Reliance Retail currently employs over 2 lakh employees, making it one of the largest employers in the country. “Over the next 3 years, we shall further create employment for over 10 lakh people and enable the livelihoods for many more,” he added.
“We are committed to grow our business so that we are among the top 10 retailers globally. I am confident that Reliance Retail is on a hyper-growth trajectory to grow at least 3x in the next 3-5 years,” Mukesh Ambani said.
3:30 PM: Speaking on the partnership with Jio, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said the new 5G partnership between Google Cloud and Jio will help more than a billion Indians connect to a “faster interest” and support businesses in digital transformation and lay the foundation for next phase of India’s digitisation.
“A new 5G partnership between Google Cloud and Jio will help more than a billion Indians connect to faster internet, support businesses in digital transformation and lay foundation for next phase of India’s digitization. We are proud to play a part in India’s next wave of technological innovation. Helping to connect 1.3 billion Indians to the opportunities the internet creates is meaningful to us at Google and certainly to me personally,” he said.
Commenting on the integrations, Mukesh Ambani said, “With Facebook, we have launched an initial set of integrations between Whatsapp and JioMart on a trial basis and the response from WhatsApp and JioMart customers is encouraging along with lots of valuable feedback,” he added.
“With Microsoft, we have operationalized an initial 10 MW capacity of JIO-AZURE Cloud Datacentres in Jamnagar and Nagpur. We are currently onboarding the initial group of pilot customers,” Ambani said.
Speaking about JioFiber and the company’s 5G rollout plans, Ambani said, “JioFiber has acquired over 2mn new premises over the past year. With a cumulative base of 3mn active home and business users, JioFiber has become the largest and the fastest-growing fixed broadband operator in India.”
“Jio has taken tremendous strides in maturing state-of-the-art 5G technology signifying a quantum leap to next frontier of wireless broadband. Our ‘Made in India’ solution is comprehensive, complete and globally competitive,” he added.
“Jio is uniquely positioned to quickly and seamlessly upgrade to 5G. To develop 5G ecosystem, we are working with global partners to develop a range of 5G devices. Jio is not just working to make India 2G-mukt, but also 5G-yukt.”
3:15 PM: Mukesh Ambani announced the launch of JioPhone Next, an ultra-affordable smartphone developed by Reliance Jio and Google. It will be available in the market from September 10.
“I am pleased to announce that Google and Jio teams have jointly developed a truly breakthrough smartphone — JIOPHONE NEXT. It is a fully-featured smartphone supporting the entire suite of applications from both Google and Jio,” said Ambani.
“JIOPHONE NEXT is powered by an optimized version of Android OS jointly developed by Jio and Google. It is ultra-affordable and packs cutting-edge features. It will be available in market from Ganesh Chaturthi, 10th September,” he said.
3:05 PM: Mukesh Ambani outlines a plan to invest Rs 75,000 crore in green energy initiatives over the three years.
“In 2016, we launched Jio with the aim of bridging the Digital Divide in India. Now, in 2021, we are launching our new energy business with the aim of bridging the green energy divide in India and globally,” Ambani said.
“World-class talent will be the most critical resource for this new business. We have started attracting the best talent from across world. We have established Reliance New Energy Council with some of the finest minds globally,” he added.
Ambani said Reliance has started work on developing the Dhirubhsi Green Energy Giga Complex on 5,000 acres in Jamnagar. “It will be amongst the largest such integrated renewable energy manufacturing facilities in the world,” he said.
“We plan to build four Giga factories to manufacture and integrate all critical components of New Energy ecosystem solar photovoltaic module factory, energy storage battery factory, electrolyser factory, fuel cell factory,” Ambani said.
Reliance will invest over Rs 60,000 crore to create and offer a fully integrated, end-to-end renewable energy ecosystem. “We will invest an additional Rs 15,000 cr in value chain, partnerships and future technologies, including upstream and downstream industries. Thus, our overall investment in New Energy business will be Rs 75,000 cr in 3 years,” he added.
Mukesh Ambani also said that the company will transform its legacy energy business into a sustainable, circular and net-zero carbon materials business. “We will do this by repurposing our existing assets to extend their economic life and earning capacity,” he said.
2:59 PM: Mukesh Ambani mentioned that Reliance Jio and Retail continues to continue to be industry leaders.
“Reliance Jio had net addition of 37.9 million subscribers during the year. We now serve over 425 million consumers on our network. We have revenue market leadership in 19 out of 22 circles,” said Mukesh Ambani.
“Reliance Retail continues to be the undisputed leader in organised retailing in the country, with scale that is more than 6 times the next competitor. We are by far the leader in each category — grocery, electronics and apparel,” he added.
2:51 PM: As expected, Mukesh Ambani announces that Saudi Aramco Chairman and Governor of the Kingdom’s wealth fund Public Investment Fund Yasir Al-Rumayyan will join the board of Reliance Industries as an independent director.
“I welcome H.E. Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Chairman of Saudi Aramco and Governor of PIF, to join the Board of Reliance Industries as Independent Director. His joining our Board is also the beginning of internationalisation of Reliance,” he said.
“Continued engagement and resolve from both sides, even during this pandemic, is a testimony of strong relationship between Saudi Aramco and Reliance. I expect our partnership to be formalised in an expeditious manner this year,” Mukesh Ambani added.
2:50 PM: Mukesh Ambani says retail shareholders of the company have made significant returns in the past one year. “We rewarded the shareholders with the largest and the most successful rights issue ever by an Indian company. Our retail shareholders have made 4x returns in just one year on their rights shares,” he said.
2:45 PM: Mukesh Ambani said that Reliance’s contribution to the Indian economy remains unmatched — 6.8 per cent of India’s merchandise exports, 75,000 new jobs, Rs 21,044 crore of customs+excise, Rs 85,306 crore of GST+VAT, and Rs 3,213 crore of Income Tax.
“RIL raised $44.4 billion the largest ever capital raise by any company in a year globally. This capital raise is a strong vote of confidence by global investors in India’s growth potential,” Ambani added.
2:40 PM: Mukesh Ambani says even in a challenging environment, the business has remained successful. “Even in a challenging environment, RIL’s performance continued to be outstanding; Consolidated revenue was Rs 540,000 crore, consolidated EBITDA was Rs 98,000 crore, and almost 50 per cent of EBITDA was contributed by consumer businesses,” he said.
2:32 PM: Nita Ambani highlights the importance of getting vaccinated against Covid-19 and speaks about Reliance’s Mission Vaccine Suraksha. “RIL’s Mission Vaccine Suraksha is one of India’s largest corporate vaccination drives, to vaccinate 20 lakh of our Family, including retired employees, partner company employees, and their families free of cost,” she said.
“I assure you that in every challenge that India faces, Reliance Foundation has and will continue to stand with every Indian. Together, we shall overcome as we always have,” said Nita Ambani.
2:26 PM: Nita Ambani says Reliance Foundation launched five mission to fight the Covid-19 crisis in India Mission Oxygen, Mission COVID Infra, Mission Anna Seva, Mission Employee Care, and Mission Vaccine Suraksha.
2:20 PM: Nita Ambani, Akash Ambani and Isha Ambani highlight Reliance’s service to the community during Covid-19 pandemic.
“Members of Reliance family ensured our nation’s fuel supplies are intact, digital connectivity is unaffected, and daily essential needs of millions are met safely. We are indebted to them for their service to humanity,” said Akash Ambani.
“Our salute to countless members of our Reliance family, who have placed their country first, community next, family third, and self last in this hour of need. They are our real-life super-heroes,” said Isha Ambani.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a humanitarian crisis. It has tested the very spirit of humanity. But even in the darkest hour, our spirit has shone brightly. We as a people have come together, and fought this battle,” said Nita Ambani.
2:15 PM: Mukesh Ambani also said that the business and financial success since the last AGM have exceeded expectations. “Our business and financial success since last AGM have exceeded expectations. But what has given me far greater happiness than our business performance is RIL’s humanitarian efforts during these exceedingly difficult times,” said Mukesh Ambani.
2:10 PM: Mukesh Ambani starts the virtual meeting by offering condolences to all those in the Reliance family who have lost their loved ones during the pandemic. A minute of silence was observed.
2:00 PM: Mukesh Ambani begins virtual address.
1:55 PM: Event to start shortly, stay tuned.
1:45 PM: Reliance’s digital push | Since its inception, Jio has been accelerating the rollout of digital platforms and indigenously-developed next-generation 5G stack Reliance Industries highlighted in its annual report that it is at the forefront of the global digital revolution. It may be noted Reliance Jio has built sufficient network capacity for the next 300 million mobile broadband subscribers, over 50 million fibre homes and 50 million micro, small and medium businesses.
1:35 PM: Demerger buzz | There is a buzz that Reliance Industries Limited would demerge the main company into three different businesses — Jio, Retail and Petrochemical. It may be noted that Reliance has been increasing its focus on retail and digital businesses with an aim to expand them. Vinod Nair, Head of Research at GeoJit Financial Services, told moneycontrol.com that shareholders of the company will be delighted to know about details of a plausible demerger of the main company into three different businesses. “This is expected to generate a high amount of value unlocking for shareholders in the future,” he told the publication.
1:30 PM: Shareholder expectations | RIL’s shareholders will be keenly awaiting positive announcements on the business front. Following last year’s AGM, the company witnessed sharp growth and shareholders will be expecting similar announcements this year as well. While Reliance stocks are trading lower at the moment, how it will perform over the next few days depends on today’s address by Mukesh Ambani.
1:25 PM: Reliance Retail & JioMart | The company is expected to share key details regarding its retail venture and JioMart. During the address, Mukesh Ambani may share details about its Future Retail acquisition among other plans to expand the retail business in the country. An announcement is also expected on expanding JioMart, which currently has a presence in 200 cities.
1:20 PM: Ratings upgrade | Fitch Ratings has upgraded RIL’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘BBB’ from ‘BBB-‘, with a negative outlook. The agency has also affirmed that RIL’s Long-Term Local-Currency IDR remains at ‘BBB+’ with a stable outlook.
1:15 PM: Dividend declaration and bonus | It is likely that the much-awaited dividend declaration and bonus may finally be announced during the AGM. Analysts are hoping that announcements will be made about dividend declaration and bonus.
1:10 PM: Reliance stocks wobble | RIL shares are trading lower on the stock market ahead of the annual general meeting. At 1:06 pm, shares of RIL were trading at Rs 2,172.95, down 1.47 per cent.
1:05 PM: Where to watch live event? The 44th Annual General Meeting of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) will begin less than an hour from now. The live stream of the event, involving RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani’s address, will be held through video conferencing and other audio-visual means. Click here to find out where and how you can watch the event live.
1:00 PM: What’s in store? One of the most anticipated announcements of the RIL AGM will be about the affordable 5G phone. In the 43rd AGM, Mukesh Ambani said that Reliance was working to create India’s first 5G network.
Mukesh Ambani is likely to make an announcement regarding Reliance Jio’s 5G rollout in India at this year’s annual general meeting. This is an announcement that will be closely watched during the event.
Reports suggest that the company will be launching an affordable 5G smartphone and a laptop as well.
Meanwhile, shareholders and analysts will keenly track the RIL chairman’s address for future goals of the conglomerate. Mukesh Ambani is expected to share plans about the company’s plans for the retail business, Saudi Aramco deal and more.