Facebook-Jio to Boost Indian Economy: Ambani Chats With Zuckerberg

Other speakers at the event include Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Ajit Mohan, MD and VP of Facebook India.

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Tech News
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Facebook kicked-off its two-day event ‘Fuel for India 2020’ on Tuesday, 15 December with an array of influential speakers including Facebook Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg and and Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairperson Mukesh Ambani among others.

At the event, Ambani said that the partnership between Jio and Facebook is great for India, Indians and small Indian businesses.

“I have no hesitation in going on record, that it is your investment that set the ball rolling. Not only for Jio, but for the Indian FDI which has been the largest-ever in its history. And our partnership between Jio and Facebook, will actually demonstrate that it is great for India, Indians, and small Indian businesses.”
Mukesh Ambani in conversation with Mark Zuckerberg

RIL Chairman said that all the digitisation steps that India has taken will democratise wealth and value creation for individuals and small businesses. "And let me explain this very simply. WhatsApp has hundreds of millions of subscribers in India. Jio has hundreds of millions of subscribers in India. Jio Mart, which is our retail service, has the aspiration of serving tens of millions of small shopkeepers in India, who are the bedrock of employment.”

“So, what does this mean? This means Jio brings digital connectivity, WhatsApp now with WhatsApp Pay brings digital interactivity, and the ability to move to close transactions and create value, and Jio Mart brings the unmatched online and offline retail opportunity, that gives our small shops which exist in villages and small towns in India, a chance to digitize and be at par with anybody else in the world," Ambani added.

He added that in the next two decades, India will grow to be among the top three economies in the world. But more importantly, it will become a premier digital society. It will be a modern society with young people driving it, with young businesses driving it.

In April this year, Facebook announced investment of Rs 43,574 crore in Jio Platforms for a 9.99 per cent stake.

Will Help India Recover From Pandemic Impact Quickly: Zuckerberg

On the other hand, Zuckerberg said Facebook’s partnership with Jio Platforms will help support millions of small businesses in India.

“One of the big opportunities I see with the partnership with Jio Platforms, is the role that we can play together in supporting the millions of small businesses in India – especially now with the impact that COVID is having.”
Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook said that it is committed to help India quickly recover economically and socially in 2021 from the pandemic-hit year, by deepening support for small businesses and test and roll its new features from the country to the rest of the world.

"India's building local capabilities and tech capacity to power innovative new business models and provide the citizens access to digital financial inclusion," said Zuckerberg, via a virtual address during the event.

"So, decisions that are made here shape the global discussion about how technology can drive more economic opportunity and better outcomes for people," he added.

In order to support small businesses move online seamlessly, Facebook recently reached out to 9 million small businesses across India with a local SMB Guide available in both Hindi and English.

More About the Event

With a range of topics on the agenda on the lines of driving social good through the power of connections, empowering entrepreneurs through digital platforms, building a safe and open internet, shaping India’s digital future, powering equal opportunity and stories of small business resilience, the two-day India-specific event has an impressive line-up of speakers.

Some of names in the list of speakers include Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook; Ajit Mohan, Managing Director and Vice President of Facebook India; Will Cathcart, Head of WhatsApp; Abhijit Bose, Head of WhatsApp India; Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram; social media influencers Ankush Bahuguna and Kusha Kapila, and playback singer Neha Kakkar among others.

“We want to tell the real story of Facebook in India so that people understood the scope of what we are trying to do through people and institutions who have leveraged our platforms (sic),” said Ajit Mohan, Managing Director of Facebook India, as quoted by the The Hindu Business Line.

The event by Facebook comes at a time when the social media giant is mired in controversy in India over its alleged hate speech bias.

(With IANS inputs)

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