Reliance Retail commerce initiative to be taken from pilot to large-scale business

Reliance Retail aims to "transform the unorganised retail market" in India as it plans to take its offline-to-online initiative from the pilot stage to a national roll-out.

Mukesh Ambani believes that retail will lead Reliance’s next growth spurt - Reliance Digital- Facebook

Reliance Retail has already rolled out the pilot programme for its initiative to organise and digitise India’s kirana stores, the business’ chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said on August 12, as reported by Mint. Ambani also said that the new commerce platform aims to connect consumers, merchants, and producers across the country and valued the opportunity at $700 billion (Rs 46.57 lakh crore).

“The main purpose of new commerce is to completely transform the unorganised retail market, which accounts for 90% of India’s retail industry,” said Ambani to his business’ shareholders at his annual general meeting.

“The three crore merchants and kirana shop owners, who generate direct and indirect livelihoods for over 20 crore people, form the backbone of India’s commerce ecosystem."

Ambani aims to connect as many as 30 million kirana stores through the initiative.

“For this, we are deploying blockchain, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and other new technologies on a pan-India basis,” said Ambani.

“This tech-enabled partnership will link producers, traders, small merchants, consumer brands and consumers." 

The project could challenge the two foreign-owned giants currently dominating much of India’s online retail market, Amazon India and Flipkart. Ambani also aims to harness the strength of his mobile business Jio to aid the initiative.

Ambani sees retail as one of his business’ key growth drivers moving forward. 

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