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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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Pakistan following threats to split OIC,Saudi Arabia ends loan and associated oil supply.

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Saudi Arabia has ended a loan and associated oil supply to Pakistan due to Islamabad’s criticism that Riyadh-dominated Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is not doing enough on the Kashmir issue, signalling further deterioration in relations between the two allies. Pakistan Foreign Minister had even threatened to split OIC if the group fails to convene a stand-alone session on Kashmir.

Pakistan had to repay a Saudi loan of $1 billion after Pakistan persisted that it should lead OIC on the Kashmir issue. The loan was part of a $6.2 billion package announced by Saudi Arabia in November 2018, which included a total of $3 billion in loans and an oil credit facility amounting to $3.2 billion. Those deals were then signed when Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman made a visit to Pakistan in February last year.

But Saudi Arabia focusing on further expanding partnership with India has not shown any willingness to convene a stand-alone meet on Kashmir.

Last week Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, asked the OIC to stop dilly-dallying on convening a meeting of the group’s Council of Foreign Ministers on Kashmir.

Qureshi had told local media: “I am once again respectfully telling OIC that a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers is our expectation. If you cannot convene it, then I’ll be compelled to ask Prime Minister Imran Khan to call a meeting of the Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us on the issue of Kashmir and support the oppressed Kashmiris.”

In response to a reporter’s query, Qureshi also said that Pakistan could not wait any further and threatened that if the OIC fails to summon the CFM meeting, Pakistan would be ready to go for a session outside OIC.

The minister recalled that Pakistan skipped the Kuala Lumpur summit in December on Saudi Arabia’s request and “now Pakistani Muslims are demanding Riyadh to show leadership on the issue”.

Pakistan’s stance is backed by Turkey which wants to challenge Saudi Arabia’s leadership in the Islamic world. Riyadh backs New Delhi’s stand that Kashmir is its domestic matter. The UAE, Oman, and some North African and West Asian nations are among the other Muslim-majority nations backing India on this. India also has tacit support from Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim nation. Besides Central Asian states have also backed India.

In May, Maldives had initiated a move to oppose Pakistan’s rant against India at the OIC meet. Saudi Arabia and the UAE (once traditional allies of Pakistan) had backed the stand taken by Maldives, a sign of their expanding ties with New Delhi. Oman, India’s oldest strategic partner in the Gulf region, is believed to have stated at the meet that the discourse is part of India’s internal affairs, according to sources.

A number of other countries from the OIC had not responded to Pakistan’s initiative led by its permanent representative (PR) at the UN. Interestingly, UAE’s decision to back India had drawn a backlash from Pakistan-based social media. The UAE had chaired the virtual meeting of the PRs on May 19.

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