Reliance Industries Ltd. plans to take on the likes of Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart Online Services Pvt. in retail by creating an online e-commerce marketplace that combines online and conventional shopping.
After trembling the Indian telephonic industries with unlimited plans offering free voice and mobile data at a cheaper rate, they are now planning to take on the online market by creating a platform which can act as a bridge between the online and offline market.
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Billionaire Chairman Mukesh Ambani outlined the plan Thursday at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Mumbai. The effort will involve the group’s Reliance Retail Ltd. and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. businesses, he said. The latter will also introduce a fibre-based broadband service Aug. 15.
Global retail powerhouses like Amazon and Walmart have been investing in India’s retail industry, where e-commerce sales could more than double to $72 billion by 2022 from $32.7 billion in 2018, research firm eMarketer estimated. The retail-to-refining conglomerate is looking for growth in e-commerce after spending as much as 2.5 trillion rupees ($36.3 billion) in setting up mobile and fibre broadband infrastructure, Ambani said.
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The online e-commerce marketplace platform will use augmented reality, holographs and virtual reality to create an “immersive shopping experience,” Ambani said, without giving a timeline or financial targets. The service will be available to small merchants as well, enabling them to “do everything that large enterprises and large e-commerce players are able to do.”
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