From launch of JioPhone Next to aid during COVID-19 times: Highlights of Mukesh Ambani's address at Reliance AGM 2021
From launch of JioPhone Next to aid during COVID-19 times: Highlights of Mukesh Ambani's address at Reliance AGM 2021

Reliance Industries Limited, the largest company in India by market capitalisation, on Thursday conducted the 44th annual general meeting. RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani addressed the shareholders of the company.

1. Ambani announces launch of JioPhone Next smartphone, partnership with Google for 5G

Mukesh Ambani on Thursday announced the launch of JioPhone Next, a fully-featured smartphone being developed in partnership with Google.

"JioPhone Next is one of the most affordable smartphones globally which has cutting-edge technology," he said. Jio handled at one point a monthly traffic of over 6 billion GB a month and is the world's second-largest mobile data carrier, he said.

"During recent spectrum auctions, we have invested Rs 57,123 crore to acquire significant additional spectrum, making Jio the largest operator of 4G spectrum in India. We have operationalised nearly 100 per cent of this additional spectrum," said Ambani.

Speaking about the new smartphone, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said that it is built for India and will open up new possibilities for millions of new users who will experience the internet for the first time.

He announced a new 5G partnership between Google Cloud and Jio that seeks to aid more than a billion Indians connect to faster internet, support businesses in digital transformation and lay the foundation for the next phase of India's digitisation.

2. Saudi Aramco chairman Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan to join Reliance board

Saudi Aramco chairman and head of the Kingdom's cash-rich wealth fund PIF Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan will join the board of Reliance Industries Ltd as an independent director in a precursor to a USD 15 billion deal.

Ambani, who had two years back disclosed the talks to sell a 20 per cent stake in the company's oil-to-chemical unit to Saudi Aramco, announced the appointment of Al-Rumayyan at the company's annual meeting of shareholders.

On the sale of a 20 per cent stake in the O2C business, he said the deal is likely to conclude this year.

"Despite several challenges due to COVID-19, we have made substantial progress in the past in our discussions (with Saudi Aramco)," he said. "This continued engagement and resolve from both sides, even during this pandemic, is a testimony of strong relationship between Saudi Aramco and Reliance." Ambani said RIL is looking forward to "welcoming Saudi Aramco as a strategic partner in our O2C business".

3. Ambani announces Rs 75,000 cr investment in clean energy

Ambani on Thursday announced a Rs 75,000 crore investment in setting up four 'Giga' factories to make solar photovoltaic cells, green hydrogen, batteries and fuel cells over the next three years.

Addressing the company's annual shareholder meeting, he said Reliance will set up 100 GW of solar power generating capacity. "We plan to build four Giga Factories to manufacture and integrate all critical components of new energy ecosystem - solar photovoltaic module factory, energy storage battery factory, electrolyser factory, fuel cell factory," Ambani said. These four factories will involve an investment of Rs 60,000 crore.

"We will invest an additional Rs 15,000 crore in the value chain, partnerships and future technologies, including upstream and downstream industries. Thus, our overall investment in the new energy business will be Rs 75,000 crore in 3 years," he said.

4. RIL did not cut salaries of employees amid COVID, says Nita Ambani

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) did not cut salaries, bonuses, or any other compensation of its employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, said Nita Ambani, Reliance Foundation's founder and chairperson on Thursday.

Speaking at the 44th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of RIL, Nita Ambani said, "The Covid-19 pandemic is a humanitarian crisis. It has tested the very spirit of humanity. But even in the darkest hour, our spirit has shone brightly. We as a people have come together and fought this battle. We did not cut salaries, bonuses, or any other compensation for our employees throughout the COVID situation." She also talked about how Reliance has contributed to India's fight against COVID-19.

"India faced an acute shortage of oxygen as soon as COVID cases began to surge earlier this year. Reliance swung into action on a war footing immediately. Traditionally, we have never produced medical-grade liquid oxygen. Yet when the need arose, we repurposed our Jamnagar refinery within days, to produce high-purity medical grade liquid oxygen and, within two weeks, we ramped up production to a massive 1100 Metric Tonnes per day," she added.

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