We have been reporting about Reliance’s plan to capture the Indian E-commerce market and it’s finally been confirmed. After disrupting the telecom industry, Reliance is entering E-commerce business and will take Amazon and Flipkart head on.
“Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail will launch a unique new commerce platform to empower and enrich our 12 lakh small retailers and shopkeepers in Gujarat, which are part of the over 3 crore community in India,” Ambani said at the inaugural function of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in Gandhinagar.
Reliance Trends website already delivers electronic goods to customers around the country, but this initiative is likely going to be much larger
It is interesting that Ambani’s statement has come days after the government updated its regulations on foreign direct investment (FDI) in e-commerce, two of which have the potential to change the e-commerce play in India. According to these policies, companies like Flipkart and Amazon can no more sell their own inventory.
Details are about to come but it is expected that Reliance will try to be different in terms of the working model of this new venture. The come already has a good presence in Retail with chains like Reliance Trends, Reliance Fresh and Jio stores. The company will try to utilize these for e-commerce also.
RIL will also try to avoid the discounting game and will look to focus on untapped areas currently outside the traditional purview of e-commerce companies. According to Ambani, data is the new wealth, he spoke about this recently and said:
In this new world, data is the new oil. Data is the new wealth. India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indian people and not by corporates, especially global corporations,” Ambani said. “For India to succeed in this data-driven revolution, we will have to migrate the control and ownership of Indian data back to India, in other words, Indian wealth back to every Indian,” he added.
It will be interesting to see how global giants like Amazon and Walmart will act on this move.