Reliance Industries will generate healthy returns from its telecom business Jio in the coming years, Chairman Mukesh Ambani said i n an exclusive interview to The Economic Times on Wednesday. In the interview, he also criticized the functioning of the Cellular Operators Association of India and the attempts by rival telcos to create hurdles for Jio through non co-operative practices.
Key takeaways from the interview
1. May not make a killing from Jio, but will make 18-19 percent return on capital in the telecom business over a period of time.
2. Processes to add subscribers still need improving. Aadhaar-based digital process will be brought in to ensure addition in a more painless, paperless way.
3. Response to Jio has exceeded expectations by a factor of 100 in the first three days of its launch.
4. Aiming for a subscriber base of 100 million to begin with. India still a big market to accommodate four to five operators.
5. Will look to report the number of subscribers transparently every month
6. Controversy over PM Modi’s picture in Jio advertisements baseless. Reliance dedicating its telecom service to Modi’s vision of Digital India. Nothing political about this.
7. Expect rival telcos to comply with the rules. They cannot give excuses for not providing more interconnection points.
8. COAI’s view is actually the view of one or two of the top telecom players. COAI not a democratic institution as voting rights proportional to revenues.
9. Relations with Anil Ambani cordial, but both running separate businesses.
10. Conscious decision to invest big in telecom as it will help solve some of the difficult problems of the country.
Disclaimer: Reliance Industries, which owns Reliance Jio, also owns Network18, which publishes Chillicious.com.