Last month, we learned that the social-networking giant, Facebook was in talks with the largest telecom operator in India, Jio, for a stake of 10 percent. But, due to the bans imposed because of the ongoing lockdown caused due to the coronavirus outbreak, the deal was halted. However, it seems that it has finally come through, as Facebook just made an investment of $5.7 billion (INR 43,574 crore) for a 9.99 percent equity stake in Jio Platforms Limited. Here’s what you need to know about the collaboration.
Over the past few years, Jio has made a name for itself in the Indian telecom industry, and it would not be amiss to say that, in some sense, it has completely changed the space forever. This even seems evident with the growth that the operator has managed to achieve, by bringing more than 388 million people online in less than four years, putting it right on top as the country’s largest wireless operator.
Taking into view the major technological transformation that the country has been going through for some time, Facebook has eyed an opportunity to collaborate with Jio to present new opportunities for businesses (of all sizes) — especially the small businesses — considering that they account for a majority of jobs in the country. The social-media giant looks forward to helping people and businesses to operate more effectively leveraging the wave of the digital revolution in the country. For this, it suggests how by bringing JioMart — Jio’s small business initiative — and WhatsApp — one of the most popular messaging platforms in India — together, it looks forward to aiding both the people and the businesses to enjoy seamless mobile shopping experience.
Giving some more insights into how this collaboration can come together to help small businesses, Jio suggests that its retail platform, Reliance Retail Limited, and WhatsApp have entered into a commercial partnership agreement to accelerate its new commerce businesses on JioMart by leveraging the mammoth of user-base of the Facebook-owned messaging platform. To take this forward, JioMart seems to be partnering with millions of small merchants to help them reach and offer their products and services to more customers using WhatsApp.
Taking into view the disruption in the economy caused by the coronavirus outbreak, both in India and globally, the two companies look forward to building upon the digitalization opportunity, which appears to be the way to go in the future with infinite possibilities in distinct fields. The move from Facebook to invest in a stake in Jio seems very reasonable. As, looking at the soaring rate at which its messaging platform, WhatsApp, has grown over the years and has been ingrained in the life of users in India for various needs, and with the Jio-revolution kicking in and assisting this with the digital initiative and taking it to new heights, the collaboration surely looks promising for both the companies.