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Reliance and Facebook begins “JioMart” testing in Mumbai



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Mark Zuckerberg-led Facebook invested a mammoth $5.7 billion in Jio (INR 43,574 Crore) a few days ago, a deal that set the internet on fire. Many are calling this a master tactic from the Ambanis to recover the losses occurring due to the unprecedented dip in the rates of crude oil. With this deal, Facebook too is keen on penetrating deep into the Indian market using small businesses.

Zuckerberg said on his Facebook post that both companies will be targeting the digitalization of the retail industry and they are commencing their operations towards that change. They are trying to test an ordering system through JioMart with the help of WhatsApp.

Customers can send a hi +91-8850008000, which prompts a link that opens a mini-store on the browser, allowing them to pick a range of grocery products including toothpaste, snacks, tea and coffee, rice, and cooking oil. Once an order has been placed, which currently does not include a way to pay digitally, JioMart automatically assigns a neighborhood store to them and sends an invoice through WhatsApp.

Positive response from the targeted areas

The areas targeted in Mumbai to launch these pilot operations are Thane, Navi Mumbai and Kalyan, three localities which are on the peripheral edges of the city. More than 1,200 neighborhood stores are engaging in the pilot program and are helping the MNCs understand the intricacies of carrying out this procedure.

JioMart, a joint venture between Reliance Retail, India’s largest retail chain, and Reliance Jio Platform, the biggest telecom network in India with over 385 million subscribers, is ensuring “hygiene and safety of staff,” “fair prices”, round-the-clock operational warehouses, and “daily supplies to the store.”

In the likely scenario of this venture managing to achieve its goals in the coming years, JioMart will take down a lot of the current online grocery-selling apps like BigBasket, Dunzo or SuperDaily. However, they’re keen on tying up with most of the small-scale businesses in such a way that they benefit through the venture.

WhatsApp has yet to receive approval from New Delhi for a nationwide rollout of Pay in India. Local media reports claimed earlier this year that WhatsApp had started to expand Pay’s reach in the country in various phases.