Reliance to empower three crore merchants, kirana shop owners












Reliance Industries is working towards empowering three crore merchants and kirana shop owners with its end-to-end digital and physical distribution stack new commerce, its Chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Monday.

“New commerce is a massive new business opportunity of 700 billion dollars. However, for Reliance, it is the greatest opportunity to promote inclusive growth and shared wealth at the bottom of India’s commerce and retail pyramid,” he said at the group’s 42nd annual general meeting (AGM).

The main purpose of new commerce is to completely transform the unorganised retail market, which accounts for 90 per cent of India’s retail industry. The three crore merchants and kirana shop owners, who generate direct and indirect livelihoods for over 20 crore people,form the backbone of India’s commerce eco-system, said Ambani.

“These highly energetic and self-motivated entrepreneurs have suffered in recent years because of their inability to invest in technology and infrastructure. In the true Reliance ethos, we are working towards enriching and empowering them with our end-to-end digital andphysical distribution stack,” he said.

For this, Reliance is deploying blockchain, IoT, AI and other new technologies on a pan-India basis. This tech-enabled partnership will link producers, traders, small merchants, consumer brands and consumers.

By removing inefficiencies and value destruction in today’s market ecosystem, new commerce will transfer significant new value to consumers, producers and merchants. The merchant point of sale (POS) Solution — Jio Prime Partner POS — is integral to a plan to create an ecosystem around small merchants.

“This user-friendly digital platform is designed for inventory management, customer relationship management, financial services and other services. This will modernise even the smallest neighbourhood kirana shop to become a future-ready digitised store,” said Ambani.

“I believe that the small must not only survive but also thrive in New India.”

Reliance Retail has grown phenomenally in recent times, registering a seven-fold increase in revenue and a 14-fold increase in profit in the last six years. “Our relentless focus on operating discipline has resulted in a three-fold rise in per-store productivity in the last five years. We serve more than one lakh customers every hour, a feat no Indian retailer has been able to achieve.”

Ambani said Reliance Retail registered over 50 crore footfalls last year and clocked a turnover of Rs 1.3 lakh crore last year. With a presence in nearly 7,000 towns and cities, the company has over two-third of its 10,415 stores are in tier II, tier III and tier IV towns.

“Over the next five years, our aim is to be among the world’s top 20 retailers,” Ambani asserted.

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