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Mukesh Ambani breaking all barriers to connect next billion people online

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Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries Chairman, RIL Chairman, RIL Managing Dirctor, Reliance Jio, Business news

New Delhi: As Asia gears up for the next wave of digital transformation to connect the next billion people online, infrastructural and affordability barriers are being broken in India by Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani and his initiatives, a new survey said on Friday.

According to the survey by Booking Holdings, the world’s leader in online travel, a growing affluence has lifted over a billion people out of poverty, creating a new middle class-in many countries for the first time-and driving a growth in consumer demand.

Asked which factors were driving, or were likely to drive, increased internet adoption, the respondents highlighted pull factors like the increased availability of high-quality infrastructure, improved affordability and better public understanding of the internet as factors that would drive increased uptake.

“This ties in neatly with the infrastructural-as opposed to the human-barriers, the removal of which our respondents identified as being key to unleashing the potential of the Next Billion.

 

Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries Chairman, RIL Chairman, RIL Managing Dirctor, Reliance Jio, Business news

 

“With projects such as the $35 billion investment in 4G by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, these barriers are quickly coming down in India,” the report emphasised.

As on March 31, the subscriber base of Reliance Jio stood at 306.7 million. The average data consumption per user per month was 10.9 GB and average voice consumption 823 minutes per user per month.

“We at Jio are truly overwhelmed and proud to now serve over 300 million subscribers. The growth in data and voice traffic at this scale has been unparalleled,” Mukesh Ambani had said.

For the survey, Booking Holdings surveyed tech experts and tech leaders in three markets — China, India and Indonesia.

Nearly 74 per cent respondents in India said internet access is a basic necessity.

 

Mukesh Ambani taking next wave of digital transformation to connect billion people:

 

One of the most heartening and economically significant impacts of the expansion of connectivity in Asia was the corresponding improvement in the lives of women and girls.

Nearly 79 per cent of respondents said gender was not a barrier to internet adoption in their country.

“Nearly 86 per cent said that increased gender equality would drive adoption and 91 per cent said greater digital participation would also improve gender equality in their country,” the findings showed.

In India, according to a recent report, almost half of tech entrepreneurs are women.

 

Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries Chairman, RIL Chairman, RIL Managing Dirctor, Reliance Jio, Business news

 

By large majorities, the respondents expected their countrymen and women to benefit from digital inclusion in ways that would help them become more educated and more prosperous-allowing the connected to rise up the social ladder.

“This aspirational edge to gathering digital transformation of all three countries reveals a growing individualistic and entrepreneurial culture that would not be out of place in Silicon Valley,” the survey noted.

According to Glenn Fogel, CEO, Booking Holdings, much of this explosion of commerce and entrepreneurship is due to the growing availability and ease of internet connectivity in Asia.

“In India, the e-commerce market is expected to quadruple in size between 2017 and 2022 to a value of $150 billion… Asians are going online to sell and to shop,” he said.

 

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Zomato acquires UberEats India for nearly Rs 2,500 crore

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New Delhi: Zomato on Tuesday announced that it has acquired Uber’s Food Delivery Business in India in an all-stock deal and Uber will have 9.99 per cent stake in the Deepinder Goyal-led food delivery platform.

According to sources close to the deal, it is in the range of over $350 million or nearly Rs 2,500 crore.

Uber Eats in India will discontinue operations and direct restaurants, delivery partners, and users of the Uber Eats apps to the Zomato platform, effective from Tuesday.

“We are proud to have pioneered restaurant discovery and to have created a leading food delivery business across more than 500 cities in India. This acquisition significantly strengthens our position in the category,” said Goyal, Founder and CEO, Zomato.

According to company sources, for the first three quarters of 2019, “our Uber Eats business comprised 3 per cent of our global Eats gross bookings, but was more than 25 per cent of our global Eats Segment Adjusted EBITDA losses”.

Uber started its food delivery service in India around mid-2017, but has not been able to scale up in the face of big players like Zomato and Swiggy.

It currently has nearly 26,000 restuarants listed on its platform from over 40 cities.

The market is piping hot as according to a recent study by business consultancy firm Market Research Future, the online food ordering market in India is likely to grow at over 16 per cent annually to touch $17.02 billion by 2023.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that the Uber Eats team in India has achieved an incredible amount over the last two years.

“India remains an exceptionally important market to Uber and we will continue to invest in growing our local Rides business, which is already the clear category leader,” said Khosrowshahi.

“We have been very impressed by Zomato’s ability to grow rapidly in a capital-efficient manner and we wish them continued success,” he added.

On January 10, Zomato had announced that it has secured $150 million in fresh funding from Ant Financial, a subsidiary of China-based giant Alibaba.

The latest round of funding in Zomato, which currently value the company at $3 billion, is part of $600 million funding round announced by Zomato CEO Goyal at a Delhi event last December.

The deal comes in the wake of merger talks between Zomato and Swiggy, whoch both the companies have denied to date.

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