Mukesh Ambani, billionaire and chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd., speaks during a panel session at the World Economic Forum in Davos. (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)  

Mukesh Ambani Plans To Invest Over Rs 10,000 Crore In West Bengal

India’s richest man announced an over Rs 10,000-crore investment in West Bengal for expanding his firm’s telecom network and towards a new e-commerce venture.

Mukesh Ambani, who heads India’s biggest private sector company Reliance Industries Ltd., said his firm’s investment in West Bengal has grown from Rs 4,500 crore in 2016 to Rs 28,000 crore. “This accounts for about one-tenth of our total investments in India so far,” he said. “Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. has become the largest investor in the digital space in the state,” Ambani said at the Bengal Global Business Summit. “Now, we have firmed up our plan for a further investment of over Rs 10,000 crore.”

Fresh investments would be in extending Reliance Jio’s high-speed 4G network coverage to entire state within 2019, connecting homes with fibre to carry high-speed internet and HD quality broadcasting and in-logistics hub.

“West Bengal is poised to become the logistics hub of the east, with plans to attract investments of Rs 5,000 crore by 2020,” he said. “We at Reliance operate nearly 3 million square feet of warehouses in Bengal and with our new commerce initiative, this will increase manifold in the next 24 months.”

Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail will shortly launch a unique new commerce platform, which will bring win-win benefits to consumers, retailers, and producers, he said without elaborating. “Across the country, this platform will enrich and empower as many as 3 crore small shopkeepers.”

Ambani said India in 2019 is all set to become the world’s fifth-largest economy, overtaking the U.K. “We are ahead of all countries except the U.S., China, Japan, and Germany,” he said. “In about a decade, India will become the third-largest economy with a GDP of over $10 trillion which is about four times the size of our economy today.”

In two decades, India will become the second-largest economy in the world, he said expressing confidence that the country can even overtake China to become the world’s No. 1 economic power by 2047.

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