Big tech’s India plans can’t seem to bypass Mukesh Ambani


NEW DELHI: Big Tech is clamoring for a bigger piece of India’s booming internet space, but that increasingly seems to mean going through the country’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani.


Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd is said to be offering to sell a stake of about $20 billion in its retail business to Amazon.com Inc, Bloomberg News reported this week. If Ambani succeeds in pulling off such a deal, it would mark another victory for the billionaire, who in recent months has secured $20 billion of investment in his digital unit from marquee names including Facebook Inc and Google Inc.



The mere possibility of an Amazon investment reveals not only Ambani’s market clout, but also how India’s business climate is changing as Prime Minister Narendra Modi cranks up nationalist rhetoric while the nation hurtles toward the first annual economic contraction in 40 years. Having seen multiple regulatory roadblocks thrown in their way, a tie-up with a powerful Indian ally has never looked more crucial for the world’s biggest internet companies. And no business person carries more heft in India than Ambani.


Better to cooperate


“I suspect the go nment somewhere is signalling that it’s better for multinational companies to come in with some Indian partner,” said Arun Kumar, an economist and the Malcolm Adiseshiah Chair at the Institute of Social Sciences. “So Amazon might decide it’s better to cooperate with Reliance than compete against it.”

经济学家、社会科学院Malcolm Adiseshiah主席阿伦•库马尔表示:“我认为政府正在暗示,跨国公司与印度合作伙伴合作会更好。因此,亚马逊可能会决定与信实合作,而不是与之竞争。”

The 63-year-old tycoon has identified technology and retail as future growth areas in a pivot away from the energy businesses he inherited from his father who died in 2002. Retail is the next frontier for Ambani,


Silicon Valley’s ambitions in the country represent a threat to Ambani’s ability to achieve such dominance in his home market, but winning their cooperation, with all the know-how and global reach it brings, could help him achieve it faster. That aligns with the emphasis Modi has been placing on developing the local economy.


‘Life’s mantra’

In one 33-minute address to the nation recently, PM Modi used the word ‘self-reliance’ 17 times. “The corona crisis has taught us the value of local manufacturing, local markets and local supply chains,” Modi went on to say. “Local is not only our need it is also our responsibility. Time has taught us that we will simply have to make ‘local’ our life’s mantra.”


Even so, India is increasingly important to Silicon Valley because it’s a one billion-plus person market that’s still largely untapped. China is dominated by homegrown e-commerce players and largely shuts out global tech companies, while established markets in the West offer limited growth opportunities.


Though Amazon is already India’s largest e-commerce player, it’s ability to compete with domestic firms was hamstrung by an abrupt rule change in 2018 that limited foreign players to operating as e-Bay style marketplaces, rather than selling their own stock.


Entering e-commerce


Not long after, Ambani announced that his own sprawling conglomerate, Reliance Industries, would make an entry into e-commerce, leveraging its control of both India’s largest mobile carrier and biggest network of brick-and-mortar stores.


In response, Amazon tried to bolster its presence on the ground with an investment in India’s second biggest physical retailer, cash-strapped Future Group. But the rules restricting foreign ownership in that sector meant its investment was too little to halt Future Group’s slide into financial distress.

作为回应,亚马逊试图通过投资印度第二大实体零售商未来集团(Future Group)来加强自己的地盘。但限制外资在该领域持股的规定意味着,其投资太少,无法阻止未来集团陷入财务困境。

Last month, it was Ambani who was waiting to snap up the majority of the company’s operations for $3.4 billion. Faced with a regulatory disadvantage and a competitor only seeming to grow stronger, it’s not hard to see why Amazon might be tempted to make a peace offering now.



译文来源:三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/p/50812.html   译者:Jessica.Wu

Godfather Senior

Yes, sell everything to the MNCs and be richest man still at the cost of poor investors! His assets are not even ten percent worth for his total debts, that secret will never come out in open, whichever the party take power position in Delhi !! That much of clout a single man dangerously holds is the worse for any country :-(


Garry Singh

He is debt free, 2nd it doesn't cost anything to Indians. Money is coming from Amazon's pocket from not yours. learn basicas of economics and stop hating successful people




Rightly said we are entering the monopolistic market, consumer will be at disadvantage in terms of pricing when no competition exist, similar like telecom we are paying double the bill now.


Amit Jain

Really.. In Australia, its $10 for 1GB of excess data, how much 1GB of data worth in India?

是吗. .在澳大利亚,流量超出1G要10美元,在印度才多少?


Amit Jain

True.. but isn't Reliance is actually an Indian company and providing jobs to India, not to Chinese, westerns or Pakistani's?.



shraddesh desai

this monopoly is not good for the economy.



Vikrant Sharma

With so much monopoly , RIL will eventually dictate. No good for India.




Modi talked about atma-nirbhar (Self-Reliance). So all big tech companies (Facebook, Amazon, Google etc.) are tying up with Reliance !

莫迪谈到了自力更生,所有的大型科技公司(Facebook, Amazon,谷歌等)都必须和信实合作!


Jay Boro

US companies investment is to stay in Indian market because fake hyper nationalism of BJP politician is scaring these companies if they get blocked or banned like Chinese



Sunil Malhotra

Kudos to mukesh using his clout to sell equity to the richest in world. What is wrong ?



Mister Kayne

I am really looking at a monopoly in the market. That is what is being done there. Once all the competition is swallowed then Reliance will call the shots on pricing and offerings and this would mean the Indian consumer will have no where to go and basically no choice!



Bharat Expansion

We dont need big tech! We need better and more hard infrastructure!



Desh Bhakt

Ambani is quite a fraud

Be careful if this gujju bahi



Sharad Gupta

Ambani's best Investment was BJP Party Funding.



Truth Be Told

learn from ma how to sell dreams, he is now doubt a smart & shrewd businessman, who know how to play his cards well.



Devendra Sood

Mukesh Ambani having the First Rights of Refusal to any furute Tech Deals with Foreign Investors is NOT GOOD for India. This is how Dictators are made.


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