Facebook has announced an investment of $5.7 billion (INR 43,574 crore) in Jio Platforms, to woo small businesses in India and help them connect to customers.
Announcing to team up with Jio Platforms, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “We’re making a financial investment, and more than that, we’re committing to work together on some major projects that will open up commerce opportunities for people across India.”
Lauding Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, Zuckerberg said India is in middle of a major digital transformation and organizations like Jio have played a big part in getting hundreds of millions of Indian people and small businesses online.
He noted that India has more than 60 million small businesses and millions of people rely on them for jobs.
At the heart of this investment, Facebook is eying the corona-enforced lockdown which is being viewed by the tech giants as an opportunity to give entrepreneurs digital tools to push their businesses.
Digital tools help small business owners in particular to find and communicate with customers and grow their businesses. “This is something we can help with — and that’s why we’re partnering with Jio to help people and businesses in India create new opportunities,” the Facebook CEO said.
Zuckerberg made this announcement in a Facebook post on April 22, on which a user commented: “India is great I visited and really loved the country, but really the US is where you made your money and the US needs you now. American workers can’t pay their mortgages, rent or keep their small business alive.”
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries, in a video message, welcomed Zuckerberg’s Facebook Inc as a long term and esteemed partner.
One focus of this collaboration with Jio will be creating new ways for people and businesses to operate in the growing digital economy.
For instance, by bringing together JioMart, Jio’s small business initiative, Facebook which also owns WhatsApp and Instagram, can enable more people to purchase products via mobile.