Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., hopes the social media giant and Reliance Industries Ltd. Working together to transform India’s digital payments landscape and replicate its success in disrupting the telecommunications sector.
In an online event, Zuckerberg mentioned Dhirubhai Ambani, the late founder of Reliance, who had envisioned phone calls in India that were as cheap as postcards and then cost less than a dime. His son Mukesh Ambani’s ability to grant this wish inspired him, Zuckerberg said.
“We tried that with messaging … and hopefully we can do that along with payments,” Zuckerberg Ambani said during the event.
The telecommunications unit, led by Ambani, Asia’s richest man, disrupted the sector in 2016 when it stepped in with free calls and dirt cheap data plans, forcing rivals to quit, merge, or go bankrupt as they went to the best mobile operator in the country. Ambani and Zuckerberg are now betting heavily on India as its billion-plus consumers are delighted and increasingly relying on their smartphones for everything from entertainment and grocery shopping to online money transfers.
Raking Up wins
The American social media company invested $ 5.7 billion in a 9.99 percent stake in Ambani’s digital company in April, which sparked a number of additional sales of shares. It also finally received approval to roll out this November to run its WhatsApp payment service in India after years of struggling to get approval.
Ambani expects India’s economy to more than double its rankings and per capita income to $ 5,000 as the country transforms into a digital powerhouse.
“I firmly believe that India will be one of the three largest economies in the world in the next two decades,” Ambani said at the same event. “But more importantly, it will be a leading digital society.”
For Facebook, there is no partner more capable than Ambani’s refinery-to-retail conglomerate to dominate this emerging but growing market.
“A big part of the reasons I was excited to partner with you is because there aren’t many people in the world who have gone industry for industry and revolutionized and improved it and continue to do so,” Zuckerberg said to Ambani.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)