As it aims to tap into its massive digital subscriber base to take on worldwide eCommerce companies, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries is launching an early version of its online retail offering. The firm has begun to invite shoppers in certain Mumbai suburbs to sign up for home grocery delivery, the Financial Times reported.
The company has reportedly emerged as the strongest rival to the existing online shopping leaders in India, Flipkart and Amazon. Those firms were said to have been impacted when the government of India enacted rules that prevented foreign-owned platforms from selling products from their subsidiaries.
According to analysts, this presented an opportunity for firms like Reliance to enter the online shopping space. The company, unlike its rivals, aims to link local stores to consumers via mobile app orders and merchant deliveries.
Reliance has a sizable retail presence, with its core business centered on oil refining. The company, which runs supermarkets and purchased the legendary toy merchant Hamleys, disrupted the telecom market in 2017 when it rolled out Jio. And, according to news from last August, Reliance Industries in India had aligned with Tiffany & Co. to open a line of stores.
Tiffany’s was planning to open stores in New Delhi in 2019 and in Mumbai in the second half of this year, per reports at the time. India’s “growing luxury consumer base presents a unique opportunity,” the company reportedly said.
The arrangement was said to be Tiffany’s latest global expansion effort at the time, as demand has fallen off in Europe and the U.S. Reliance seeks to grow its telecom and retail holdings to reach the level of its high-performing oil and gas business.