There was a time when Reliance Industries (RIL) founder Dhirubhai Ambani wanted to emulate the success of global energy super giants like Exxon and Royal Dutch/Shell. However, his elder son, Mukesh Ambani, has been quick to realise that digital technology is the new superhighway to mega success and has reimagined RIL in a way that has few parallels in India’s corporate history. Mr Ambani’s speech at the annual general meeting on Wednesday outlined the huge distance that RIL has covered in the last four years. The company, he said, has developed a complete home-grown 5G solution and would be able to launch 5G services once spectrum is available. It would also be a rare instance of Facebook and Google investing in the same firm anywhere in the world, which is another stamp of approval from global digital behemoths for RIL’s transformation from a predominantly oil firm till 2016 to a major technology and digital player. Going forward, the group’s dominance over various high-tech spaces will grow. RIL is now debt-free, after raising over Rs 2.1 trillion in equity, partly through the Rs 53,000 crore rights issue, and partly via the headline-grabber stake sales in its unlisted subsidiary, Jio Platforms.
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First Published: Wed, July 15 2020. 23:56 IST