The partnership between India’s largest conglomerate Reliance Industries and US social media giant Facebook could expand beyond the scope of just onboarding kirana stores for JioMart through the WhatsApp platform, sources said.
Apart from using the messaging app WhatsApp, going forward, Reliance could leverage other online platforms of Facebook group, such as Instagram and Facebook, to push its other retail brands, including Reliance Brands, Reliance Trends and Reliance Digital.
“It could turn out to be an enterprise level play for Reliance in the long term and could benefit both partners,” said the CEO of a global apparel brand. “Millennials, for instance, are on Instagram and brands under Reliance Brands could leverage that platform. In contrast, Reliance Trends, which is into more affordable products, can use the Facebook platform to reach out to more consumers.”
Questionnaires emailed to Reliance Retail and Facebook did not elicit responses till the time of going to the press.
Commenting on the deal, for which Facebook is paying around $5.7 billion for buying 10% in the digital arm of Reliance, a Credit Suisse report on Monday said the partnership could later be extended into other retail categories such as medicine distribution, fashion & lifestyle stores and food delivery, as the Jio investment signals social media giant’s intention of capturing India’s vast ecommerce potential.
The investment provides Facebook with a chance to onboard the large small and medium businesses and drive ecommerce via the JioMart venture, the report showed.