Hours after social media and tech giant Facebook poured in Rs 43,574 crore for a 9.99 per cent stake in India's oil-retail-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) led Jio Platforms, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to his personal Facebook page to explain why the deal was important.
“There's a lot going on in the world right now, but I wanted to share an update on our work in India. Facebook is teaming up with Jio Platforms -- 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, Zuckerberg said.
“India is home to the largest communities on Facebook and WhatsApp, and a lot of talented entrepreneurs. The country is in the 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,” the Facebook founder said.
“This is especially important right now, because small businesses are the core of every economy and they need our support. India has more than 60 million small businesses and millions of people rely on them for jobs. With communities around the world in lockdown, many of these entrepreneurs need digital tools they can rely on 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 added.
“I want to thank Mukesh Ambani and the entire Jio team for their partnership. We're looking forward to getting started,” wrote Mark Zuckerberg.
The deal is the largest investment for a minority stake by a technology company anywhere in the world and the largest FDI in the Indian tech sector, according to Reliance Industries Limited.