Mukesh Ambani and Mark Zuckerberg join hands to target millions of India's first time internet users

Mukesh Ambani and Mark Zuckerberg join hands to target millions of India's first time internet users
Mukesh Ambani, the chairman, managing director, and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries LimitedBCCL

  • Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio is collaborating with Facebook to launch the ‘largest ever digital literacy program’ in India — Digital Udaan.
  • The program is initially being launched in 200 locations with plans over expanding to over 7,000 destinations in a phased manner.
  • Jio states that the program is aimed at first time internet users among its user base of 300 million to teach them how to safely use a JioPhone, its features, and the apps available — including Facebook.
The search for the next 100 million internet users has brought together two of the world’s richest businessmen -- the Indian baron Mukesh Ambani and Facebook’s billionaire founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Mukesh Ambani’s telecom company, Reliance Jio, is collaborating with Facebook to launch a digital literacy program in India called ‘Digital Udaan’ — ‘the largest ever digital literacy program’, according to the company.

Facebook is an ally in this mission, and we are delighted to partner with Jio in attracting new Internet users and creating mechanisms for them to unleash the power of that access.

Ajit Mohan, VP and MD of Facebook India

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The program will be available in 200 different locations across 13 Indian states in 10 regional languages where many of Jio’s first time internet users reside among its total user base of over 300 million.

First time users

Reliance Jio disrupted the Indian telecom market with its initial entry with cheap data plans and unlimited calling. The drastic fall in prices there after, coupled with the entry of Chinese smartphone manufacturers offering affordable devices, allowed millions of new internet users to jump online.

However, a number of telecom operators in India bowed out of the debilitating price war, the battle has narrowed between Jio and two entrenched players Airtel and Vodafone-Idea. While Jio is gaining ground, it’s now taking longer than before to find new users.

While the boost from the government’s Digital India campaign certainly helped in taking India’s telecom revolution forward, the next phase of new users may not necessarily know how to navigate the treacherous waters. And both Jio and Facebook want to tap into this pie sooner than their peers.

The rundown

Scheduled to take place every Saturday, the initiative will teach new users about how to use their JioPhone and all of its features. More than just navigating the internet, the program will reportedly also include online safety and how to use the many apps available on the phone — including Facebook.

In its entirety, Digital Udaan includes a total of ten audio-visual training modules. Attendees will also be given information brochures to review in case of any doubts.

After the initial launch of the program, Reliance Jio plans to expand the digital literacy program to more than 7,000 locations across the country, where ‘millions of JioPhone users’ reside, according to the company.