Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio is taking on Jeff Bezos’ Amazon in e-commerce, cloud, and content

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio is taking on Jeff Bezos’ Amazon in e-commerce, cloud, and content
  • The Reliance Industries AGM saw chairman Mukesh Ambani announce multiple plans across e-commerce, cloud and content.
  • In all three categories, Amazon has been ramping up its operations in India.
  • This will put Ambani and Bezos in direct competition, as both try to garner a bigger market share in India – one of the fastest growing internet economies in the world.
It’s a fight for the finish in India’s internet industry and the two competitors are the world’s richest company Amazon and India’s richest conglomerate Reliance Industries.

Brewing the fight are two masterminds – Jeff Bezos and Mukesh Ambani – both of whom want a piece of the large pie that can arise from engaging India’s 500 million internet users.

Globally, Amazon has managed to thwart every competitor – traditional or new in every other market. But, Bezos who calls Amazon “India’s apni dukaan” (India’s own shop), might not have it so easy. Indian billionaire Ambani is leaving no stone unturned to claim the Indian internet space.

Amazon’s customer acquisition strategy runs across three verticals – e-commerce for the fast growing number of online shoppers, cloud for business owners and content platform for entertainment and video.

And now, Jio has fired a salvo in every vertical that Amazon operates in. At the annual general meeting of Reliance Industries, Ambani demonstrated how he wants to take over each one of Amazon’s segments.


Shopping for India’s internet users

Ambani has interesting ammunition. For one, he has over 340 million customers for his telecom service. Added to that, he is planning to get more...around 500 million by providing fixed broadband service at every nook and corner of the country.

Reliance Retail which is expected to launch its e-commerce offering by October, also showed a sneak peak into what they have in store for shoppers. Reliance's fibre customers will offer an immersive shopping experience using mixed reality (augmented reality and virtual reality combined).

Ambani’s children Isha and Akash also demonstrated a shopping experience with Jio’s augmented reality advancements, where a 3D hologram of the user will help the shopper try on different colours of the garment.

This is not good news for Amazon which holds 30% of the Indian e-commerce market, and has plans to grow.

Amazon too has been experimenting with virtual reality. During the Prime Day sale, Amazon had set up virtual reality experience zones for consumers. But looks like Reliance will lure its existing fibre customers into its own shopping zones.

Ambani also said that Reliance will offer end-to-end digital stack to "enable and empower" small merchants. Today, Amazon too launched The Amazon Marketplace Appstore in India, a platform created for sellers to discover trusted third-party applications that can help them automate, grow and manage their business.

Building businesses on cloud

One of Amazon’s biggest businesses is its Amazon Web Service finds clients with the bigwigs of the tech industry in the country who use its cloud services to build their businesses. AWS has also partnered with Wipro to set up co-innovation centres in India.

Ambani has entered this business too. He joined hands with Microsoft. Satya Nadella made a surprise cameo at the AGM via video feed to announce Jio’s partnership with Microsoft Azure.

“Jio will build new custom solutions on Microsoft Azure for large enterprises who have already benefited from our technology platforms. Companies will also have easy and affordable access to best-in-class technologies like data analytics, AI, cognitive services, blockchain, IoT and edge computing to accelerate India’s digital transformation and enable grassroots innovation,” said Microsoft.

Prime vs Jio, Indian OTT’s new war

Amazon’s content platform Prime Video launched in 2016 and has since then stirred up the OTT competition in India, moving up against Netflix, Hotstar among others. Prime Video has seen multiple original web content series from India like Made in Heaven, Inside Edge which have become big hits.

And now, Jio has a strong strategy to disrupt the OTT space in India. Jio Fibre services will come bundled with ‘most-premium OTT applications’. Not only that, premium subscribers of Reliance Fibre will also be able to watch movies on the very same day they release in theatres, taking away Amazon Prime’s sweet spot. It is known to bring movies to its platform within a few weeks of release.

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Mukesh Ambani's speech at the Reliance Industries AGM had ten big takeaways