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India’s Richest Man is Ready To Take on Amazon and Walmart

As Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart spend billions to make a dent in India’s retail market and reel from recent regulatory hurdles, the two companies have stumbled upon a new challenge: Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man. From a report: Reliance Retail and Reliance Jio, two subsidiaries of Ambani’s Reliance Industries, said they have soft-launched JioMart, their e-commerce venture that works closely with neighborhood stores, in parts of the state of Maharashtra — Navi Mumbai, Kalyan and Thane. The e-commerce venture, which is being marketed as “Desh Ki Nayi Dukaan” (Hindi for new store of the country), currently offers a catalog of 50,000 grocery items and promises “free and express delivery.” In an email to Reliance Jio users, the two aforementioned subsidiaries that are working together on the e-commerce venture said they plan to expand the service to many parts of India in coming months. The joint venture has also urged Jio subscribers to sign up to JioMart to access introductory offers. A Reliance spokesperson declined to share more. The soft launch this week comes months after Ambani, who runs Reliance Industries — India’s largest industrial house — said that he wants to service tens of millions of retailers and store owners across the country. If there is anyone in India who is positioned to compete with heavily backed Amazon and Walmart, it’s Ambani. Reliance Retail, which was founded in 2006, is the largest retailer in the country by revenue. It serves more than 3.5 million customers each week through its nearly 10,000 physical stores in more than 6,500 Indian cities and towns. Reliance Jio is the second largest telecom operator in India, with more than 360 million subscribers.


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