Announcing a plethora of initiatives aimed at startups, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said that Jio will aid startups come up the curve by providing free internet services and also look at putting its money in some of them.
Speaking at the 42nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company, Ambani said the initiative is geared towards startups that create solutions meeting India’s needs in developmental and agricultural sectors and creation of livelihood among the key beneficiaries.
Ambani urged “all startups to register for their custom designed package on Jio.com”, adding that the service would be available from the 1st of January, 2020.
“Jio is a startup built in India, for India, by Indians and we have a special place in our hearts for startups. You may know 80% of the cost of running a startup goes towards cloud and connectivity infrastructure,”
There will also be custom-designed plans for medium and slightly larger businesses that incur costs between Rs. 3 lakh and 5 lakh per month on connectivity and infrastructure.
He further went on to add that Jio is ready to take away the cost associated with running a startup , thus making connectivity and cloud infrastructure absolutely free for budding startups.
Jio will also be investing and supporting those startups financially, which have the potential to address India’s big needs in agriculture, healthcare, education and skill development which will boost the creation of new livelihood.
Not only this, Jio will also offer a monthly digital pack to micro, small and medium businesses, starting at a mere Rs. 1,500.
As per Ambani, these businesses are “the bedrock of the economy” and that these initiatives will benefit 2 to 5 million startups and SMBs in India, propelling them towards growth.
The Reliance-Microsoft partnership is also a step in this direction, as this will provide cloud-based infrastructure and additional tools that will help businesses build their digital identities more easily.
As part of the partnership, while Jio is going to set up data centres across India, Microsoft will provide the Azure platform to Jio.”
Most of the products and services introduced at the Reliance AGM were developed in close collaboration with startups that the conglomerate had acquired in the last few months.
It has already invested in 14 such startups previously, and looks to make more investments in sectors such as virtual and mixed reality, blockchain apart from a slew of other ‘advanced technologies’