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POST TIME: 19 January, 2019 00:00 00 AM
e-commerce battle
Mukesh Ambani to fight Amazon, Walmart
AFP, Mumbai

Mukesh Ambani to fight Amazon, Walmart

Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani announced details of a new online shopping platform yesterday that will see his oil-to-telecoms conglomerate take on Amazon and Walmart in India’s burgeoning e-commerce market.

Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries, said the company’s telecoms and consumer businesses planned to roll out the venture in the western state of Gujarat before expanding across India.

“Jio and Reliance Retail will launch a unique new commerce platform to empower and enrich our 12 lakh (1.2 million) small retailers and shopkeepers in Gujarat,” Ambani told a summit attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ambani, 61, has been drip-feeding his e-commerce plans for India over the past few months in announcements that are no doubt being keenly watched by US giants Amazon and Walmart.

Reliance shook up India’s telecoms market in September 2016 when it launched its 4G Jio network with free voice calls for life and vastly cheaper data.

The launch sent the profits of other mobile players spiralling downwards and sparked consolidation across the industry as rivals scrambled to match Reliance’s deep pockets.