New Delhi: Facebook and Jio can together accelerate India’s $5 trillion economy push, making a “more equal India with more equal wealth growth”, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said Tuesday.
In an online conversation with Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, Ambani said, “Our platforms and the tools that we will provide to small businesses and to individual consumers I believe will drive India to a five trillion (dollar) economy and will make a much more equal India with more equal wealth growth at the bottom of the pyramid.”
He added: “I firmly believe that the next two decades India will grow to be among the top three economies in the world…and our per capita income will go from $1800-2000 per capita to $5000 per capita.”
The online session between Ambani and Zuckerberg was part of the first edition of the annual event, ‘Facebook Fuel for India 2020’, which began Tuesday.
‘Facebook-Jio partnership will be great for India’
During the session, Zuckerberg talked about the importance of India in the world of information technology.
“What happens in India is important for the whole world. India’s building local capabilities and tech capacity to power innovative new business models and provide the citizens access to digital financial inclusion. So, decisions that are made here shape the global discussion about how technology can drive more economic opportunity and better outcomes for people,” he said.
In April this year, Facebook invested a record $5.7 billion in Jio Platforms — the digital services wing of Reliance Industries. The investment is reportedly the “largest foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country for a minority stake”.
Ambani thanked Zuckerberg for his “faith in Jio” and said, “I have no hesitation in going on record that it is your investment that set the ball rolling not only for Jio but for the Indian FDI[s] which has been the largest ever in its history.”
He added that the Facebook-Jio partnership will be “great for India, Indians and small Indian businesses”.
The Facebook CEO also hailed the partnership. “One of the big opportunities I see with the partnership with Jio Platforms, is the role that we can play together in supporting the millions of small businesses in India — especially now with the impact that Covid is having. It is accelerating the move for a lot of businesses from physical storefronts to digital,” he said.
PM Modi’s Digital India vision aided pandemic efforts
Ambani also spoke about how both Jio and Facebook will benefit Indians through platforms like online grocery site JioMart and WhatsApp Pay for UPI-based payments.
“Before this partnership, I believe that each one of us [Facebook and Jio] was mainly a communication platform. Together we now have become a value creation platform for our customers and small businesses,” he said.
Ambani also credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ vision that encouraged companies to offer more internet-based services.
According to him, India was better able to handle the pandemic because it had internet-based services that could replace physical services.
“I wonder that if the pandemic had struck India just four or five years earlier. We would not have been in as good a shape as what we are today with all the connectivity we have. And the credit for that must go to our prime minister’s Digital India vision where he motivated the entire industry to roll out broadband in the first five years of his first term,” said Ambani.