3x growth in 5 years, 1 mn jobs: Mukesh Ambani’s blueprint for retail biz

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries (RIL), will set up more stores, sharpen omnichannel capabilities, acquire new businesses as he looks to scale up operations of his retail division, the largest organised player in the country.

Addressing shareholders at the company’s 44th annual general meeting on Thursday, Ambani, 64, said Reliance Retail was on a “hyper-growth trajectory”. It would grow at least “3x in three to five years”, providing 1 million jobs to people in the near future.

Ambani also outlined a five-point agenda for the division as it sought to be amongst the top 10 global retailers in the next few years.

“Reliance Retail continues to be among the fastest-growing retailers in the world. To expthe circle of shared prosperity, we will be focusing on five key initiatives, including research, design product development capabilities, sourcing ecosystem, supply-chain infrastructure, expanding store footprint multi-fold, acquiring businesses,” he said of the division’s future road map.

The RIL chairman, however, chose to steer clear of announcing any listing plans for Reliance Retail, whose 2020-21 (FY21) turnover stood at Rs 1.53 trillion – over 6x the nearest competitor in retail.

Reliance Retail had added 1,500 stores in FY21 had taken its total store count for the year to 12,711 outlets across multiple formats, including grocery, electronics, apparel.

The division’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation (Ebitda) stood at Rs 9,842 crore in FY21, with Ambani indicating that retail Jio were together contributing to half of RIL’s total Ebitda of Rs 98,000 crore for the year.

“RIL’s apparel business sold nearly 500,000 units per day over 180 million units during the year. This is equivalent to dressing up the entire population of the UK, Germany, Spain once,” said Ambani.

Ajio, the online fashion lifestyle platform of Reliance Retail, had emerged as one of the leading digital commerce destinations with a portfolio of over 2,000 brands, Ambani said.

“Driven by innovation, Ajio now contributes to over 25 per cent of our apparel business,” he added.

“We further consolidated our position in consumer electronics sold 45 million units of electronics last year (FY21), which translates into over 120,000 units per day,” he added.

As India’s largest grocery retailer, Reliance Retail sold over a billion units of groceries, or about 3 million units per day.

JioMart, the new commerce platform launched in May last year by the company, had registered over 650,000 peak orders in a single day, said Ambani.

Since its launch, over 300,000 merchants or shopkeeper partners across 150 cities were onboarded on JioMart. The plan is to increase the number to over 10 million in the next three years.

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