Reliance Industries Ltd., during the 45th annual general meeting of the conglomerate on Monday, announced that customers will now be able to buy household items and groceries from the Meta-owned WhatsApp platform via its JioMart tool. JioMart is touted to be the first-ever end-to-end shopping experience where consumers will be able to shop from JioMart via WhatsApp chat.
The JioMart launch is part of a strategic partnership between Meta and Jio Platforms. Meta had invested almost ₹43,574 crore in RIL's wholly-owned subsidiary Jio Platforms Limited in April 2020 for a 9.99% stake in the company. It was the largest foreign direct investment for a minority investment in India.
Reliance says the new tool will enable users in India, including those who have never shopped online before, to seamlessly browse through JioMart’s entire grocery catalogue, add items to the cart, and make the payment. All this could be done without leaving the WhatsApp chat.
On this partnership, Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO, Meta, says it's the company's first-ever end-to-end shopping experience on WhatsApp. "Business messaging is an area with real momentum and chat-based experiences like this will be the go-to way people and businesses communicate in the years to come."
During the company's AGM, RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani says the company aims to propel India as the world’s leading digital society. "When Jio platforms and Meta announced our partnership in 2020, Mark and I shared a vision of bringing more people and businesses online and creating truly innovative solutions that will add convenience to the daily lives of every Indian."
Reliance Retail chairman Isha Ambani says the WhatsApp-JioMart partnership will allow customers to have an entire shopping experience within WhatsApp itself. "You can simply say 'Hi' to the JioMart smart bot in WhatsApp, and JioMart will send you a link to get started. Immediately, we are transported from the usual chat interface of WhatsApp to a more engaging and visually rich shopping experience. From here, you can browse the entire JioMart catalogue."
Notably, consumers can start shopping on JioMart via WhatsApp by sending ‘Hi’ to the JioMart number (+917977079770) on WhatsApp.
Isha Ambani also said that Reliance Retail will enter the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) space this year. She says that by opening a new FMCG business, the company wants to develop and deliver high-quality and affordable products to solve customers' needs.
During the AGM, Mukesh Ambani said the oil-to-telecom conglomerate plans to roll out its much-anticipated 5G service across the country by December 2023. “By December 2023, we will deliver Jio 5G to blanket 3.37 million square kilometres of India’s landmass,” Ambani says, adding that to build a pan-India 5G network, the company has committed an investment of ₹2 lakh crore.
Besides, Ambani also said that RIL will be setting up a Giga Factory for photovoltaic panels, energy storage, green hydrogen and for fuel cell systems.