Updated: Oct 12, 2020
Author: Aman Aditya
Way back in August’19, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani while addressing the company’s shareholders at the annual general meeting, said that the group had prepared a roadmap for becoming a zero net-debt company within 18 months. The streak of the investments for which started with the deal of Facebook which significantly contributed to Ambani’s plan by paring about ₹43,574 crores from their outstanding debt as of September 2019 of ₹2.92 lakh crore.
“Deal-making is both an art and a science, and Reliance Industries seems to have mastered it better than anyone else. RIL, which is an Indian multinational conglomerate housing the country’s largest telecom operator Reliance Jio, has been on a hot streak of deal-making resulting in investors from the US and the Middle East all starving for a piece. With Facebook it was just the beginning of the streak for investments, raising close to $15 billion through 13 deals over three-months in a normal environment is an impressive thing for any company. But, doing it during a global pandemic where stock markets are highly volatile and fluctuating now and then is a huge achievement. During this Pandemic when every company is striving to survive, the confidence in investing is low and the effects of a said pandemic on an emerging market country like India are not yet fully known, at the same time the Reliance is cracking the deals back to back which is indeed a great morale booster for any investor who is investing in this company.
With all the investments Jio Platform has raised close to ₹ 152,055.45 Crore from the leading investors which include Facebook, Google, Silver Lake, Qualcomm, Intel, PIF, L Catterton, TGP, ADIA, Mubadala, KKR, Vista, and General Atlantic. With these, Reliance is now truly a zero dept company well ahead of its schedule of March 2021.
Another way of looking into these investments is that, over the last few years, India has its intention clear to move towards more protectionist laws of internet governance and various policymakers, as well as representatives of companies like Jio, have initiated the idea that the data of Indians is a national resource, one that ought to be exploited by Indian firms and the government, not global ones. “Data is the new oil and data is a new wealth” was the statement made by the Mukesh Ambani in 2019 with this he also adds up that India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indian people and not by any corporates, especially global corporations. By taking all their statements and discussions made, they have collectively launched a new movement against data colonization by partnering with companies like Google, Facebook, Intel and many more.