By: Bloomberg |

Published: April 26, 2020 4:14:03 pm


Facebook-Jio deal, Reliance, whatsapp, Reliance Jio, Reliance Facebook deal, Mukesh Ambani, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Indian Express Reliance-Facebook collaboration looks at new areas, e-tail could be first (Image: Jio.com)

Reliance Industries Ltd started testing its online shopping portal three days after Facebook Inc said it will invest $5.7 billion in digital assets controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani.

JioMart, an e-commerce venture of Reliance Retail, went live in three neighborhoods surrounding Mumbai, leveraging a deal that gives it access to WhatsApp’s 400 million users in India currently under the world’s most expansive lockdown.

The starting of the portal takes Asia’s richest man a step closer to his goal of setting up a digital platform to take on Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart Online Services Pvt. for a slice of India’s e-commerce market that KPMG says is set to grow to $200 billion by 2027. Facebook hopes a partnership with JioMart will help make WhatsApp the primary way small businesses connect with customers.

Also Read: Reliance-Facebook collaboration looks at new areas, JioMart all set for WhatsApp push

“The roll out is happening during the toughest of times considering the supply chain constraints,” said Vikraman P.N., founder of Finnoviti Consulting Pvt. “But Reliance will spread the pilot run in various states following its deal with Facebook. And WhatsApp will play a critical role in JioMart’s expansion.”

Also Read: What is JioMart? 

Customers need to add JioMart’s WhatsApp number 8850008000 on their phones. JioMart provides a link to place the order. Once the order is placed, it is shared with a grocery store on WhatsApp. The customer is notified with the order and the store details on his number, according to JioMartLite’s website.

A Reliance spokesperson declined to comment.

Also Read: Boost for small sellers, beyond chats on WhatsApp: What Facebook-Jio deal could mean for India

In a statement delivered by video on April 22, Ambani said the tie-up with WhatsApp will help almost 30 million Indian mom-and-pop store owners to take digital payments from customers in their neighborhoods.

“This means all of you can order and get faster delivery of day-to-day items from nearby local shops,” he said.

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