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Deal with Zuckerberg may have put Ambani in line for India grocery crown

Deal with Zuckerberg may have put Ambani in line for India grocery crown 2

India’s richest man is now in business with the world’s largest social media conglomerate. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio signed a mega Rs 43,574-crore deal with for sale of 10% equity stake in Jio to Facebook Inc. The deal with make Mark Zuckerberg-led Facebook the largest minority shareholder in Jio Platforms Limited.

The deal is likely to give Ambani’s ambitious online grocery venture, JioMart, a huge lift. As part of the deal, JioMart will now team-up with WhatsApp to increase its outreach.

Reliance went live with its most-ambitious last mile hyperlocal kirana-led retail project — Jio Mart late last year and expects to take on online grocery specialists — Bigbasket and Grofers, as well as Silicon Valley giants, such as Amazon and Walmart.

India grocery crown soon?
As part of the new deal, JioMart will now be able to leverage the power of WhatsApp to help “people connect with small businesses”, by bringing millions of local vendors, independent hawkers and small kirana stores online.

This would give Jio the bargaining chip it needs to outperform established giants in an already crowded online market.

Ambani said that in the very near future, JioMart, Jio’s new commerce platform and WhatsApp will empower nearly 3 crore small Indian kirana shops to digitally transact with every customer in their neighbourhood.

“All of us at Reliance and Jio are delighted to welcome Facebook Inc. as our long-term and esteemed partner. At the core of our partnership is the commitment that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and I share for the all-round digital transformation of India and for serving all Indians,” he said in a video statement after the deal hit the headlines.

What’s in it for WhatsApp
In return, the Facebook-owned WhatsApp will now have access to the final third of India’s internet users, and see an expansion of the user base going forward by registering more new users on the platform.

This move will also see WhatsApp increase its business in India. The messaging app already offers a full suite of services in the country, including UPI-based payments, text and image search for past messages and more.

Calling India a “special place” for Facebook, Zuckerberg, said, “We are committing to work together on some critical projects that we think are going to open up a lot of opportunities for commerce in India. It’s home to the largest communities around the world on Facebook and WhatsApp, and there are a lot of talented entrepreneurs, and it’s also in the middle of a major digital transformation that’s being led by organizations like Jio that over the last four years, have worked to get hundreds of millions of Indians onto the internet.”

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