RIL’s Jio moves to shake up India’s retail market in partnership with kirana stores

INTO INDIA wrote recently about Facebook investing in Jio, the Reliance Industries (RIL) internet and  telecoms arm.

Now they have announced a move which could long term shake up the retail space in India.

It seems that forever retail in India has been dominated by “mom and pop” local stores which are known as “kirana stores”. Most retail changes so far have been in competition with these stores.


But kirana stores have a firm grip on the Indian shopping psyche.

So now comes news that RIL has started home delivery of essentials in partnership with local kirana stores in Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan. These services are available under JioMart, an e-commerce venture of Reliance Retail, an RIL subsidiary.


This innovation uses WhatsApp (owned by Facebook), which has more than 400 million users in India. If it goes well, the scheme will be extended to other Indian cities.


Bank of America reports that RIL could digitise 5 million stores by 2023. Kirana stores are keen to go digital, driven in a big way by GST compliance.

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of RIL, is moving fast to change from a petrochemical giant to a mixed business including strong telecom and retail capacity.


Author: Stephen Manallack

Former President, Australia India Business Council, Victoria and Author, You Can Communicate; Riding the Elephant; Soft Skills for a Flat World (published by Tata McGraw-Hill INDIA); Communicating Your Personal Brand. Director, EastWest Academy Pty Ltd and Trainer/Speaker/Mentor in Leadership, Communication and Cross Cultural Communication. Passionate campaigner for closer western relations with India. Stephen Manallack is a specialist on “Doing Business with India” and advisor/trainer on “Cross-Cultural Understanding”. He is a Director of EastWest Academy Pty Ltd which provides strategic advice and counsel regarding business relations with India. A regular speaker in India on leadership and global communication, his most recent speaking tour included a speech to students of the elite Indian university, Amity University, in Noida. He also spoke at a major Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) global summit, the PR Consultants Association of India in Delhi, the Symbiosis University in Pune and Cross-Cultural Training for Sundaram Business Services in Chennai. He has visited India on business missions on 10 occasions and led three major trade missions there. He provides cross-cultural training – Asia and the west.

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