Reliance Industries seeks shareholders’ approval to make major forays into the online retail space

Reliance Industries has sought shareholders' approval to make major forays into the online retail space to cash in on the boom in the country's ecommerce market that is expected to grow four-fold to almost $70 billion by 2019.

The Mukesh Ambani-run firm included a clause of "operating, establishing, providing and managing e-commerce and m-commerce websites, direct-to-home and mail order services for all categories of products and services, and dealing in all kinds of goods, materials and items in India or in any other part of the world" in a recent notice to its shareholders.

A Reliance Industries spokesman said the activities are closely related to the firm's initiatives in retailing and digital services which are being implemented through substantial subsidiaries "This will facilitate creation of value for Reliance shareholders by expanding the scope and breadth of offerings from these two businesses," he said.


The move is part of company Chairman Mukesh Ambani's wider strategy of placing its communications venture Reliance Jio Infocomm, which is set to launch its 4G mobile and data services this year, at the intersection of "telecom, web and digital commerce" as he mentioned at the company's annual general meeting last year. It comes at a time when ecommerce business is growing at a rapid pace in India, with players such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal luring Indian consumers by offering heavy discounts across products.

According to a joint report by Boston Consulting Group and Retailers Association of India, ecommerce market in the country is expected to quadruple to $60-70 billion, or about Rs 3,72,000-4,34,000 crore, over the next five years.

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