Mukesh Ambani says data must be controlled by individuals; will launch an e-commerce platform

Mukesh Ambani speaking at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2019 on Friday

Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani on Friday made two statements which will leave the e-tailers and new age companies sit up and take notice.

He announced that Reliance will be launching an e-commerce platform. Second, he spoke against data colonisation.  “India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indian people ─ and not by corporates, especially global corporations.”

On e-commerce

He said that group companies Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail will launch a unique new Commerce platform ‘to empower and enrich our 12 lakh small retailers and shopkeepers in Gujarat – which are part of over 3 crore community in India.’

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Gujarat would be the first state to get it, he said at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two were present at the inauguration of the three-day Vibrant Gujarat summit.

He added that the Jio is committed to create a fully Digital Gujarat and make Gujarat the best Digitally Connected State in India.

On Data Localisation he said

“Gandhiji led India’s movement against political colonisation. Today, we have to collectively launch a new movement against data colonisation.

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In this new world, data is the new oil. And data is the new wealth. India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indian people ─ and not by corporates, especially global corporations.

For India to succeed in this data-driven revolution, we will have to migrate the control and ownership of Indian data back to India ─ in other words, Indian wealth back to every Indian.”

Other initiatives

Talking about the five ways in which Reliance will further develop Gujarat, he said “Today, our scientists and engineers have created highly promising innovations in our new ‘Oil to Chemicals’ strategy at Reliance’s Jamnagar refinery, which is the largest in the world.

As the world moves towards Electrical Vehicles, Reliance will use hydrocarbons less for fuel and more for producing high-value New Materials with a wide range of uses in society.

Our ‘Oil to Chemicals’ strategy will greatly boost the value of Indian exports – and also create new employment opportunities.”

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Speaking at RIL’s 41st annual general meeting last year, Ambani had said the company aimed to more than double its revenues by 2025 as contributions from the retail and telecom arms came to match that of the hydrocarbon business.

The oil-to-telecom conglomerate posted consolidated revenues of Rs 430,731 crore in 2017-18 and a profit after tax of Rs 36,075 crore.

In strongly worded comments, also his first publically on the subject of data localization, he called upon the government to secure the data of its citizens locally. He said there was a need to “collectively act against data colonization”.


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