Jio going global

It has been more than 2 years since Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio disrupted India’s telecom market and now the 4G titan is planning for an overseas expansion, starting from Estonia, in Northern Europe. Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings, which is also a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), is supposed to give a loan of Rs 12.20 Crore to Reliance Jio Estonian unit to begin operation in the Baltic nation, reports Mint.

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd will set up a subsidiary in Estonia, a small European country which touted for its most advanced digital societies in the world. The reported move corroborated Estonia’s willingness to develop the long-term relationship with India.

“Thanks to its sophisticated e-solutions, over the last decade, Estonia has transformed itself into one of Europe’s business success stories. Indian companies would certainly wish to collaborate and imbibe e-governance solutions in this regard and Jio is no exception”, according to the person familiar with the matter.

Estonia: Top Destination In Europe For Startuppers

Estonia, a Baltic gem of Europe has become the favourite destination for startups and its unique digital policies. As a matter of fact, the country has the highest number of startups per capita in Europe. Also if you don’t know, Estonia is the birthplace of Skype. Estonia is probably the only country in the world where 99% of public services are available online 24×7.

Just so you know, Estonia and India have already signed MoUs in the field of ICT. In addition, Republic of Estonia’s Entrepreneurship and IT Minister Urve Palo, during her visit in India in March, told that Estonia is interested to build cooperation with India in cybersecurity and e-governance development. Palo also invited Indian entrepreneurs to sign-up for e-residency, which will allow them to conduct a business from Estonia.

Ambani already has a vested interest in the e-residency programme as it can be a gateway to do business in Europe. Firms in Estonia gain access to business opportunities from e-residents, who can establish an Estonian company online within a day. The programme will help startup-ers to open a global EU company fully online. As for Mukesh Ambani, a company set-up in a northern European nation can operate across the world while all the formalities and compliance work can be handled digitally.

According to a representative of Estonia, by 2025, e-residents are expected to add a total of 1.8 billion euros to the country’s economy via direct (taxes and state fees) and indirect (through job creation, incremental demand, country brand and increased administrative efficiencies).

Although Estonia is too small a country for a company like Reliance, it can act as a launch pad to the 742.5 million Europeans. Jio can leverage from being in Estonia as it will give the telecom giant a strong foothold to expand further to Europe, which runs on unified telecom system.

One another important reason for the European endeavours could be the fierce competition in the Indian telecom industry. Of course, Reliance Jio has outperformed every other telco in the country in terms of 4G connectivity and its massive 186.6 million subscriber base. Yet, with the population of 1.32 billion and plethora network carriers, there is immense pressure in the Indian telecom market. Apparently, analysts believe, this is what has forced Reliance Jio to expand beyond borders. And this will also give the necessary technological push to Jio.