Jio and Facebook, the world’s two leading IT forces, have affirmed their commitment to India’s $5 trillion economic drive.
In the coming days, according to Mark Zuckerberg, Founder, Chairman & CEO, Facebook, the social networking site, will accelerate its focus on helping India achieve an ambitious goal. And to this end, Zuckerberg sees a crucial role played by small and medium enterprises.
“We are in the business of serving small businesses on Facebook. And nowhere is that truer than in India,’ Zuckerberg said,
At the Facebook Fuel for India 2020 gathering, the Facebook CEO was in talks with Mukesh Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director, Reliance Industries.
“These small businesses are a big part of what our partnership with Jio will serve here, with over 60 million small businesses and millions of people around the world depending on them for jobs. This is particularly important because India’s small enterprises will be a crucial part of the potential global economic recovery. And we’re based on making sure we’re designing the right instruments for them,’ he said.
Opening up on the potential of a technology-enabled ecosystem to drive a highly diversified nation’s economic growth, the MD of Reliance Industries said he sees the country accelerating as a leading digital society.
“More wealth formation, to my opinion, means more jobs and more industry. And I believe that along with our platforms and the resources we will give to small businesses and individual customers, India will be powered to a 5 trillion economy and will make India far more equal, with more equal wealth growth at the bottom of the pyramid,’ Ambani said.
Together with WhatsApp and WhatsApp, the Indian economy has a large share of SMBs and Facebook has proven to be invaluable to these businesses. The social media giant disclosed in October last year that it witnessed a 9 percent increase in its daily active user base to 1.62 billion in the quarter of September 2019, led by markets such as India and Indonesia.
The user base of WhatsApp India currently stands at 400 million. WhatsApp Business App, another popular, business-focused product from Facebook Inc’s stable, is also extremely popular. With a host of business features, the WhatsApp Business messaging platform has more than 50 million users worldwide, of which more than 15 million are in India (30 percent ).
More than 40 million users worldwide view a company catalogue on WhatsApp each month, and more than 3 million users view a company catalogue on WhatsApp each month in India says Facebook.
On the other hand, Reliance Jio controls a 35.1 percent market share in the huge telephone subscriber base of India, which stands at 404.1 million, according to official figures.
Facebook, in its biggest ever investment (since purchasing WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014), announced its $5.7 billion investment in the Jio Network of Reliance Industries in April this year.
Jio Networks, Reliance Retail, and WhatsApp have entered into an arrangement to support small businesses on WhatsApp, in addition to the mega-deal. The step is essentially aimed at mainstreaming the largely untapped informal economy of the country, particularly it’s massive retail) Kirana economy.