Mukesh Ambani at Reliance AGM: 5 key takeaways
Mukesh Ambani on Thursday announced Reliance Industries’ mega-investment in clean energy over three years and said the $15 billion deal with Saudi Aramco would close this year. Ambani also promised the launch of the Jio-Google phone in September and 5G soon and updated on the digital and retail businesses at the 44th annual general meeting of Reliance Industries Ltd.
Shares of Reliance Industries declined over 2 per cent on the day of its annual general meeting on Thursday. The stock closed at ₹2,153.35, a decline of 2.35 per cent, on the BSE. During the day, it dipped 2.95 per cent to ₹2,140. It went down by 2.35 per cent to close at ₹2,153.50 on NSE.
Here are the five key takeaways from the Reliance AGM:
1. Aramco deal
Mukesh Ambani told shareholders Reliance Industries Ltd hopes to formalise its partnership with Saudi Aramco this year and its chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan will join the Indian conglomerate's board as an independent director. "Al-Rumayyan joining our board is also the beginning of internationalisation of Reliance. You will hear more about our international plans in the times to come,” Ambani said on Thursday.
"We look forward to welcoming Saudi Aramco as a strategic partner in our O2C business. I expect our partnership to be formalised in an expeditious manner during this year, after obtaining required regulatory clearances,” he said.
Reliance announced a sale of a 20% stake in its oil-to-chemicals business for $15 billion in 2019 to Aramco, the world's top oil-exporting firm. However, the deal stalled after oil prices and demand crashed last year due to the pandemic.
2. New green energy business
Mukesh Ambani announced that Reliance Industries, operator of the world's biggest refining complex in Gujarat’s Jamnagar, will invest $10.1 billion in clean energy over three years with an aim to become a net carbon zero company by 2035. "The world is entering a new energy era, which is going to be highly disruptive. The age of fossil fuels, which powered economic growth globally for nearly three centuries, cannot continue much longer," Ambani said.
Reliance will invest ₹60,000 crore to build four 'giga factories' at Jamnagar for the production of solar cells and modules, energy storage batteries, fuel cells and green hydrogen. It will also invest 15,000 crore in value chain and other partnerships relating to its new renewable energy business. Reliance will also build solar capacities of at least 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. The overall investment in the new energy business will be ₹75,000 crore in three years.
This will be done at the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex on 5,000 acres in Jamnagar. "Jamnagar was the cradle of our old energy business. Jamnagar will also be the cradle of our new energy business," said Ambani.
3. JioPhone Next
JioPhone Next, a power-packed affordable smartphone that has been jointly developed by Jio and Google, will be available from September 10, and will be the most affordable smartphone globally, Ambani said. He said the "extremely affordable" smartphone will have cutting-edge features, including voice assistant and language translation, automatic read-aloud, smart camera with augmented reality filters among others. "This (the smartphone) is a testimony to a global technology giant and a national technology champion working together to make truly a breakthrough product that can be first introduced in India and then taken to the rest of the world," Ambani said.
He did not specify a price but promised it will be the most affordable smartphone "not just in India, but globally". Ambani announced last year that Jio and Google would partner to make an Android-based smartphone operating system.
4. 5G launch
Mukesh Ambani announced a new 5G partnership between Google Cloud and Jio and said the company has tested the Jio 5G solutions in India and successfully demonstrated speeds well in excess of 1 GBPS. Its 'Made in India' solution is "globally competitive", Ambani said on Thursday and also exuded confidence that the company will be the first to launch full-fledged 5
Jio is not just working to make India '2G-mukt' (free from 2G) but also '5G-yukt' (5G empowered), Ambani said. Jio's engineers have developed a 100 per cent home-grown and comprehensive 5G solution that is fully cloud-native, software-defined, and digitally managed. The company recently received regulatory approvals and trial spectrum for 5G field trials.
5. Reliance Retail
Ambani said Reliance Retail continues to be among the fastest-growing retailers in the world and is committed to growing the business “so that we are among the top 10 retailers globally". “I am confident that Reliance Retail is on a hyper growth trajectory to grow at least three times in the next three to five years,” he said.
Reliance Retail, which currently employs over 200,000 people, aims to further create employment for over 10 lakh people and enable the livelihoods for more over the next three years. "Even in these challenging times, I am personally proud to report to you that Reliance Retail has not only protected jobs but also created over 65,000 new jobs," said Ambani.
The retail business will focus on product development capabilities, strengthen the sourcing ecosystem, linking all major sourcing and consumption locations, automated, modular, reliable and scalable warehousing and logistics ecosystem, expanding store footprint multi-fold this year and acquiring businesses.
(With agency inputs)