New Delhi: Reliance Industries will make an investment of over Rs 250,000 crore in the digital space, including rollout of wireless broadband infrastructure and manufacturing of mobile handsets, its chairman Mukesh Ambani said today.
Speaking at the launch of Digital India Week in New Delhi, Mr Ambani, whose USD 16 billion Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd is set to launch telephony and broadband services by December, said the firm's investments in digital space will create employment for over 5 lakh people.
"We at Reliance will invest over Rs 250,000 crore across the Digital India pillars," he said.
Elaborating on the investment, he said infrastructure for all-IP next-generation, wireless broadband infrastructure across all the 29 states in India is being laid. "This will be amongst the best in the world."
Jio is also setting up a new nationwide distribution network that will enable over 150,000 small electronic retailers to sell and service smartphones and Internet devices, he said.
"Thirdly, Jio is working with leading device manufacturers encouraging them to make smartphones and Internet devices in India at an affordable price. We will give them an assured offtake through our retail system," he added.
Reliance, he said, has "committed to make the necessary investments and strongly partner with central and state governments in the area of e-governance, digital education, digital healthcare, smart cities and rural digital services."
Mr Ambani said a Jio Digital India Startup Fund will be created for entrepreneurship in cities and towns. "Our intent is to provide a platform for young Indians who what to create digital businesses of the future."
Lauding the Digital India initiative, he said the programme has a potential to fundamentally transform the lives of 1.2 billion Indians using the power of digital technology.
"As the world matures in the information age, digitisation is changing the way we live, learn, work and play," he said.
While industry normally moves faster than government, with Digital India the government has moved faster, he added.
In Mr Modi, India is fortunate to have a Prime Minister "who not only paints a comprehensive and compelling vision but has the personal leadership and drive to convert his vision to reality," he said.
"It is my conviction, Prime Minister, under your leadership, the Digital India initiative will create a partnership among all sections of society... a partnership that will leverage the power of 1.2 billion Indians. A partnership built on the ability and industry of all our citizens," he added.