Jio, India’s largest telecom company, founded by Asia’s richest businessman Mukesh Ambani, on Friday announced that US-based global investor KKR would invest $1.5 billion in the firm. Reliance Industries Limited’s wholly-owned subsidiary said the investment would “further propel Jio’s vision of enabling a digital society for India.”
“We are looking forward to leveraging KKR’s global platform, industry knowledge and operational expertise to further grow Jio,” commented Mukesh Ambani.
“Jio Platforms has made significant investments across its digital ecosystem, powered by leading technologies spanning broadband connectivity, smart devices, cloud and edge computing, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, augmented and mixed reality and blockchain,” said the company.
Reliance is India’s largest private sector company, with a consolidated turnover of $87.1 billion. Its activities range from hydrocarbon exploration and production, petroleum refining and marketing, petrochemicals, retail and digital services. Jio has 388 million subscribers.
Despite investments, Ambani had announced huge pay cuts for his employees, including foregoing his own annual salary of around $3 million for the time being.
Salary cuts at Reliance Industries were introduced in the wake of heavy losses suffered by its hydrocarbon business due to a national lockdown in India.
The UN World Economic Report and Prospect Report for mid-2020 has predicted that India's national lockdown would slow its economic growth to 1.2 percent from already-disappointing growth in 2019.
The UN Report said the current global economic contraction was the sharpest since the Great Depression in the 1930s. It added that at the global level, the economy is expected to lose nearly $8.5 trillion in output over the next two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, wiping out nearly all gains of the previous four years.
India declared a national lockdown on 25 March to stop the spread of COVID-19. Since 18 May, the lockdown has been lifted partially, with several restrictions remaining in place. Over the past few days, India has registered a sharp growth in cases, with the current caseload standing at 118,447. 48,534 people have recovered and 3,583 have lost their lives to the virus as of Friday, according to data released by the nation's federal Health Ministry.