RIL plans to launch super app adding Just Dial offerings, aims to be ‘number one player in ecommerce space’


August 24, 2021

Written By ET Now Digital

The app will also be integrated with Facebook-owned WhatsApp on the lines of WeChat—China’s most popular social commerce platform which has more than 1 billion users–according to sources.

New Delhi: Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries is reportedly planning to creating a super app by integrating the offerings of local search engine Just Dial, which it had acquired recently, as it aims to be the number one player in the ecommerce space.

Currently, it offers Jiomart for online grocery retail and mobile apllication App, My Jio and the one stop super app is likely to be a marketplace of services and offerings, delivered via in-house technology and through third-party integrations, the Economic Times mentioned in a report citing executives. The final contours of the product are being sharpened and will be launched as soon as the government announces clarity on the ecommerce policy, the people cited above told the publication.

Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL) acquired a majority stake in JustDial for Rs 3,497 crore last month.

The app will also be integrated with Facebook-owned WhatsApp on the lines of WeChat—China’s most popular social commerce platform which has more than 1 billion users–they said.

Executives close to Reliance Industries said the conglomerate has been clear that it has to reach consumers for every possible requirement in the products and services space. “Super app is just a fancy term. Whatever one calls it, it is about touching consumers and meeting their every single requirement, ” the publication quoted an unnamed executive as saying. “Nothing is done adhoc in terms of planning or strategy to access consumers. Jio had begun the journey years back with telecom and is now scaling it up and tapping every route that accesses consumers.”

Another executive told ET, “The directive is clear that Reliance should be the number one player in the ecommerce space and acquisitions and partnerships have been long planned to achieve that. We are investing accordingly.”

Top executives close to the development said Reliance is pumping in several thousand crores of rupees into its ecommerce strategy with a clear directive to pre-empt competition and be a No.1 player in the space, which is currently dominated by Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart.

In July 2020, Chinese super-app WeChat officially stopped operations in India after being banned by the country over privacy fears.

“Reliance has been aggressive with growth of communications and retail businesses, and their partnerships and acquisitions are consistent with the move to build the overarching bridge presence of the dominant super app,” the financial daily quoted as saying Devangshu Dutta, consulting firm Third Eyesight’s chief executive.

Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries has been able to attract some of the best global companies as strategic partners. Facebook and Google have bought strategic stake in Jio Platforms and the company has collaboration with Microsoft on SME offerings and cloud. Apart from being a cellular entity, Reliance has built more than 20 consumer apps under its umbrella app MyJio.

“While the app acts as an access point to other Jio apps, it is predominantly used mainly for recharges. In our view, the app does not yet have a strong value proposition that every customer would use. Overtime, if two to three of these apps gain traction, then RIL has a potential of creating a similar impact that of a super app,” said a recent report by BofA Securities. “However, the traction would be similar to that shown by Google in the US – where apps like YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, etc. are standalone apps.”

However, the report said none of the Indian tech companies are currently at the point where China and ASEAN apps are in the super app journey, and that Indian companies are still some time away – both from customer value proposition as well as the MOAT in the fiercely competitive Indian market.

Ambani had recently also announced a set of integrations between WhatsApp and JioMart on a trial basis. “Our joint teams are actively developing the full new commerce solution, linking merchants and consumers, and we plan to progressively launch these over the next few quarters,” he had said.

Source: timesnownews

What Amazon’s Win In Supreme Court Means For Reliance


August 6, 2021

Written By Upmanyu Trivedi And Saritha Rai

The two behemoths, owned by two of the world’s richest men, Jeff Bezos and Mukesh Ambani, are fighting for a bigger slice of the Indian market.

Supreme Court said Reliance cannot go ahead with a $3.4 billion deal to buy Future Group’s retail assets.

Mukesh Ambani’s planned $3.4 billion purchase of an indebted retailer suffered a blow after Inc. won a court battle to halt the transaction, disrupting the tycoon’s ambitions to take on the US e-commerce giant in the $1 trillion local market.

On Friday, a two-judge bench of Supreme Court ruled that an emergency order by a Singapore arbitrator last year, which stopped Reliance from proceeding with the deal, is legally binding. Amazon had approached the arbitration court, and the parties will now have to wait for the deliberations of that body before a final decision.

The court’s verdict is the latest episode in a bitter battle over the cash-starved Future Retail Ltd. — the nation’s second-largest supermarket chain — which both Jeff Bezos-founded Amazon and Mr Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. want to control. The two behemoths, owned by two of the world’s richest men, are fighting for a bigger slice of the only billion-people plus consumer market that’s still open to foreign firms.

Reliance dropped as much as 2.6% in Mumbai on the ruling, the biggest intraday decline in two weeks. Future Retail plunged by its daily limit of 10%, the most in more than four months.


Reliance shares dropped as much as 2.6% in Mumbai after the ruling today.

For Seattle-based Amazon, adding Future’s Big Bazaar brand of stores to its assets would help expand its brick-and-mortar footprint across the country. Mr Ambani announced his plans to buy Future’s assets almost a year ago to help aid his retail push. His oil-refining conglomerate has identified e-commerce and conventional retail as two focus areas, and roped in investors including Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google in 2020.

“The court verdict puts a speed breaker on Reliance’s retail dominance in India,” said Devangshu Dutta, founder and chief executive officer of the Delhi-based retail consultancy, Third Eyesight. “It balances the competition with the larger American players, and gives Amazon a much-needed presence in physical retail.”

Future Retail’s 5.60% $500 million January 2025 notes plunged 5.7 cents on the dollar to 66.3 as of 2:45 p.m. in Hong Kong. That’s the lowest level since Aug. 27, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The feud highlights the importance of the Indian consumer market. Amazon has pledged $6.5 billion of investment, while Walmart Inc.-owned Flipkart recently mopped up $3.6 billion in the country’s largest fundraising at a valuation of nearly $38 billion.

Amazon owns a stake in an unlisted Future unit and has argued that it contractually has the first right of refusal to buy Future. It went to the Singapore arbitration court last year, accusing the Indian retailer of Future Group of violating that contract when it agreed to sell its wholesale, warehousing, logistics and other retail assets to Mr Ambani’s conglomerate.

Source: ndtv