Reliance Industries Ltd has firmed up investment plans to the tune of Rs. 10,000 crore in West Bengal. A part of these proposals are already under implementation, its Chairman Mukesh Ambani said recently.
Plans are also afoot to launch a ‘New Commerce’ platform (Jio and Reliance Retail together) that will empower three crore small shopkeepers.
“We have firmed up our plan for an investment fo Rs. 10,000 crore. Part of it is already under implementation in West Bengal,” Ambani said at the fifth edition of the Bengal Global Business Summit, the State’s flagship investors’ meet.
Reliance Industries, he said, had made investments worth Rs. 4,500 crore for Jio in 2016, which at present stood at Rs. 28,000 crore. This, incidentally, is one tenth of the total investment the company has made so far.
According to Ambani, Reliance Retail operates 500 retail stores, 46 petro-retail outlets and 30,00,000 square feet of warehouses in the State. The warehouse and logistics operations are expected to get a boost with Reliance’s ‘New Commerce’ ventures coming into play.
Market sources say the company has been looking at a larger e-commerce play for quite some time and the New Commerce ventures are part of the plan. “Reliance operates nearly 3 million sq ft of warehouse in Bengal and with our New Commerce initiative, this will increase manifold in the next 24 months,” Ambani said.
According to him, the New Commerce platform will benefit consumers, retailers and producers. “Across the country, this platform will enrich and empower as many as 3 crore small shopkeepers,” he said.
The company is also in the process of setting up a modern data centre project in the proposed ‘Silicon Valley’ IT hub here in the city.
Reliance had already set up 350 ‘Jio Points’ – direct distribution channel in rural areas. The number will go up to 1,000 by the year-end.
“For Jio, digital rejuvenation of rural markets is a priority. Jio has close to one lakh active business partners across the State. Now, in yet another unique initiative, we have set up Jio Points to cater to the growing rural market. With the Jio Points, we will have brick and mortar presence in every tehsil of the State to serve every single village,” Ambani said.
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