Reliance to invest Rs 60,000 Cr to set up digital industrial zone in Maharashtra


Leading tech firms from across the world will co-invest with Reliance Industries in the ten-year project, which is a first-of-its-kind in India. 

Reliance Industries will set up India’s first digital industrial area in Maharashtra, Chairman Mukesh Ambani announced at the Global Investors’ Summit at Magnetic Maharashtra Convergence 2018 on Sunday. The summit was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi.

Ambani said Reliance, along with global tech giants like IBM, Cisco, HP, Dell, Nokia, Nvidia, and Siemens, would invest Rs 60,000 crore ($9.34 billion) over the next ten years. More than 20 global firms were keen on co-investing in the project with Reliance.

Ambani said, “When we contacted globally reputed technology companies to participate in this initiative, we received an instant and enthusiastic response.”

“I firmly believe that what China could achieve with its manufacturing revolution, India can achieve much more—and much more quickly—with the businesses and services of the fourth industrial revolution,” he added.

The proposed industrial area would be a first-of-its-kind in India. He, however, did not reveal the location-specifics of the project. Ambani said Reliance has invested the maximum (Rs 22,000 crore) in the state of Maharashtra.

“The fourth industrial revolution will help Maharashtra and India solve the most difficult problems in socio-economic development: in healthcare and education; in water security and environmental security; in boosting agriculture production; in making all our towns and cities smart, and also all our villages smart, in addition to generating new employment opportunities for the youth of Maharashtra, and the youth of India,” he said. 

In the past, Ambani has highlighted how telecom venture Jio can digitally connect hospitals, gram panchayats, schools, colleges, and every nook and cranny of India. Reports suggest Reliance will roll out its JioFiber broadband service by the end of March.

JioFiber is expected to offer 100GB data at 100mbps speed as part of its preview offer. Reliance is said to be testing the fibre-optic network in ten major Indian cities, and expects to connect up to 30 cities by the end of 2018.

JioFiber will come bundled with a TV service that is likely to reach more than 50 million TV households in the first phase, and 100 million later. Experts reckon Reliance is out to disrupt the broadband space much like it did to telecom. An intense tariff war and sector consolidation will ensue.


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