Technology for MSMEs: Around a year since its launch, Reliance’s e-commerce venture JioMart, which competes with the likes of Amazon, Walmart-owned Flipkart, Tata-backed BigBasket, and Grofers in the online grocery space, has brought online over 3 lakh small merchants or shopkeepers across 150 cities in India, according to Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani. In his speech at the conglomerate’s 44th annual general meeting on Thursday, Mukesh Ambani said, “JioMart registered over 6.5 lakh peak orders in a single day. JioMart’s growth is a testament to its already loyal customer base, 80% of whom are repeat shoppers. JioMart New commerce’s aim is to transform and grow the small merchant ecosystem, so our merchant partners prosper. Over the past year, over 3 lakh merchant or shop keeper partners across 150 cities were enabled and empowered to transform their businesses both physically and digitally.”
The single-day peak in order volume had increased from 4 lakh daily orders, according to Reliance’s Q1 FY21 results. Moreover, JioMart witnessed a “3x growth in kirana orders and 2x growth in order frequency. Expansion across cities is well underway and we will onboard over One Crore merchant partners over the next three years,” Ambani added. The company had launched the JioMart app in July last year and later added fashion, electronics, and silver/gold coins categories fulfilled by in-house brands such as Reliance Fresh, Reliance Smart, Reliance Digital, Reliance Trends, Reliance Jewels, etc. According to a Goldman Sachs report, Reliance is likely to capture more than half of India’s online grocery market by 2024 with JioMart through its partnership with Facebook, PTI had reported citing the report in July last year. The Android app for JioMart has already crossed the 1 crore download mark.
Mukesh Ambani, on Thursday, also said that the company has made “significant progress” in the collaborations that it announced with Facebook and Microsoft. Reliance has already launched an “initial set of integrations between WhatsApp and JioMart on a trial basis and the response from WhatsApp and JioMart customers is encouraging along with lots of valuable feedback,” Ambani said. The two companies are developing the full “New Commerce solution” that would link merchants and consumers. Reliance and Facebook are planning to “progressively launch these over the next few quarters.” The two companies had partnered in April last year to enable customers order groceries from their nearest kiranas by transacting seamlessly with JioMart using WhatsApp.
With respect to its tie-up with Microsoft announced in August 2019 in order to enhance the adoption of deep technologies such as data analytics, AI, cognitive services, blockchain, Internet of Things, etc., SMEs, Ambani on Thursday said Reliance has operationalized an initial 10 MW capacity of JIO-Azure Cloud Data centres in Jamnagar and Nagpur. The company is currently onboarding the initial group of pilot customers and “we plan to expand our data centre capacity and our offerings to a growing number of SMEs and start-ups over the coming quarters.”
Mukesh Ambani also added that Reliance will partner with “thousands of Green MSME Entrepreneurs”, who can deploy kilowatt-to-megawatt scale solutions in agriculture, industry, residences and transportation through the company’s Renewable Energy Project Management and Construction Division as part of its new clean energy business. Reliance will invest Rs 75,000 crore in the new venture over the coming three years. Mukesh Ambani had last year announced Reliance’s 15-year commitment to become net carbon zero by 2035. Reliance would also continue to acquire startups to enhance its omnichannel capabilities in retail even as it had acquired or partnered with over a dozen startups in around the past two years. Its recent acquisitions were Netmeds, Urban Ladder, and Zivame.