Within days of securing a deal with social-media company Facebook, RIL’s e-commerce app for groceries — JioMart — has gone live with the platform starting deliveries of essential commodities in select locations such as Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan. The same was communicated to users in these places by a message by the company. Reliance Jio, a subsidiary of RIL, has recently made a pact with US-based Facebook which also runs Whatsapp in India. With this deal, Reliance Jio now has access to Whatsapp’s user base of about 400 million and is expected to leverage the same to push its JioMart services.
Users can now place orders for daily-use items via the app by registering with JioMart and adding JioMart’s mobile number to contacts. The platform then sends a link to customers on Whatsapp, various media houses reported. JioMart is a pet project of billionaire Mukesh Ambani who aims to transform India’s e-commerce scenario. To widen its reach, the company made a deal with Facebook by which the latter gets 9.99% equity stake in Reliance Jio for an investment worth Rs 43,574 crore.
To register with JioMart, customers have to provide details such as mobile number, area, locality, and society name, according to the message received by customers. JioMart connects customers to nearby kirana stores to fulfil orders locally. “In the very near future, JioMart — Jio’s digital new commerce platform — and WhatsApp will empower nearly 3 crore small Indian kirana shops to digitally transact with every customer in their neighbourhood,” RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani said in a video statement after securing the deal with Facebook, indicating that the deal has retail at its center. The company also looks to extend JioMart services to farmers in the near future. Mukesh Ambani also said that the deal is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of Digital India.