Reliance Industries has always been referred to as the country’s petrochemicals major but today it is fast emerging as India’s largest consumer company with no comparable peers and a contemporary to FAANG (Facebook, Alibaba, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google). The vision and gumption of Mukesh Ambani is underappreciated and underpriced and investors who ignore this will do so at their own peril.
Intuitively, it is difficult to imagine Reliance as India’s largest consumer company. Or, for that matter, even as a leading technology, media and internet convergence player in the fastest-growing economy in the world. It is antithesis of whatever Reliance has stood for decades, and, hence, it is more difficult to imagine and digest this metamorphosis. At every stage, there will be doubts and, herein, lies the opportunity for investors.
If one searches for Reliance Industries on Google, the tag line will show retail markets, telecom and petrochemicals. This transformation has happened over just the past 10 years. Between Reliance Retail (35 million footfalls), Jio with around 250 million customers and its media and entertainment business with 700 million viewers, the footprint is huge. Collectively, its reach is equal to, if not more to, Hindustan Unilever, India’s largest FMCG firm, which reaches to around 700 million Indians. Between the three businesses, Relia