Corporate Brand 

Mukesh Ambani plans to create an online-to-offline platform

Mukesh Ambani is planning to create an online-to-offline platform that would take on the likes of Amazon and Walmart, which are both betting big on India’s e-commerce market.

Speaking at the 9th Vibrant Gujarat Summit, Ambani outlined plans for his online shopping platform.

Without giving timelines, Ambani said Jio and Reliance Retail, which has over 9,000 stores across 6,500-plus towns in the country, will launch “a unique new commerce platform to empower and enrich our 12 lakh small retailers and shopkeepers in Gujarat – which are part of over 3 crore community in India.”

Ambani had previously spoken of leveraging the Jio network for launching some sort of an e-commerce venture. Jio has over 280 million subscribers with internet access.

He also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps to end increasing “data colonisation” by global corporations, saying Indians should own and control their own data.

Speaking at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, Ambani drew parallels to Mahatma Gandhi’s movement against political colonisation to call for a revolution against data colonisation.

“Data is the new oil (in the new world order). And data is new wealth. India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indian people – and not by corporates, especially global corporations,” the Reliance Industries chairman said.

The comments come amid a debate over balancing user protections with support for the fast-booming digital economy.

Ambani, who had himself supercharged internet adoption by helping crash data prices with the launch of his telecom venture Jio in 2016, had last month in Mumbai stated that “data colonisation is as bad as the previous forms of colonisation.”

(With inputs from PTI)

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