JioMart and WhatsApp will create growth opportunities for small businesses: Mukesh Ambani
At the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) held on July 15, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of RIL, said Reliance Retail is now becoming an omni-channel platform, through which JioMart will integrate suppliers, consumers, and small stores on the samel platform. JioMart will use WhatsAppto connect consumers for digital fulfilment and payments.
"JioMart and WhatsApp will create growth opportunities with kiranas and consumers can transact seamlessly on JioMart," says Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries.
JioMart and WhatsApp will work together to capture 400 million Indian customers through kirana store partners
This comes as EBITDA of Reliance Industries has reached Rs 1 lakh crore on a consolidated basis, Ambani announced. He said a significant part of this EBITDA was contributed by Reliance Retail, which is the largest retailer in India.
Reliance Retail’s business continues to scale heights, as it has achieved important milestones during the year – a turnover of Rs 1,62,936 crore, and an EBITDA of Rs 9,654 crore for FY 2020, up from Rs 6,201 crore in the previous year. It has a store count of 11,784. Reliance is witnessing incredible traction across consumption baskets, on the back of value proposition.
While Mukesh Ambani also stated that India is going through an economic crisis because of the COVID-19 crisis, he believes the country will bounce back.
Reliance Retail is serving over 200 cities during the COVID-19 time, with the grocery platform crossing 250,000 orders a day. But it has big plans for the ten million kiranas out there with its omnini channel approach through Kirana Delight – to digitally enable and engage customers using a multi-functional POS.
"Jio Mart will grow their business. Convert stores in less than 48 hours to self-service stores," said an associate of Reliance during the AGM address.
The bet on JioMart
The roadmap to this journey requires Reliance Retail to establish a complex yet robust physical and digital pan-India infrastructure, and serve consumers in partnership with traditional retailers. Reliance Retail has been making strides towards this approach with the launch of the pilot phase of JioMart in select cities. It is aimed at changing the entire experience by enabling consumers who are not used to digital channels to become comfortable with JioMart.
JioMart acts as a centralised procurement and delivery platform between manufacturers and merchant partners. JioMart enables digitisation of merchants through Jio PoS at the backend and JioMart app at the frontend. As for the pilot, Reliance Retail has commenced onboarding merchant partners in a limited geography.
At the 43rd AGM, Mukesh Ambani said Reliance Retail will continue to invest in expanding the existing store network and enhance core capabilities, including omni-channel solutions, innovative store concepts, enhancing store environment for providing immersive customer experience, leveraging customer insights through the use of sophisticated technology, and much more to consolidate its market leadership across all consumption baskets and store concepts.
"I am confident the Jio family will play a leading role in India's transformation to a digital society," Ambani said.
"Our relentless commitment is to serve customers at scale. We partner with farmers, merchants, vendors, and SMBs, and we are the fastest-growing retailer in the world – in the top 100 retailers list," he added.
Reliance works with more than 10,000 farmers who provide 80 percent of the agricultural produce such as fruit and vegetables directly to its stores.
"We are the world's largest farm-to-home company at scale. We are working with a lot of local brands to make India self-reliant in its consumption," Ambani stressed.
Reliance Retail continues to grow, driven by new store expansions across the geography, improving store throughput, and introducing favourable product mix. This operating leverage is resulting in the release of strong operating cash flows to continue making requisite investments to secure future-readiness and deliver profitable growth.
The roll-out of the Digital Commerce initiative will open up further growth opportunities for the organised retail business as it has 125 million registered customers.
Today, Reliance Retail has a total area of 28.7 million square feet of space. It has partnered with 47 international brands.