Reliance AGM: Full Text Of Mukesh Ambani’s Speech To Shareholders
Reliance Industries Ltd. Chairman Mukesh Ambani today took the spotlight for his address to shareholders at the 44th annual general meeting.
From updates on the Saudi Aramco deal, to the roadmap for a green transition and a new JioPhone, Ambani made a slew of announcements.
Here is the full text of his address to shareholders on business updates....
I am happy to report that even in a challenging environment, your company’s performance continued to be outstanding. Our consolidated revenue was nearly Rs 540,000 crore, with a sharp increase from our consumer businesses. Our consolidated Ebitda was nearly Rs 98,000 crore, and almost 50% of the Ebitda was contributed by consumer businesses.
One of these consumer businesses, retail, is only about a decade old. The other business, Jio, is only five years old. Our net profit for the year was Rs 53,739 crore, higher by 34.8% compared to the previous year. Despite the pandemic, we increased our dividends this year. Dear Friends, as India’s largest business enterprise, Reliance’s contribution to the Indian economy continues to remain unmatched. At Rs 1,45,143 crore ($ 19.9 billion), we continue to be India’s largest exporter accounting for 6.8% of India’s total merchandise exports across 107 countries. Even in this challenging environment, Reliance added nearly 75,000 new jobs in the past year.
We’re committed to creating and enabling large-scale employment opportunities, which is one of India’s most urgent national tasks. We continue to be India’s highest payer of customs and excise duty in the private sector with payments of Rs 21,044 crore. We are amongst the highest payers of GST and VAT at Rs 85,306 crore. We are amongst the highest payers of income tax in the private sector paying Rs 3,213 crore.
In FY 2021, Reliance successfully carried out the largest ever capital raise by any company globally in a year, notwithstanding the COVID challenges. The capital raises exceeded Rs 324,432 crore ($44.4 billion) through equity in Jio Platforms and retail, rights issue and asset monetization. The investors included some of the best and marquee names across the world; across sovereign wealth funds, and private equity.
This capital raise is a strong vote of confidence by global investors in India’s growth potential. It reflects their faith in the ability of your company’s management to execute ambitious projects and long-term value creation plans.
We also rewarded the shareholders with the largest and the most successful Rights Issue ever by an Indian company.I am really delighted that our retail shareholders have made 4x returns in just one year on their rights shares. All of these helped Reliance achieve a net debt-free balance sheet much ahead of March 2021, a promise I had made two years ago.
Let me now talk about the performance of the individual businesses. Jio Platforms is the leading digital company in India with leadership in wireless connectivity and unmatched suite of apps and platforms. The consolidated revenues in the past year were Rs 86,493 crore, with Ebitda of Rs 32,359 crore. We had a net addition of 37.9 million subscribers during the year. We now serve over 425 million consumers on our network. We have revenue market leadership in 19 out of 22 circles.
Reliance Retail continues to be the undisputed leader in organised retailing in the country, with scale that is more than 6 times the next competitor. Despite a challenging year, retail had revenue of Rs 153,818 crore, and Ebitda of Rs 9,842 crore. We are by far the leader in each category — grocery, electronics and apparel.
Our O2C business faced unprecedented challenges as the beginning of the year was marked by severe economic contraction, leading to demand destruction and supply chain dislocations. We focussed on safe operations of all our facilities. We were probably the only company globally that operated its facilities at near full capacity and was profitable in every quarter. Our consolidated revenues during the year were Rs 320,008 crore, with Ebitda of Rs 38,170 crore. We managed to maintain Ebitda margin at 11.9% despite volatility in both feedstock and product prices.
We operationalised the JV with BP Plc. in fuel retailing, using technology and innovation to deliver new customer value. The demand and margin environment for petrochemicals had recovered to pre-Covid levels by March. I am confident that our O2C business will benefit from the strong global growth environment.
As an important part of this vision of achieving accelerated growth, we look forward to welcoming Saudi Aramco as a strategic partner in our O2C business. Despite several challenges due to Covid-19, we have made substantial progress in the past year in our discussions.
These discussions have been held in the spirit of mutual commitment to convert our long-standing relationship into a perpetual partnership. This continued engagement and resolve from both sides, even during this pandemic, is a testimony of strong relationship between Saudi Aramco and Reliance. I expect our partnership to be formalised in an expeditious manner during this year, after obtaining required regulatory clearances.
In our E&P business, BP and Reliance commenced production in KG-D6 basin. Our JV brought two of our three toughest deep water gas projects to production. This has been accomplished in record time and set a new global benchmark for capital costs. We are now on course to bring the third Deepwater MJ field onstream in the last quarter of 2022. Together we will produce 30 MMSCMD gas production by 2023. This will establish Reliance again as one of the largest producers of gas in India, meeting 20% of India's gas demand. E&P will again be a source of significant value and sustained earnings growth over the next decade
Today I am happy to inform you about a change in the Board of Reliance Industries Limited. Shri YP Trivedi has expressed his desire to retire from the Board. It is my duty to place on record our sincerest thanks to Trivediji. He joined our Board at the request of our Founder Dhirubhai Ambani in 1992.
On behalf of the entire Board and the shareholders, I would like to thank him from the bottom of all our hearts for his wise counsel and sage advice for nearly 30 years. Respected Trivediji, we wish you continued good health and happiness. You are now 92 years young. May God bless you to become a “Shatayushi”—a centurion.
I am delighted to welcome HE Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Saudi Aramco and governor of the Public Investment Fund, to join the Board of Reliance Industries Limited as an independent director. He is one of the most renowned names in energy and finance globally. I am sure that we will immensely benefit from his rich experience with one of the world's largest companies, and also one of the largest Sovereign Wealth Funds in the world. His joining our Board is also the beginning of internationalisation of Reliance. You will hear more about our international plans in the times to come.
Last year I had shared with you our vision to create the next big value creation engine for Reliance and India—our new energy and new materials business. I had also announced our 15-year commitment to become net carbon zero by 2035. Today I am happy to present to you our ambitious strategy and roadmap for implementing this vision.
The world is entering a new energy era, which is going to be highly disruptive. The age of fossil fuels, which powered economic growth globally for nearly three centuries, cannot continue much longer. The huge quantities of carbon it has emitted into the environment have endangered life on Earth. Our world has only one option: rapid transition to a new era of green, clean and renewable energy. The Covid-19 pandemic has further put the climate issue in the crisis bucket. Therefore, the global new energy agenda needs to move from dialogue to action, from commitment to urgent implementation on the ground.
In reality, it is not enough to be carbon neutral; the world needs to achieve absolute reductions in emissions as soon as possible. Last month, the International Energy Agency for the first time presented a concrete global roadmap for the energy sector to remove all emissions by 2050. The roadmap calls for annual additions of solar photovoltaic to increase global solar capacity from 737 GW in 2020 to about 5,000 GW by the end of 2030. While this clean energy transition is a global imperative, it is important for India and other developing nations for another reason.
India is experiencing an explosion of aspirations India’s GDP per capita is around $2,000 while the world average is around $12,000. India’s power consumption per capita at present is only one third of global consumption. This Wealth Disparity and Energy Disparity is unacceptable. Furthermore, the health, well-being and quality of life of every human being is in peril because of the polluted environment. The only answer to these problems lies in sustainable and equitable development in India and globally.
How do we increase our energy production while drastically reducing our carbon emission content? How do we meet India's growing energy needs through domestic sources of energy, and not by importing carbon intensive fuels? How do we do so in a self-reliant and affordable way which benefits 1.35 billion Indians? These are the challenges that we face. I firmly believe that India can, India must, and India will meet these challenges.
Today I would like to make three affirmations.
First: As one of the biggest energy markets in the world, India will play a leading role in transforming the global energy landscape.
Second: As a company always focused on growing businesses of the future, Reliance will provide leadership on the combined strength of our balance-sheet, talent, technology and proven project execution capabilities.
Third: Reliance will make its New Energy business a truly global business. In 2016, we launched Jio with the aim of bridging the Digital Divide in India. Now, in 2021, we are launching our new energy business with the aim of bridging the green energy divide in India and globally. And we will do it — like we have always done — by getting our First Principles right.
First through Hyper-Integration: By integrating scientific knowledge with continuous technological innovation to build and operate truly integrated systems that deliver hyper-performance;
Second with a Robust business model: By building a model that catches the irreversible upward curve in the demand for green, clean and renewable energy in India and globally; and the downward curve in the cost of their production;
Third by Scale: By improving the efficiency, performance and life-cycle of our assets and operations to achieve total system optimisation and economics.
I have no doubt that world-class talent will be the most critical resource for this new business. We have begun the process of attracting the best talent from across the world and put into place various key initiatives.
We have established the Reliance New Energy Council with some of the finest minds, globally. They will help us validate our strategies and embrace disruptive pathways to achieve our goals.
We are creating a coalition of partnerships with leading global universities, best technology companies and most promising start-ups in America, Europe, Australia and Asia. In addition, we shall leverage our existing strengths and capabilities in digitisation platforms and large-scale manufacturing.
I am happy to inform you that we have started work on developing the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex on 5,000 acres in Jamnagar. It will be amongst the largest such integrated renewable energy manufacturing facilities in the world. Jamnagar was the cradle of our old energy business. Jamnagar will also be the cradle of our new energy business.
Allow me to take you through our three-part plan. The first part of our plan is to build four giga factories. These will manufacture and fully integrate all the critical components of the new energy ecosystem. One, for the production of solar energy — we will build an integrated solar photovoltaic module factory. Two, for the storage of intermittent energy—we will build an advanced energy storage battery factory. Three, for the production of green hydrogen—we’ll build an electrolyser factory. Four, for converting hydrogen into motive and stationary power – we will build a fuel cell factory.
Over the next 3 years we will invest over 60,000 crore rupees in these initiatives. Reliance will thus create and offer a fully integrated, end-to-end renewables energy ecosystem.
Allow me to explain each of these facilities in some more detail. Our first Integrated Solar Photovoltaic Giga Factory will create solar energy. We will start with raw silica and convert this to poly silicon which we will then convert to ingot and wafers. These wafers would be used to make high efficiency solar cells and finally assembled into solar modules of highest quality and durability. We will target to achieve costs that are lowest in the world to ensure affordability of our solar modules. We are highly inspired by the goal set by our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji for India to achieve 450GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. Out of this, I am pleased to announce today, that Reliance will establish and enable at least 100GW of solar energy by 2030.
A significant part of this will come from rooftop solar and decentralised solar installations in villages. These will bring enormous benefits and prosperity to rural India. Solar energy is available only during the day, while power is needed round the clock. Therefore, storage is an important piece of the puzzle to solve. For this, we will launch our second initiative — an Advanced Energy Storage Giga Factory. We are exploring new and advanced electro chemical technologies that can be used for such large-scale grid batteries to store the energy that we will create. We will collaborate with global leaders in battery technology to achieve the highest reliability for round-the-clock power availability through a combination of generation, storage, and grid connectivity.
Besides Electricity, Green Hydrogen will be a unique energy vector that can enable deep decarbonization of many sectors such as transportation, industry and power. One of the most common methods of generating Green Hydrogen is by electrolysis of pure water through Electrolysers.
This brings me to our third initiative — an Electrolyser Giga Factory to manufacture modular electrolysers of highest efficiency and lowest capital cost. These can be used for captive production of green hydrogen for domestic use as well as for global sale. And, finally, our fourth initiative will be the Fuel Cell Giga Factory. A Fuel Cell uses Oxygen from the air and Hydrogen, to generate electricity. The only emission of this process is non-polluting water vapour. In the new era, Fuel Cells will progressively replace internal combustion engines. Fuel Cell engines can power automobiles, trucks and buses. They can also be used in stationary applications for powering data centres, telecom towers, emergency generators and micro grids and industrial equipment.
This brings me to the second part of our plan – providing infrastructure and materials to support the four Giga factories. Our Jamnagar complex will provide infrastructure and utilities to manufacture ancillary material and equipment needed to support these Giga factories so that all critical materials are available in time. We will also support independent manufacturers with right capabilities to be part of this nationwide ecosystem.
We will invest an additional Rs 15,000 crore in value chain, partnerships and future technologies, including upstream and downstream industries. Thus, our overall initial investment from our own internal resources in the New Energy business will be Rs 75,000 (over $10 billion) crore in 3 years.
Now let me take you through the third part of our plan: Over the years, Reliance has developed significant engineering, project management and construction capabilities combining physical and digital technologies. We will repurpose these capabilities, along with major international organisations to execute and deliver world class, renewable energy solutions.
We will build two additional divisions to further strengthen this ecosystem. First, a dedicated Renewable Energy Project Management and Construction Division. Second, a dedicated Renewable Energy Project Finance Division. The Renewable Energy Project Management and Construction Division will provide gigawatt scale end-to-end solutions for large renewable plants across the world. It will enable and partner with thousands of Green MSME Entrepreneurs, who can deploy kilowatt to megawatt scale solutions in agriculture, industry, residences and transportation. The Renewable Energy Project Finance Division will provide finance solutions to the stakeholders in our ecosystem.
We will achieve our goals by enabling a platform to source long-term global capital for these investments at the most attractive terms. We will seek support from our relationship banks and global green funds for this purpose. Simultaneously, we will also facilitate a platform to provide financing for the entire ecosystem of small businesses and entrepreneurs who invest alongside with us. All of these three parts together constitute our architecture for India's decentralised Green Economy. Over a period of time, it will generate millions of new and high-value job opportunities for our youth.
With these new initiatives, Reliance will put Gujarat and India on world solar and hydrogen map. All our products will proudly proclaim: Made in India, by India, for India and for the world! This will be Reliance's yet another big contribution to our Prime Minister's clarion call of Atmanirbhar Bharat. I am certain that India will present to the world a template of a Green Economy Movement, which will truly be a People's Movement. Solar power is the primary source of energy for our Planet Earth. 'Soorya Dev' has blessed India with almost limitless sunlight.
I envision a future when our country will be transformed from a large Importer of Fossil Energy to a large Exporter of Clean Solar Energy solutions.
Reliance is also evolving a vision for NEW MATERIALS and GREEN CHEMICALS. We will kickstart this by 10 strategically investing in India's first world-scale CARBON FIBER plant for supporting our hydrogen and solar ecosystems. You will hear more about this in the months to come. Our new Green Vision also has immense benefits for our existing O2C business.
Allow me to take you through these: First, we will use solar energy on an economically attractive basis to decarbonise our existing O2C business and accelerate our journey to become net carbon zero. Second, we will use Green Hydrogen and CO as raw materials to develop a road map for new Green Chemicals, 2 Green Fertilizer and e-fuels. Third, we will commercialise with global partners our own world-beating proprietary Multi-zone Catalytic Cracking (MCC) Technology to optimise the fossil fuel transition to sustainable chemical and material building blocks. Thus, we will transform our legacy business into sustainable, circular and net zero carbon materials business. One that will provide growing returns over several decades. And we will do this by repurposing our existing assets to extend their economic life and earning capacity. In doing so we will have no legacy asset write-downs in the coming years.
This twin execution plan of building a New Energy and materials ecosystem and decarbonising and repurposing our existing O2C business is a multi-decade growth path for our company. It has the potential to create unprecedented value for India and for Reliance in the coming years.
New Energy and New Materials are not merely another business for us.It is our mission to heal the environment. It is an expression of Reliance's commitment that WE CARE for our beautiful and bountiful planet. By implementing our Green Vision, Reliance will help transition India and the World from an Industrial Civilisation to an Ecological Civilisation. We are repaying our debt of gratitude to Mother Nature.
Let me tell you, in all humility, that New Energy is the most exciting, most challenging and most purpose-driven mission I will be pursuing in my life. I seek your blessings and support for success in this mission.
Let me now turn to JIO, our digital services initiative. In spite of COVID, JIO sustained its track record of robust performance. JIO became the first operator outside China to cross 400 million mobile subscribers in a single country. We are truly grateful to all our valued customers. Thanks to them, JIO is today the world's second largest mobile data carrier handling monthly traffic of over 630 crore GIGABYTES. This is nearly 45% growth in data consumption in the last year alone, a testament to the rapid pace at which India is digitizing.
More significantly, JIO continued to be the digital lifeline binding Indians together despite social distancing, lockdowns and working-from-home. During the past year, we also made the necessary capital investments to further strengthen our market position and growth. During recent spectrum auctions, we invested Rs 57,123 crore to acquire significant additional spectrum, making JIO the largest operator of 4G spectrum in India. And we have operationalized nearly 100% of this additional spectrum. When combined with another Rs 15,183 crore we invested in further expanding our network infrastructure, JIO has raised the bar even higher for service quality and JIO's leadership is evident across India along all key metrics like indoor coverage, download speeds and video experience.
More importantly these investments have also created the capacity to on-board an additional 200 million customers on JIO's network thereby bringing digital empowerment to even more Indians. Friends, JIO has truly democratized digital connectivity in India by offering the highest quality, most affordable 4G broadband services in the world. Even so, India still has nearly 300 million mobile users who are unable to escape from inefficient and exorbitant 2G services because even a basic 4G smartphone remains unaffordable for these users.
Therefore, an ultra-affordable 4G smartphone is essential to make India “2G-mukt”. Last year, Sundar and I had talked about Google and JIO co-developing a next-generation, feature-rich, but extremely affordable smartphone, aimed at providing first-time internet access for 2G users.
Today, I am pleased to announce that Google and JIO teams have jointly developed a truly breakthrough Smartphone, that we are calling JIOPHONE Next. JIOPHONE Next is a fully featured smartphone, supporting the entire suite of applications from both Google and Jio, as well as the Android Play Store through which users will have access to the entire universe of Android Apps.
JIOPHONE Next is powered by an extremely optimised version of the Android Operating System, that has been jointly developed by JIO and Google, especially for the Indian market. While being ultra-affordable, JIOPHONE Next is packed with cutting-edge features like the voice assistant, automatic read-aloud of screen text, language translation, smart camera with augmented reality filters and much more.
This is a testimony to a global technology giant and a national technology champion working jointly to make a breakthrough product, that can be first introduced in India and then taken to the rest of the world. th JIOPHONE Next will be available in the market from the auspicious date of Ganesh Chaturthi, 10 September this year, And as you have come to expect from Jio, it is my promise that JIOPHONE Next will be by far, amongst the most affordable smartphone not just in India, but globally.
As Sundar mentioned, Cloud and Cloud solutions, is another area where we are collaborating with Google. JIO will use Google Cloud's cutting-edge technologies to power JIO's 5G Solutions and for powering the internal needs of key Reliance growth businesses like Reliance Retail, JioMart, JioSaavn and JioHealth.
We have also made significant progress in the collaborations that we announced last year. Let me start with FACEBOOK - We have launched an initial set of integrations between WhatsApp and JioMart on a trial basis and the response from WhatsApp and JioMart customers is encouraging along with lots of valuable feedback. Our joint teams are actively developing the full New Commerce solution linking merchants and consumers, and we plan to progressively launch these over the next few quarters. With MICROSOFT - We have operationalized an initial 10 MW capacity of JIO-AZURE Cloud Data centres in two cities, Jamnagar and Nagpur. We are currently onboarding the initial group of pilot customers and we plan to expand our data centre capacity and our offerings to a growing number of SMEs and start-ups over the coming quarters. We are indeed privileged to have partners like Facebook, Google and Microsoft, in whose company, our efforts to create a DIGITAL SOCIETYin India seems that much easier.
Across the world, the past 15 months have been challenging for on-the-ground physical work. JIOFIBER, JIO's optical fiber-based, gigabit speed, fixed broadband services has also faced similar challenges. The pace of Optical fiber deployment, building-connectivity and home-installations have all been slower than expected because of lockdowns and other restrictions across our country. Despite this, I am glad to announce that JIOFIBER has acquired more than 2 million new premises over the past year, following all safety protocols for our customers and employees. Now, with a cumulative base of 3 million active home and business users, JIOFIBER has become the largest and the fastest growing fixed broadband operator in India. Data consumption on JIOFIBER has grown to more than 3.5 times compared to a year ago. Today, JIO's optical-fiber network is physically present outside more than 12 million homes and business premises, with a deep fiber footprint in the top 100 cities. I continue to be confident of a rapid uptake of JIOFIBER services and revenue growth for JIO as India recovers from COVID.
I announced last year that JIO's engineers have developed a 100% home-grown and comprehensive 5G solution which is fully cloud native, software defined, and digitally managed. Jio has taken tremendous strides in maturing this state-of-the-art Standalone 5G technology, which signifies a quantum leap to the next frontier of wireless broadband.
Together with our partners, we have tested the JIO 5G solutions in India and we successfully demonstrated speeds well in excess of 1 GBPS. Our 'Made in India' solution is comprehensive, complete and globally competitive. It reaffirms my faith in the abundant talent of Indian engineers to deliver world class products in such a cutting-edge technology. Recently, we received the necessary regulatory approvals... as well as trial spectrum for initiating 5G field-trials.
As I speak to you, the entire 5G Standalone Network has been installed in our data centres across the nation and also at our trial sites in Navi Mumbai. We are confident of being the first to launch full-fledged 5G services. And because of our converged, future-proof architecture JIO's network is uniquely positioned to quickly and seamlessly upgrade from 4G to 5G. To develop the end-to-end 5G ecosystem we are now working with leading global partners to develop a full range of 5G-capable devices.
The Jio 5G technology is well positioned to create compelling applications for consumers and enterprises spanning Healthcare, Education, Entertainment, Retail and other key verticals of the economy. One exciting 5G-enabled solution that JIO is developing with Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital is a state-of-theart Connected Ambulance. With real-time, high-fidelity Telemedicine and remote doctor access, each Connected Ambulance can become a virtual extension of a hospital emergency room even while on the move.
We are developing with Reliance Foundation schools to use 5G to deliver immersive and interactive AR/ VR content to students and classrooms making the learning process a delightful, memorable and enriching experience. We hope that such showcases will catalyse the emergence of a vibrant, local 5G ecosystem making India a global hub for 5G development and export. So JIO is not just working to make India 2G-MUKT… but also 5G-YUKT. And, once JIO's 5G solution is proven at India-scale, we are excited by the prospect of exporting JIO 5G solutions to other telecom operators across the world.
JIO has developed deep expertise in multiple emerging technologies like 5G, AI/ML and blockchain and Mixed Reality. We are developing 100% owned Intellectual Property… We have access to deep domain knowledge and operational experience within the Reliance Group across key Industry verticals. We have a passionate and talented team… and world-class partners and we have the opportunity to serve a global audience. In all, JIO PLATFORMS is blossoming into a global technology player… capable of creating multifold societal, customer and shareholder value for years to come.
Now let me talk about Reliance Retail. This past year was the true test for our business. Despite challenging and restrictive operating conditions, Reliance Retail continued to deliver industry leading returns. We added 1,500 new stores, which is amongst the largest retail expansion undertaken by any retailer during this period, taking our store count to 12,711. We continue to maintain and strengthen our leadership position. Today one in every eight Indians shops with Reliance Retail.
My Dear Shareholders,
Let me present some of the highlights for this year: Our apparel business sold nearly five lakh units per day and over 18 crore units during the year. This is equivalent to dressing the entire population of UK, Germany and Spain once. Ajio has emerged as one of the leading digital commerce platforms for fashion and lifestyle with a portfolio of over 2,000 labels and brands and listing of over 5 lakh options. Driven by innovation, Ajio now contributes to over 25% of our apparel business.
We further consolidated our position in consumer electronics and sold 4.5 crore units of electronics last year which translates to over 120,000 units per day. Our Omni commerce capabilities allow us to deliver an unparalleled service proposition across 1,300 cities. As India's largest grocery retailer, Reliance Retail sold over a billion units of groceries or about 30 lakh units per day.
Our grocery staff operated on the frontlines of crisis ensuring availability of essential products to our customers and kirana partners. JioMart registered over 6.5 lakh peak orders in a single day. JioMart's growth is a testament to its already loyal customer base, 80% of whom are repeat shoppers. JioMart New commerce's aim is to transform and grow the small merchant ecosystem, so our merchant partners prosper.
Over the past year, over 3 lakh merchant or shop keeper partners across 150 cities were enabled and empowered to transform their businesses both physically and digitally. Our promise to them is simple: 'Customer Apka, Support Hamara' — We support you, so that you can serve your customers better’ A testament to our promise is that we have seen a 3x growth in kirana orders and 2x growth in order frequency. Expansion across cities is well underway and we will onboard over One Crore merchant partners over the next three years. This will trigger a socio-economic transformation on an extraordinary scale in India, especially when coupled with our mission of employment generation.
Even in these challenging times, I am personally proud to report to you that Reliance Retail has not only protected jobs, but also created over 65,000 new jobs. Reliance Retail currently employs over 2 lakh people making us one of the largest employers in the country. Over the next three years, we shall further create employment for over ten lakh people and enable the livelihoods for many more. Growth in the retail sector will usher growth across the value chain — from raw material producers to large and small manufacturers, from logistics service providers to merchants, to Consumers.
In order to expand this circle of shared prosperity, we will be focussing on the following five key initiatives: First, we will further invest in our research, design and product development capabilities. In the next year we will set up design, research, technology and innovation centres in key areas globally and nationally to develop differentiated offerings for our diverse customer groups.
Second, we will further strengthen our sourcing ecosystem working closely with producers, MSMEs, service providers, local and international brand companies. We will make them our partners in the journey of value creation that our New Commerce model seeks to unlock.
Third, we are investing in building state-of-the-art supply chain infrastructure across India by linking all major sourcing and consumption locations. This will maximise efficiencies and minimise losses in the supply chain, so that we can share the gains with both consumers and producers. An automated, modular, reliable and scalable warehousing and logistics ecosystem will enable us to deliver products anywhere across the country in the shortest possible time.
Fourth, we will focus on expanding our store footprint multi-fold this year with co-located delivery hubs over the next few years. They will provide a strong network to reach and serve millions of merchants and customers. And fifth, we will continue acquiring businesses to heighten our offering and experience to customers, sharpen our omni-channel capabilities, drive operating efficiencies and strengthen our talent pool. Recent acquisitions include leading physical/digital commerce platforms like Netmeds, Urban Ladder and Zivame.
Reliance Retail continues to be amongst the fastest growing retailers in the world. We are committed to grow our business so that we are among the top 10 retailers globally. I am confident that Reliance Retail is on a hyper growth trajectory to grow at least 3x in the next 3-5 years.
Network18 successfully overcame the logistical and business challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the pandemic, our journalists continue to venture out into the field every day so that viewers and readers get relevant information from inside the safety of their homes. Our entertainment flagship brand, Colors, was the first to resume fresh programming after the first wave of lockdowns, being true to its mission of keeping India entertained with wholesome and creative fare.
I now will like to present our Value Creation roadmap. Your company has a proven track record of creating maximum societal value and maximum shareholder value through our business operations as well as philanthropic initiatives. The year has proved, beyond doubt, the resilience of our businesses and our ability to continuously innovate to create value even in adverse conditions.
You are well aware of Reliance's epic journey — from being a small textile company that had its IPO less than 50 years ago to joining the ranks of 50 most valuable companies in the world. Reliance is probably the only large company in the world that has successfully transformed itself from being a traditional industrial business into an enterprise that now includes two mega-scale consumer and technology businesses. Both Jio and Retail are at the beginning of their journey. Yet, both have an embedded culture of continuous value creation. Both have also brought immense benefits to hundreds of millions of consumers by mastering the power of revolutionary new technologies.
Our O2C business combined with our new energy and materials plan will usher in a new era of exponential growth. In the last 10 years, Reliance invested over USD 90 billion in creating substantial wealth for the nation and value for the shareholders. In the coming decade, Reliance has the capacity to catalyse investments of over USD 200 billion directly and through partners. These investments will create value on an exponential scale. They will based on our disciplined capital allocation approach, preference for pursuing asset light strategies and emphasis on superior investment grade ratings. These investments will also create over 10 lakh new employment opportunities, besides fostering thousands of small and medium enterprises across the country. I assure you that your Company will consistently increase payout to its shareholders as our earnings continue to grow.
I am confident that Reliance's multiple investment and business announcements today will help in kick-starting growth in the Indian economy. I believe speedy recovery in the post-COVID period is beyond any doubt. But beyond recovery, there will be rapid resurgence. I have no doubt that India is destined to emerge as one of the top three economies in the world. And as your company in its Golden Decade transforms itself as New Reliance, it is destined to play a proud role in the emergence of a New India.
My Most Esteemed Shareholders,
My father Dhirubhai founded Reliance on the principles of investing in future technologies, investing in Indian talent, and investing in India's growth opportunity. I have continued the tradition of following his evergreen principles while growing Reliance as a world-class enterprise. As Reliance climbs new summits of success in its onward journey, it will also cross new milestones in being a CARING and EMPATHETIC CORPORATE CITIZEN. But believe me: The Best of Reliance is yet to come! I have no doubt whatsoever that the next generation of leaders at Reliance, led by Isha, Akash and Anant, will further enrich this precious legacy.
We are meeting at a time when the second wave of the Covid pandemic is fast receding. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Central Government and all the State Governments, along with civil society organisations and corporates, have co-ordinated a massive effort in this fight.
But as a company, as a country, as mankind — and each one of us as individuals — we have learnt an important lesson. We must be far better prepared to face such crises in future and never let our guard down. To achieve this, the most essential resource we need — which is also the most useful resource — is a POSITIVE MINDSET.
In trying times like these, POSITIVITY acts like a highly effective medicine. It works wonders for individuals, families and for the society. Despair weakens us. Determination strengthens us. Negativity numbs us with pessimism and inaction. Positivity provides us with hope and confidence. Our ancient civilisation has survived many crises in its long history. Because our forefathers had UNLIMITED POSITIVITYand SELF-BELIEF. My father, Dhirubhai Ambani, used to say, “Challenge negative forces with hope, self-confidence and conviction, and the ambition and initiative will ultimately triumph.”
I have absolutely no doubt that India will conquer the COVID crisis — sooner rather than later. Post COVID, India will emerge stronger. It will be a Better India, a Resurgent India, a more Equal India, and a far more Self-Confident India. I foresee that the Indian economy will bounce back at a rate that will surprise the world. And prosperity and opportunities will be created for all on a scale never seen before. Not for a few, but for all 1.35 billion Indians. Indeed, I see the global economy resetting itself in ways that will create a more EQUAL WORLD. May God forever guide us along this path.
I would like to thank the Central and State Governments, shareholders, investors, lenders, suppliers and customers for their consistent and resolute support.
I thank all my colleagues on the Board for their oversight in this crucial phase of our growth, their support and immense encouragement. I have special words to acknowledge the collective efforts of the entire Reliance team, working tirelessly to create and sustain a world-class enterprise.