Archive for July, 2015

Nita Ambani pays Homage to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

July 29, 2015

Nita Ambani, Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, paid tributes to ex-Indian President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Remembering the great personality, Nita Ambani said that Kalam was a visionary and a soft-hearted leader. He was a huge inspiration for the youth and varied sections of the society in India. She referred Kalam to be a “passionate knowledge seeker” and an “ardent proponent of inclusive development.”

She added, “Through his phenomenal achievements as a scientist and a statesman, he symbolized the possibilities and the power of the human spirit and touched the hearts and minds of millions of people. We salute this illustrious son of India who will continue to inspire the generations to come.”

Kalam breathed his last while enlightening students and giving a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong on Monday evening. He suffered a cardiac arrest and died. Kalam, who was a scientist, successfully led the nuclear tests at Pokhran in May 1998, and the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). He is the man behind making India, a nuclear power. He served as the 11th President of the country for a single term extending from 25th July, 2002 to 25th July, 2007.

Reliance Foundation’s distribution of footballs

In another gesture, the philanthropic arm of Reliance Industries, Reliance Foundation gave footballs to 32 Zilla Parishads and four municipal schools in an event conducted at the District Collector’s camp office, last week.

Collector Babu A. was the chief guest at the event. He appreciated the promotion of sports and games by companies under their corporate social responsibility activities. He also pleaded the companies to come forward and improve amenities for the students and motivate them for sports.

District programmer of Reliance Foundation, V. Santosh Kumar, informed that his organization completely supports the schools that show interest in encouraging sports. State Director of Sports B. Hanumantha Rao, Physical Education Trainers S.K. Rizwana and P. Vanaja, and District Sports Development Officer P. Ramakrishna were present in the event.

Reliance Foundation’s distribution of scholarships

On 28th May, ‘Reliance Foundation Young Champs’ (RFYC) scholarships were given to 24 young footballers aged between 11 and 14 years. This was done at an event conducted at the Jio Garden at Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai in the presence of Nita Ambani, Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachchan and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The scholarship will cover football training program and education at Reliance Foundation School in Koparkhairane, Mumbai.

Nita Ambani expressed her delight as Reliance Foundation moved closer to its vision of developing talent at the grassroots level. She was thankful to all the eight Indian Super League (ISL) franchises for this.

The eight teams arranged football camps and selection trials all around the country and children participated in them in thousands. Around 200 were selected for a week’s trial at Mumbai, supervised by Piet Hubers, Technical Director of ISL Grassroots Program and Marcus Vaessen, Head Coach of the RFYC program. Out of these, 24 were given scholarships and they will be trained with the best footballing skills.

Summary

Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, Nita Ambani, paid a heartfelt tribute to the former Indian President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.

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Reliance Retail recruits Sanjay Mehra for its E-commerce Venture

July 23, 2015

The retail arm of Reliance Industries has brought Sanjay Mehra on board as the Chief Executive of its fashion and lifestyle e-commerce venture. The Mukesh Ambani-led company informed this to its employees through an internal e-mail.

Mehra has a wide experience of 25 years in retail, technology and consumer products. He has served as India Managing Director of the US-based Wolverine World Wide, which owns popular brands like Caterpillar shoes and Merrell apparels. Besides, Mr. Mehra has also worked for Nike, GAP and Motorola.

Plans of Reliance Retail

Recently, Reliance Industries indicated its plans of shifting its focus to the e-commerce business. The company said that it will be rolling out three online portals. These portals will be dedicated to grocery, fashion and lifestyle, and business-to-business verticals, respectively. The organization is also launching its 4G and telecom services, this year. With the integration of its data services and e-commerce business, the company wants to offer a differentiated experience of e-commerce in India.

Reliance Industries want to attract more and more customers for its upcoming ventures. With the help of high-speed Internet connectivity, it wants to offer anytime, anywhere shopping to people. According to Mr. Ambani, this will be achieved through Reliance Jio’s advanced Internet infrastructure and Reliance Retail’s strong physical and online retail business. He said that the model will be a “seamless integration of online and offline while innovating across superior customer experience, payment ecosystem and delivery services.” Reliance Retail will launch its fashion and lifestyle portal in 2015, only. Mr. Ambani feels that with this, new fashion trends will be introduced to the people and it will revamp the fashion of the youth in India. Its e-commerce venture of grocery, http://www.reliancefreshdirect.com, is already in its pilot phase and has witnessed a huge success.

The other e-commerce initiative is for business-to-business ventures. The Reliance Digital Market place platform will strengthen many small retailers with a strong supplier base and differentiated product range. Besides, it will also help them to get better supply chain productivity, enhanced customer connectivity, and digital payment and credit capability.  Not only these, the most profitable company wants to push up its retail business through offline stores, as well. Reliance Retail has its presence in 200 cities, which it wants to increase by adding more 700 cities in 2016.

Business of Reliance Retail

At present, Reliance Retail has more than 2,600 retail outlets in 20 states of India. Around 50,000 people are employed to run this business across the country.

In the previous year, Reliance Retail earned revenues of more than Rs. 17,000 crores. Mr. Ambani informed that the company set a record of profits worth Rs. 784 crores at an EBITDA level. Regardless of the stiff competition and challenges, Reliance Retail recorded an annual revenue growth of 31%, since the past 5 years.

Last year, Reliance Retail built 930 new stores, which means five stores per day on an average. This enabled the company to set a new worldwide record with the highest number of store openings within a year.

Summary

Sanjay Mehra has been appointed as the Chief Executive of Reliance Retail’s fashion & lifestyle ecommerce business.

Punjab approaches RIL for Developing Food Processing Unit

July 14, 2015

The government of Punjab yesterday initiated talks with Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries. The State wants the most profitable company of India to invest in food processing and set up a project in the state.

Additional Chief Secretary (Development) of Punjab state, Suresh Kumar, confirmed that they had discussions with the company.

Food park project

The State-run Punjab Agro Industries Corporation (PAIC) is planning to build a multi-product mega food park at Ladhowal in Ludhiana. The food park will be extended up to 100 acres and the project may cost around Rs. 140 crores.

Kumar said, “We want Reliance Industries to set up a project in the upcoming mega food park at Ladhowal.” A meeting with the officials of Reliance Industries will be held soon, he added. PAIC has prepared the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the mega food park and will submit it to the Central Government in this month. After that, a formal approval will be received from them.

The proposed project plan states that there will be collection centers in the villages of Muskabad in Samrala, Kangmai in Hoshiarpur, Babri in Gurdaspur, Saholi in Nabha and Lalgarh in Samana. Five more centers will be established to create superior quality vegetables and fruits clusters.

Progressive Punjab Investment Summit

Progressive Punjab Investment Summit will be held on 28th and 29th October at Mohali. The State predicts that the company may announce its plans of the project investment, there.This will be the second summit of Punjab government. The first one was held in December, two years ago. It got deals worth Rs. 65,000 crores for the state. Reliance Industries had then announced investments of Rs. 2,500 crores for establishing its digital network for 4G in the state.

Reliance Retail’s ventures

The retail arm of Reliance Industries had signed a deal of Rs. 500 crores in 2006, with the then Congress government. The company had decided to increase the investment to Rs. 5,000 crores. The deal was signed to develop farming infrastructure and deliver the items. It was however cancelled in 2009 by the then SAD-BJP led government.

Reliance Retail is currently focusing on rolling out its e-commerce business. It will launch three online portals dedicated to grocery, fashion and lifestyle, and for business-to-business ventures. The retail arm’s grocery portal is already in its pilot stage and the company will launch its fashion and lifestyle portal, this year. The company will integrate the e-commerce business with Reliance Jio Infocomm’s forthcoming 4G services and offer anytime, anywhere shopping.

Reliance Retail is also developing its offline retail business to give a differentiated experience to the customers. The company is planning to increase its presence from 200 to 900 cities. Currently, Reliance Retail operates 2,600 stores in 20 states of the country. The stores have employed around 50,000 people in India.

The online and offline business will help the company to offer a world-class customer experience and innovations in payment techniques and delivery services.

Summary

The Punjab government has asked Reliance to develop a food processing sector in the state.

Reliance Industries to sell off 3.1% stake in Network18

July 7, 2015

Reliance Industries has announced it plans of selling 3.1% of its stakesin the media and entertainment company, Network18 Media and Investments Ltd. to bring down its stakes at 75%.

Reliance Industries had obtained a major stake in Network 18 and its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Ltd., last year, making it the largest deal in India’s media industry. It paid Rs. 4,000 croresto Independent Media Trust (IMT) to bag the holding. Its promoter shareholding by the end of Financial Year 2014- 2015 was 78.1%.

The company has now decided to reduce its stake to adhere to Security and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI’s) rule stating that promoter holding should be of 75%. Promoter group company, Shinano Retail Pvt. Ltd. will be selling 3.25 crores shares for this, through the stock exchange. Shinano Retail is wholly owned by Reliance Industries. The sale of shares will start from 8th of July. It is anticipated that the deal will be of more than Rs. 200 crores.

Statement from Reliance Industries

In a statement, the company mentioned that it is “proposing to sell 3.25 crores shares of Network18 Media &Investments Limited (representing 3.10% of the equity capital) to bring down the aggregate shareholding of the promoter and promoter group to 75% and increase the public shareholding to 25% as mandated by Clause 40A of the listing agreement pursuant to Securities Contract (Regulation) Rules, 1957.”

Earlier ventures of Reliance Industries and Network18

The two companies came together in January 2012 for a multi-layered deal. As per the deal, Reliance Industries sold some of its interest in ETV channels. The company then got access to content and distribution assets of the electronic media group.

In December, last year, IMT opened offers for three Network 18 group companies.Its parent company, Reliance Industries bought shares worth Rs. 17 crores.IMT obtained 54.14 lakh shares forRs. 16.34 crores of TV18 Broadcast and 2.60 lakh shares for Rs. 1.06 crores of Network 18 media. In the third offer, the company bought more than 15 lakh shares for Rs. 45.9 lakh. The offers began on 3rd December, 2014 and closed on 16th December, 2014.The capital was used by IMT to gain control on Network18 and TV18. The acquisition resulted in IMT to get control of around 78% in Network18 and 9% in TV18.

The open offer was made so that 22,99,46,996 equity shares of Network18 equaling 21.96% stakes worthRs. 943.70 crores could be acquired. The second offer was to acquire 44,65,10,110 equity shares equaling 26% stakes of TV18 worth Rs. 1,347.57 crores. The last offer was for the acquisition of 1,30,62,224 equity shares, that is 26% stakes of Infomedia worth Rs. 3.92 crores.

The Network 18 Group is spread across television, movies, internet, magazines, e-commerce, mobile content, etc. The varied portals under this banner are firstpost.com, moneycontrol.com, bookmyshow.com and homeshop18.com. Its broadcast channels are Colors, IBN7, CNN-IBN, CNBC Awaaz and CNBC TV18.

Summary

Reliance will be selling 3.1% of its stake in Network18 Media to bring it down to 75%; thus complying with SEBI norms.