A 2.5 billion dollar involving more than two dozen deals provides insight on how Mukesh Ambani is putting down a strategy to take on Amazon in India. Asia’s richest man is sharpening his focus on e-commerce with a string of tiny acquisitions to face the world’s largest online retailer, after shaking up India’s telecommunications industry with cheap data and free calls. The deals may be tiny, but it’s more likely that they are putting together a team of talented people by acquisitions, who can then be invested in to build out larger platform products.
Ambani is racing to grab a share of an online shopping market that Morgan Stanley estimates will grow to be valued at $200 billion by 2028 from about $30 billion last year. India will have 829 million smartphone users by 2022, according to Cisco Systems Inc., from a projected half a billion this year. That means a potential surge in demand for online services and products from music to food delivery, electronic gadgets and clothes.
As the battle lines are drawn, clues to how Reliance could use its might in its latest venture may be found in the way Ambani reshaped India’s telecommunications landscape with Jio over two years. That approach led many rivals to retreat, including brother Anil’s Reliance Communications. With its own telecom network, Reliance in India can go way beyond Amazon and Flipkart. The Reliance ecosystem still in progress for the digital economy has multiple, very powerful components that include retail, entertainment, education, and financial services