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Mukesh Ambani on the Modi Ad Controversy, Reliance Jio and More

Ambani shared details about his obsessions, his vision for Reliance Jio and his relationship with Anil Ambani.

Updated
India
3 min read
Mukesh Ambani spoke to <i>The Times of India</i>. (Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

It would be safe to say that Reliance Jio, Mukesh Ambani’s “most audacious” project has grabbed enough eyeballs and headlines.

In a chat with The Times of India, Ambani spoke about his obsession, the future of Jio and all the controversy that it has already gotten embroiled in.

The Jio-Modi Ad Controversy

When the front pages of newspapers were splashed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face in the Jio ad, many eyebrows were raised. Even before its launch, Jio found itself in the midst of a controversy.

Was it an endorsement, many people asked. Dismissing the row over the ad, Ambani said:

Mukesh Ambani on the Modi Ad Controversy, Reliance Jio and More

Reinforcing Modi’s Digital India mission, Ambani said that the vision has inspired him and Jio and that “we are dedicating our service to the vision of India’s leader, to India and 1.2 billion Indians...there’s nothing political about this.”

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Jio is a Tech, Not Telecom Company

Talking about his drive and obsession, Ambani said, “I have always believed that technology drives human civilization’s endeavour and progress. So if you ask what is my obsession, it is technology. I wish I was 30 years old today. The opportunity in front of us today is huge.”

He added that, “companies that had bet on mobile internet have created the largest value in the last 10 years. So, Jio is not really a telecom company. It is a tech company.”

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You Can’t Break the Law, Ambani Tells Telcos

Talking about the ensuing clash with India’s largest telecom companies, which refused to provide additional points of interconnection (PoIs) required to complete calls between networks, Ambani said Jio’s “rivals were all reputed business houses” that he expected will comply with rules.

Mukesh Ambani on the Modi Ad Controversy, Reliance Jio and More

He further added:

“It is there in the licence that you are supposed to provide inter connect, irrespective of traffic.”

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‘We Won’t Lose Money’

Mukesh Ambani on the Modi Ad Controversy, Reliance Jio and More

Responding to investors’ fears about Jio’s free voice and cheap data offerings, Ambani said that the telecom unit would generate very “healthy return on our capital”.

He added that “Jio will enable India to be among the top 10 countries in broadband and internet access within the next few years.”

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Mukesh on Anil: ‘We’ve Put Our Past Behind Us’

When questioned if Jio’s tie-up with brother Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications would remain at the infrastructure sharing level, he said, “I am personally happy that we have put the past behind us and our relationship on the family level is very cordial.”

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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