Facebook and Mukesh Ambani can thrive in post-virus India digital retail

Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

When naming his telecom foray in 2016, Mukesh Ambani chose the mirror image of OIL, the commodity that has made him India’s richest man. In hindsight, Jio was a good choice. The week that oil prices turned negative, the refining tycoon won a $5.7 billion investment from Facebook Inc. for his digital assets, Jio Platforms Ltd. Like his wordplay, the performance has proven the opposite of the original.

The 10% stake values the business at a 47% premium over the $45 billion estimated last year by CLSA Ltd. That appears rich, considering that Ambani has yet to demonstrate how he’s going to make money from his 400 million telco customers — roughly the same number that Mark Zuckerberg has in India for his three main offerings: Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.

Bring stories like this into your inbox every day.

Sign up for our newsletter - The Daily Brief
Subscribe to Newsletter