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How Reliance’s Jio Platforms Fared Amid Covid Second Wave

How Reliance’s Jio Platforms Fared Amid Covid Second Wave

Jio's ARPU growth was flat at INR 138 and it saw 14.3 Mn net subscriber additions

JioMart expanded its presence to 218 cities and saw order volumes grow 25% over the quarter ended March

20% of Reliance Retail's revenue came from ecommerce and local merchant partnerships

Mukesh Ambani-led Jio Platforms, saw its revenue from operations grow 9.8% year on year to INR 18,952 Cr in the first quarter of FY22, whereas net profit grew 45% to INR 3,651 Cr in the same period. Jio Platforms is the holding company that houses its telecom and other digital business owned by Reliance Industries Limited.

On a quarter on quarter basis profit grew 4% from INR 3,510 Cr last quarter. Operational revenue grew 3.6% from INR 18,278 Cr last quarter.

Incorporated in December 2019, Jio Platforms Limited is an umbrella company for all the Reliance-owned digital businesses including Reliance Jio, MyJio, JioMeet, JioTV, JioCinema, JioNews, JioSaavn and JioMeet, among others. Overall, there are 30+ apps and services announced under the Jio name, with over 20 apps catering to the consumer market and others being dedicated for internal use or for partners.

Telecom Performance

Meanwhile, the telecom business registered a gross subscriber addition of 26.7 Mn (net addition of 14.3 Mn) in the quarter driven by traction across mobility and homes. The average revenue per user (ARPU) for the first quarter was stagnant at INR 138.4 — growing marginally from INR 138.2 in the previous quarter. As usual, the telecom arm Reliance Jio Infocomm  (RJIL) comprised a bulk i.e. 95% of JPL’s revenue.

Source: Company

The impact of the second Covid wave hit subscriber recharge, much like last year. However, the management said that the subscriber mix has improved substantially due to a slew of new offers introduced during the quarter.

During Q1 FY22, average data consumption per user per month increased to 15.6 GB from 13.3 GB in the last quarter while average voice consumption was a tad bit lower at 818 minutes per user per month.

Though Jio is expected to sustain its subscriber momentum going into the first quarter, estimating 15 million net adds despite lockdowns slowing industry net adds, a larger proportion of these subscriber additions are expected to be feature phone users and hence ARPU (average revenue per user) is estimated to be flattish,” said RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani in a statement.

JioFiber Traction Up

Despite challenges for on the ground physical work, JioFiber now has more than 3 million connected homes with improving momentum in recent months. Engagement metrics have improved steadily across the customer base with average home consumers consuming up to 300 GB per month, said the management. Note that in recent times, Jio rival Airtel has also mobilised plans to push fiber and broadband usage across its user base. 

“It was a tough quarter on ground. We are optimistic about the overall demand scenario for digital solutions. Demand has been extremely strong. Hopefully, we will see more traction with our products going forward,” said Anshuman Thakur, head of strategy, Reliance Jio.

jio

Technology Partnerships

Jio Platforms also highlighted in the quarterly result that necessary approvals have been received for initiating 5G  field trials, and its collaboration with Google Cloud would develop 5G  computing solutions across gaming, healthcare, education, and video entertainment. 

Furthermore, Jio and Microsoft have operationalised an initial 10 MW capacity of Jio-Azure cloud data centers  across Jamnagar and Nagpur. Onboarding of pilot customers across SMEs and start-ups is underway with further enhancement in capacity would be done in subsequent quarters. However, there was no mention of messaging platform WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook, which invested INR 43,574 Cr in Jio Platforms last year.

Reliance Retail

Another important piece in the Jio juggernaut is Reliance Retail (not a part of JPL but significant to its consumer services offering) — the mammoth retail chain operated by the conglomerate that is now competing with ecommerce majors like Flipkart, Amazon, and Tata-owned BigBasket by making a digital play through JioMart.

Reliance Retail reported Rs 962 crore net profit in the first quarter (Q1) of FY22, a jump of 123 percent year-on-year (YoY) as compared to Rs 431 crore reported in the corresponding period last year.

In the quarter ended June, JioMart, which is a joint venture between Reliance Retail and Jio Platforms, expanded its presence to 218 cities and saw order volumes grow 25% over the quarter ended March.

Meanwhile, online pharmacy company Netmeds, which was acquired by Reliance last year, saw 60% growth in orders over the previous quarter. Its hyperlocal capabilities were extended to over 150 stores for same-day deliveries. 

Also, Urban Ladder, the furniture retail startup that the conglomerate bought in 2020, saw online orders grow 2.5x over last quarter. It developed an assisted sales channel through video calls and launched a multi-brand business in furnishing and décor across 40 sub-categories. 

Interestingly, the company said that its online commerce play and partnerships with local merchants accounted for 20% of the revenue of the retail arm in the Covid-hit quarter. Reliance Retail saw its revenue increase 19% to INR 33,566 Cr in the first quarter of FY22, compared to the corresponding quarter last year.