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RIL AGM: What are shareholders, investors, customers and the industry expecting from Reliance?

What are stakeholders anticipating from the RIL AGM? Here's an extensive article collaborating major speculative reports about the Reliance AGM.

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Laxitha Mundhra
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RIL AGM: What are shareholders, investors, customers and the industry expecting from Reliance?

Reliance Industries has announced to hold its 2nd virtual and 44th AGM beginning June 24. The company, in a letter, addressed to stock exchanges announced that it will live-streamed RIL AGM through JioMeet for shareholders. It will also live stream the AGM via its YouTube channel to the general public.

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Reliance, the country’s most valuable company, like always will announce its new business ventures and unveil a lot of new products. It will announce the company initiative during the second wave of COVID and some spectacular number from the balance sheet. But the company highlight for the tech industry will be the Jio 5G phone, its plans for 5G rollout at the Reliance AGM and the company’s affordable laptop.

What are stakeholders anticipating from the RIL AGM?

A lot of eyes are on the RIL AGM. Last year, in its very first online AGM, Reliance saw the participation of over 3000 shareholders and over 300,000 concurrent viewers. This year is going to be no different. Thus, the oil-to-chemical conglomerate will make several announcements in its 44th AGM and 2nd virtual AGM. Here are some key points to watch out for!

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1. Intel and Reliance 5G collaboration; other broadband and connectivity related announcements

Intel on Monday announced that the company have partnered “to develop 5G networking technology”. The former had invested $250 Million in Jio Platforms last year. On Monday, Intel said it will work on ‘co-innovations’ with Reliance Jio for its 5G radio-access network (RAN), among other things. After its investment, last year, this is the first time Intel opened up about its plan in the 5G Ecosystem via Jio. Although the company has invested in several deeptech companies, Jio Platforms marks its most significant investment. Thus, stakeholders are eyeing a brief note on how the partnership has turned out.

Intel's investments in the Deep Tech domain include Astera Labs, Sigfox, Voss and Netronome in the 5G space; Element AI, Horizon Robotics and Paperspace in the AI domain; Precision Hawk, Volocopter and Peloton in the autonomous mobility space; and Airy 3D, Cloudpick and Reconova in the Internet of Things domain.

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Among other network-related announcements, Reliance will also announce how far along it is in its 5G trials. The company, last year, had stated that it would provide 5G deployment by mid-2021. “Once it is proven in India, Jio Platforms would be well-positioned to be an exporter of 5G solutions to other telecom operators globally, as a complete managed service,” Ambani had said. According to a VoicenData report, DoT approved 5G trials with Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and C-DOT. Bharti Airtel applied to conduct trials in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru. Similarly, Reliance Jio applied for trials in Delhi, Mumbai, Gujarat and Hyderabad.

Stakeholders are waiting to understand how soon will Reliance Jio make 5G a reality.

2. Reliance Financials, most importantly its dividend pay-out

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According to its integrated annual report (pdf) last month, the company in the financial year 2020-21 witnessed a net profit of INR 53,739 crore ($7.2 billion). It also successfully raised funds from its various units despite the pandemic-triggered slump. Thus, stakeholders are looking forward to the company’s update of its financials in FY 2020-21. The company has earlier fixed June 14 as the record date for dividend for FY2021.

The dividend will be paid within a week from the conclusion of the RIL AGM if it is declared during the event, the company said. “Reliance likes to keep the market price of shares around Rs 1,000 so we might get to see a 1:1 bonus announcement,” a MoneyControl report also pointed out.

3. New product launches with Google, Facebook and Microsoft

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During the 43rd AGM of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani announced Google's INR 33,737 crores investment in Jio for a 7.7% stake. Through this investment, Jio and Google aimed to jointly develop entry-level, affordable smartphones for the Indian market. The smartphones will have optimizations to the Android operating system and the Play Store, it had said last year.

Further, last year Facebook became one of the largest minority stakeholders in Jio Platforms. This aimed to give the social media giant a strong foothold in a fast-growing market. It also helped the Indian oil-to-telecom conglomerate to cut its debt. The companies planned to strengthen the Indian SMB Market with rapid digitalisation. WhatsApp and Reliance Retail had also agreed to bring Jio Mart on WhatsApp for small entrepreneurs. What has been the outcome of this partnership, and how far along the Facebook-Jio relationship has come, stakeholders need the answers to these questions. The company could also announce its partnership with Microsoft for Azure, Office 365 in the 44th RIL AGM.

Other product in the pipeline includes the JioBook.

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Reportedly, JioBook, which will run not on Windows, but Jio OS, comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 665. Further, like our phones, it will come in two variants; one with 2 GB RAM and 32 GB of storage and 4 GB RAM and 64 GB of storage. The Jio Laptop will also have preloaded Jio Content like JioStore, JioMeet, JioPages, and Jio’s ad services.

Reports suggest that there are also several apps from Microsoft pre-installed, including Microsoft Teams, Edge, and Office. The laptop will probably come with a mini HDMI connector for video output, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a three-axis accelerometer and a Qualcomm audio chip. It is basically everything that our android phones have, plus the size of a laptop. Thus, what the laptop is, we probably will know at the Reliance AGM.

4. Collaborations with tech startups, and its Startup Cohort via JioGenNext

Reliance Jio has a strong history working with startups. Over the last few years, it has invested in Haptik, C-Square, Fynd, Netrdyna, SankyaSutra Labs, Tesseract and Embibe, among others. The company, last year, had invited the startups to partner with them for the RIL AGM Speech where the public was introduced to its DeepTech products including a Mixed Reality (MR) tech product - Jio Glass from Tesseract. Further, reports suggest that Reliance may also announce acquisitions and partnerships with startups in the 5G domain.

The company also runs a startup accelerator, Jio Gen Next. The startup accelerator arm of RIL- JioGenNext added 22 startups to its ecosystem in FY21. The startups selected in two cohorts, of eleven companies each, include sectors like agritech, edtech, enterprise solutions and health and fitness. Apparently, reports suggest that the second cohort of 2021 has the potential opportunity for collaboration within RIL, and the same could be announced during the RIL AGM.

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