Will Reliance Jio revolutionize the startup and SME sector in India?

Apart from creating ripples in the mobile market, Reliance Jio Infocomm, a subsidiary of Reliance, has some good news for enterprises and SMEs (Small and medium sized business). At the annual general meeting, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance, officially announced the launch of Reliance Jio and the varied digital services it provides. Along with the promise of pan-India wireless fourth-generation (4G) broadband services, Jio has put a strong foot down with the claim of ‘free voice calls’. However, what excites us is the sizeable bouquet of enterprise friendly solutions and plans it has to offer!

Corporate SIMs under Enterprise Plan

According to the company, Jio Preview—the current beta period of 90-days that will offer free SIM, free unlimited data and free voice in Jio’s trial services— now involves a shake of hands with companies as part of its enterprise plan. It has said to tie-up with corporate houses that are pre-registered with the Press Information Bureau (PIB) where officials in organizations (and reporters of select media outlets) will have access to free Jio SIMs, as an extension. Additionally, the Corporate Jio SIMs are pre-activated with features like HD voice call, HD video call, apps, data and SMS, bundled as Jio Digital Life. The Jio SIMs will be available to the general public, starting September 5, 2016 and will exit beta or the testing period by 31st December, 2016. Initially launched for Jio employees, the Jio preview offer is currently available with 4G smartphones including the likes of LYF, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Asus, Gionee, Karbonn, Lava, Xolo, Videocon, Sansui, Sony, Micromax, YU, Alcatel, TCL, Vivo, Intex and HTC. At the AGM, Ambani stated:
“Data must be affordable, Jio’s scale allows us to provide cutting edge service at a fraction of the cost. The advantage of technology should be passed on to all customers. Current market practice is to charge a base rate for data between 4,000 and 10,000/GB. Jio will have a base rate which is one tenth of this. Our data plans go even further of only 50 Rs a GB or 5 paise an MB. The more data you use, the lesser you pay. These will be the lowest prices anywhere in the world.”
In addition, the company will also come up with special, discounted plans for companies and intends to collaborate with other corporate houses gradually. This could potentially shake up a lot of dust settled around business operations and help enterprises manage their digital workforce better. Especially startups and SMEs that struggle with other technical and resource barriers will have less to worry about including internet requirements. And conference calls will not cost a dime, anymore! Brajesh Sachan, Co-founder and CTO, Deskera, said:
“Enterprises will benefit speed as 4G will be affordable to everyone. Generally companies provide corporate connections to their employees but the representatives that work from the field struggle with poor connectivity. So after the launch of Reliance Jio, companies can provide 4G-enabled devices to their representatives who in turn can feed data into enterprise applications from the field itself. This could step up the game and make mobile device more potent as well.”

Venture Capital Fund for Startups

Reliance Jio also aims to foster ‘businesses of future’ and plans to do so by building a fountain of capital set aside for startups, entrepreneurs and their growing potential businesses. Dubbed as the Jio Digital India Startup Fund, Rs 5000 crore (approximately $751 million) worth of venture is the bet Reliance Jio is betting to encourage youngsters, build on their ideas. Jio will also roll out Fiber to the home (FTTH) services that will offer 1GB/sec speeds which might see an expansion into enterprise sector. Ambani added, “We are working to create digital entrepreneurship hubs in key cities and towns in India. Our aim is to build a platform for young Indians who want to create businesses of the future. In the coming months, we plan to introduce apps around education, health, rural livelihood, agriculture.” In an effort to bridge the gap between digital have and have-nots, the company has arguably opened a war on incumbent operators and other service providers in eying 100 million customers in the shortest duration.
“Jio’s mission is to meet the exploding need of data for India, and to take our nation from data shortage to data abundance. With the launch of Jio, India’s digital mother tongue will be IP. The all IP design make it the most expansive and future driven in the world. It’s a network built for the ever increasing demand for data,” mentioned Ambani.
In a series of tweets, the Jio team re-confirmed and echoed its CMD’s vision:  

Abhinav Mohapatra

An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’ <!--more-->An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’, he has covered and explored multiple facets of the marketing, advertising

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