• Reliance’s beginnings in e-commerce are touted by analysts as the true digital powerhouse of the RIL family.
  • After starting with a beta launch in December 2019, JioMart officially rolled out to users across the country in May 2020.
  • JioMart entered a mode of rapid expansion during the coronavirus lockdown in India and managed to gain a leading edge in small towns across the country.

JioMart – Mukesh Ambani’s ambitious e-commerce gamble has taken off and how! Having started with a beta launch in December 2019, JioMart officially rolled out to users across the country in May 2020 and already has one million daily active users and 2.3 million monthly active users, according to a report. by JPMorgan.

The same report states that JioMart has already crossed paths with BigBasket and Grofers in terms of daily active users and is falling behind Swiggy. Business Insider has reached out to BigBasket and Grofers for their comments regarding their daily active users, both players declined to comment.

India’s online grocery segment: the players

Company Release date Presence (number of cities) App downloads
Amazon fresh August 2019 9 314 million (for Amazon)
Flipkart supermarket november 2017 5 361 million (for Flipkart)
Swingy Stores February, 2019 30 89 million (for Swiggy)
Large Basket october 2011 26 34 million
Grofers December 2013 30 30 million
JioMart December, 2019 200+ 4 million

Since December 8, 2020.
Source: JPMorgan

While other well-established players like Big Basket and Grofers, which have been around much longer, still have 7-8 times the number of app downloads, the rise of JioMart over the past six months only reflects the speed at which Ambani tried to push his e-commerce business. dream. Since its launch, out of three downloads of an online grocery app, two of them were from Reliance Industries (RIL).

BI India / Thrive

Even the most powerful sometimes need to push each other


JioMart in India sees competition from many players that have been around and dominate the Indian e-commerce market for a long time, including Amazon and Flipkart. And so, as Ambani, the richest man in Asia, threw his hat into that ring, he decided to give it his all: both in the big cities of India and beyond.

JioMart works with a omnichannel flow where it linked to kirana stores (moms and pop stores) and also uses inventory from Reliance Retail outlets. Ambani’s e-commerce bet was smoothly launched in December 2019 in parts of Thane, Navi Mumbai and Kalyan.

But when the coronavirus lockdown began and the opportunities in online grocery shopping became more evident, JioMart was quick to act and spread to more than 200 cities. This rapid growth across India has given JioMart a leading edge in small Indian towns, analysts at JP Morgan said.

Considering JioMart’s progress in the first year, JPMorgan analysts estimate that Reliance’s e-commerce business could generate annual revenue of over $ 59 billion and net worth could reach 145 billion dollars. billion dollars over the next ten years.

A report from Goldman Sachs from November 2020 identified this omnichannel capability – using different distribution channels, both online and offline – as the reason for JioMart’s growth. “India has 10 million Kirana stores, which account for 90% of the grocery retail sale in the country. JioMart has already launched in over 200 cities, leveraging Reliance Retail’s store network, with kirana partnerships in 20 cities, ”the Goldman Sachs report said.

JioMart is not only expanding far, it is also strengthening itself through partnerships and acquisitions

Ambani is not only targeting geographic expansion, but is also spending to increase JioMart’s offerings to its customers. According to JPMorgan, JioMart’s inventory management units (SKUs) are only second behind Big Basket. However, the comparison didn’t include players like Flipkart, DMart, and other new entrants like Swiggy and Zomato.

JioMart, with access to the deep pockets of one of the richest men in the world – Mukesh Ambani, has managed to successfully team up with another of the richest men in the world – Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook injected $ 5.7 billion into Reliance Jio in April 2020, with WhatsApp integration with JioMart being at the heart of the deal.

This should be a win-win for Ambani and Zuckerberg – where Reliance can take advantage of WhatsApp’s 400 million users to acquire more customers. On the other hand, WhatsApp Pay, Facebook’s first in the payments segment, will benefit from integration with JioMart for payments.

Another early acquisition of the company was that of Mumbai-based Grab-a-Grub. In 2019, Reliance injected $ 15 million for an 83% stake in the hyper-local delivery startup. Reliance also acquired the online pharmacy company NetMeds, took a stake in online lingerie retailer Zivame and online furniture retailer Urban scale, which could further strengthen its presence in electronic commerce.

The acquisition of Future Retail from Kishore Biyani for nearly 25,000 crore also gives JioMart access to BigBazaar stores across the country. However, Ambani and Biyani are in a legal battle with Amazon which called into question the agreement both in India and abroad.

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