Reliance enters tech platform business with Microsoft: Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani on Monday, August 12 announced a long-term alliance with Microsoft to establish data centres across the country for providing productivity and automation solutions to Indian small businesses at Rs 1,500 per month. Ambani said the cost at which the service will be provided will be among the cheapest in the world at almost less than 1/10 the price charged elsewhere. The data centres will be powered by the Microsoft Azure platform and the presentation during the annual general body meeting of Reliance Industries shareholders saw Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella join in.

To build on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to promote startups, the connection to startups will be free of cost, said Ambani. He said this will ensure more organisations have access to the tools and platforms to build and enhance their own digital prowess. The data centres will be available for companies who want to scale up their presence digitally.

After entering entertainment and media, Ambani said Reliance will enter the technology platform field as there is an untapped growth opportunity in coming up with a hybrid, online-to-offline commerce platform. He said this will be done with integrating and synergising Reliance Retail’s physical marketplace with the strengths of Jio’s digital infrastructure and services. By marrying Reliance Retail and Jio, which have 35 crore footfalls in stores and 21.5 crores Jio customers and the expected Jio Giga Homes via fibre, the conglomerate will provide some 3 crore shop-keepers all over India with markets and enable them to be providers of last-mile connectivity. Ambani said the company sees merchants and small shop owners as critical points in engaging with consumers and the relationship will be a win-win relationship.

That’s not all, Ambani said Reliance will be investing to build advanced technologies unseen in the world. This will also include installing the largest blockchain networks in the world.
Reliance Industries, which is India’s largest with the highest market capitalization, reported a profit after tax of Rs 10,104 crore, almost 7 per cent up from last year.

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