I wish I was 30 years old today say’s Mukesh Ambani. Rivals companie’s tactics don’t work anymore, the customers will soon start questioning the companie’s.
It has taken nearly six years and Rs 1,50,000 crore to give shape to Mukesh Ambani’s most ‘audacious’ ambition.
Ever since it had to let go of telecom in the family split of 2005 there was a sense that you will return to this business with something better and bigger. Mukesh call’s Jio a magnificent obsession. Mukesh has a big belief that jio can do wonder’s for the the Indian market. Mukesh also say’s whatever has gone, lies in the past. You should only learn from it, and you should only look at the present and the future. That’s been my father’s philosophy and mine as well.
I have always believed that technology drives human civilization’s endeavour and progress. So if you ask what is my obsession, it is technology. In the 1970s it was technology in chemical engineering– the whole question of building Reliance from a textile company to an energy major. We were the biggest in textiles in the 1970’s. Everybody expected me to study textiles. I wanted to pursue chemical engineering, because I thought it was the future.It’s the thought of future that drives me. My obsession is with technology and how it can improve human life. In my view, what we have seen in the last 300 years is only a trailer. The next 20 years will overshadow the last 300 years. I have always believed that the purpose of business has to be something more than only making money. The purpose of Reliance–it has been put on our website–is to first create societal value, then create customer value, then create employee value, and then create sustainable shareholder value. Reliance is not about blindly chasing profit. It has never been our purpose, when we founded it, not when I joined it, not when we did the 1.8-crore IPO in 1977 or when we were a few crores of textile business.
I believe 50 years from now when you write history, one technology that would have changed human civilization is going to be on the mobile internet. In 2002, it was even hazier. But today, I have no doubts, the world has no doubts, that mobile internet is a life-changing, world-changing technology of this century. Yes, it will evolve into many different things. But as a core technology it is a huge opportunity. And only the people who take some risks will reap rewards.
Mukesh Ambani said in business, it is always good to back a winning horse. But the challenge is to be the first to know which is the winning horse. We saw mobile internet as the winning horse before anybody else did. The mobile internet has won the world over. Companies that had bet on mobile internet have created the largest value in the last 10 years.
So, Jio is not really a telecom company. It is a tech company. It’s been 13 years and the two are going to be key drivers of Jio.
We as Indian’s cannot and should not accept the fact that we are 155th in the world out of 230 countries in broadband and mobile internet access. We have to change this. Just as, for a country of 1.2 billion, it is not acceptable that we win only two Olympic medals. For us and the next generation, this has to be unacceptable. The important thing is to figure out what we can do to correct the situation today. Jio will enable India to be among the top 10 countries in broadband and internet access within the next few years.
A brand is directly proportionate to the amount of value it creates for customers. As I have always said, our attempt is to be known as a customer-obsessed organization. We also think that this (mobile internet) is such an important technology that it has to be available to all Indians. It’s the core infrastructure technology.
We will do everything that we can to create customer value. That is why we have made a commitment that 90% of Indians should be able to access Jio services over the next few months–by around March next year. This in itself is historic. We will be all across the country, except for a few villages. We are still challenging ourselves to cover these remaining villages too.
After that, I think it just depends on how much value we create for the customer. If we create value for you, we deserve to be a brand. And if we don’t, then we are committed to improve. We have the best professional resources, and we have adequate financial resources, and we have a steely resolve and intent. If you put all of this together, with a little bit of luck, we should be able to create great consumer experience.
We have built an eco-system. Sometimes, in an eco-system, you never know what will happen. This is the eco-system where all our device partners have to come up, the existing devices have to come in, the retailers have to come in. After this, we have the on-boarding of customers.
We didn’t expect that the 45 minutes (of speech at the AGM) will create the kind of euphoria that it has across the country. This has not only been in the metros, but also in the smaller towns and villages.
As I have said in my AGM speech, we are unhappy and we will not accept the present customer on-boarding experience. We are rolling out this week a new experience for all our customers starting with the metros and progressively going all across the country. in the next few weeks. Surely we will learn from that, we have created a capacity to take a 100 million customers. Now it depends on the customers. But I am confident that Jio will create history by reaching the milestone of 100 million customers in the shortest period in the world.
Today if you want to buy a mobile connection, you go to a store, give an identification to get SIM card. Then there is a tele-verification activation can take 8-12 hours in big towns and a day or two in smaller ones. In even smaller towns and tehsils, it takes 3 or 4 or even 5 days. This can be painful. We are rolling an Aadhar number based EKYC verification that gives you a completely end-to-end digital piece solution that completes the activation in 10-15 minutes. I am now pushing my team to bring it down for completing it in single-digit minutes. As Nandan Nilekani says, with the use of Aadhar-enabled EKYC, shifting from one operator to another (number portability) can be done in 15 minutes against up to seven days now. This is customer empowerment. Operators will have to create more customer value (to prevent users from moving out to another operator).
Some of us have grown up under the license raj and protection. All of us are much happier today, we are more competitive and we innovate in the market. Even in this industry, it is important that we give customers the right to their numbers and don’t harass them unnecessarily, by taking seven days in portability. Today some of our own employees are having a tough time to migrate to Jio.
At the AGM mukesh said about the “unfair hurdles” that perhaps your company has been facing in terms of portability and interconnectivity. Jio customers are facing problem in making calls to non-Jio networks.
I would repeat what I said at the AGM that this is the biggest opportunity that all of us have together. India is a very big country and no one company or one individual can do it. This is time for us to get together and to make sure that we deliver the vision of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving Digital India to 1.2 billion Indians. We have an opportunity to lead India into this digital world. I have the greatest respect for Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and all other operators who have connected the entire country.