Reliance Jio Hires T-Mobile’s Rainer Deutschmann as Chief Products and Innovation Officer

Just months before the launch of 4G operations in Reliance Jio in 2015, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), has hired a high-profile professional as the Chief Products and Innovation Officer for the venture. Rainer Deutschmann will be heading all major product and service innovations at Reliance Jio after relocating to Mumbai from London.

Getting to Know Rainer Deutschmann

Rainerhas often been attributed as the individual that drove digital transformation for over 10 years at Deutsche Telekom, more popularly known as T-Mobile. A German national, Harvard Business School alumnus and PhD in Physics from the University of Munich, his greatest professional achievement comes in the form of the role he played in turning around T-Mobile’s UK operations in his capacity as the Chairman of its Board of Directors.

After a stint in consulting firm McKinsey as an engagement officer in telecom and technology, Rainer changed industries in 2005. Since then, he has held a number of senior strategic and operative positions within the 60 billion euro German telecom company.

As the custodian for all innovations across digital, mobile, broadband and technology, Rainer will be responsible for devising market strategy while bringing together a number of key elements such as mobile Internet, content and software.

Sources aware of this development said that he will be directly reporting to Mukesh Ambani along with his trusted lieutenant, Manoj Modi. In addition to being the CEO of Reliance Retail, Modi is also currently spearheading RIL’s re-entry intro telecom.

RIL’s Global Hiring Strategy

A spokesperson said, “Given our huge growth aspiration, we believe we have pursued a very aggressive talent strategy and have nearly a hundred senior leaders across over 20 nationalities working for us in India itself. In a true way, Reliance represents a global microcosm on its leadership profile while being in India.”

RIL has significantly intensified its focus on broadbasing its talent pool ever since it ventured into consumer-centric businesses such as telecom and retail. Industry experts are optimistic about RIL’s decision to leverage global talent for its new ventures.

This move is critical today especially since most telecom companies around the world are working hard to become future-ready. The world shifting from the conventional telecom-dominated ecosystem to a more Internet-dominated one.

Referring to Rainer, Vinay Menon, London office Head and Global Co-Lead-Technology, Communications & Industrial at Positive Moves Consulting says, “Given his track record, Rainer finds himself amongst a unique pool of global telecom candidates who have the ability to play a transformational role as a global, innovation-driven business builder. He has consistently demonstrated the ability to create technology platforms that cater to evolving business needs – be it in Mobility, Applications Services.”

He adds, “The transition is best managed by those operators who have reorganized their leadership on the technology front and put in place technology and innovation leaders who have a blend of business key performance indicators (KPI) and technology KPIs with a strong go to market/customer orientation.”

Reliance Jio is currently in its final stages for deploying next-generation LTE and fiber-to-home network for broadband and voice communication services across India.

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