Mukesh Ambani sees huge potential for Gaming in India

A unique Q&A between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries, was held at a summit in Mumbai on Monday

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Feb 25, 2020 9:33 AM

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Mukesh Ambani at Microsoft Future Decoded

It was one-of a kind fireside chat between two industry stalwarts, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman of Reliance Industries, at Microsoft’s Future Decoded Summit in Mumbai. A rare occasion indeed which witnessed two astute business leaders discuss India’s growth and its digital future.

Interestingly, the Reliance Industries Chairman’s mention about how gaming holds a huge potential in India has led to speculation about whether gaming now meant serious business for India’s richest man.

Following is a roundup of the session:

Mukesh Ambani began by warmly welcoming Satya Nadella to India and thanking him for Microsoft’s commitment to India. He said: “Personally I’m very committed and I'm very privileged Satya that you have committed to India on a scale that I never anticipated a multinational will, and we're very excited about the partnership that Jio and Microsoft will have. And I think that as we look at this decade, it will be a defining partnership. So, thank you for your commitment to India.”

Nadella asked Ambani to share his thoughts on how the Indian economy would thrive in the next 10 years. Referring to President Trump’s visit to India, Ambani described how Trump would be witnessing a new India in comparison to the one witnessed by the former Presidents during their India visits.

He added, “If you think about when your own journey started and think about 1992 when you joined Microsoft, India was $300 million. Today, India is $3 trillion. And fundamentally, this whole progress in a certain way, has happened on the back of technology. In the early days it was TCS, Infosys, and all of them who drove technology in India. And that really kick started with all the economic reforms. And this whole growth paradigm got supercharged in 2014 when the Prime Minister gave us the vision of Digital India. And in what followed, I was privileged to play a very small role in it with the launch of Jio.”

Ambani shared how before Jio, data prices were between Rs 300 and 500 (per GB) and post Jio the price has come down to between Rs 12 and 14 per GB. He shared that in the last three years, 380 million customers have migrated to Jio 4G technology. He aptly summed up saying that this had become a people's movement.

Nadella then went on to ask Mukesh Ambani what could be done to empower small and medium businesses and also how could their partnership by combining their expertise help change the landscape.

Ambani shared his father, Dhirubhai Ambani, had founded Reliance with a table and a chair and Rs 1,000 five decades ago. And how from a micro industry it became a small industry and today it can be considered a large one.

Ambani added that he even had the fortune of witnessing Microsoft grow from scratch. “Why I'm saying this is to fundamentally drive the point that every small business and entrepreneur has the potential in India to become a Dhirubhai Ambani or Bill Gates. And that’s what differentiates India from the rest of the world.”

Ambani expressed his deep faith in the entrepreneurial power at the grassroots and that it is enormous. He shared how despite not having technology’s backing, small, medium and micro enterprises provide 70% of India's employment and drive 40% of India's export. “So the opportunity there is to really go from no technology, no digitization, and really pole vault to adopt. Our opportunity between Jio and Microsoft is to really give them full service to make sure that they are fully enabled with the tool set and the data set, because the mind-set exists to really propel India forward. And that is even a bigger opportunity than the consumer piece that we've seen in the last few years.” Said Ambani.

Nadella then prodded Ambani on what drives him, what inspires him and would he like to see happen in India?

“Well, I think that opportunity that we have for India really is the opportunity to become the premier digital society in the world. I think that all the components are coming in place. As we grow and march forward I have no doubt in my mind that we will be among the top three economies in the world. Twenty years ago, we were saying - okay where will India be? Now I think that if you talk to anybody, there is no doubt in anybody's mind. We can argue about whether it will happen in five years or 10 years but it's going to happen and we will be in the top three countries in the world.”

Ambani also elaborated that the opportunity then would also be to ensure that India is also the most technically enabled society.

Nadella summed up his questions with reference to Amabani’s son Akash and gaming as the future. Nadella said, “One thing that Akash will really weigh on me if I don’t mention is, gaming in the next decade, you may become a gamer?

Ambani then pointed out that gaming, according to him, holds great potential. He said, “Gaming doesn't really exist in India, and with everything that we're doing in ex- cloud and broadband connectivity, I think there is a huge potential, and for some of us who don't know what gaming is, it's very hard to imagine that gaming will be bigger than music, movies and TV shows put together. But we will see.”

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