Here is a text of the speech delivered today by Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani, at the 43rd AGM of Reliance Industries Ltd.
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the 43 Annual General Meeting of Reliance Industries Ltd. The corona crisis is the most disruptive event in modern human history. The resultant economic crisis has compounded the global community’s hardships.
However, I have no doubt India and the world will achieve faster progress, greater prosperity and a new quality of development post the Covid crisis. And, I also strongly believe that every adversity presents multiple new opportunities.
Take this AGM itself. All of us are participating in it through our brand-new digital product – called JIOMEET. JIOMEET, since its release a few days ago has already been downloaded by more than 5 million users. It is India’s first and only cloud-based video-conferencing app. And, you will be proud to know that it has been built by a young Jio Platforms team in just two months.
Business and financial performance
The company’s accounts for the year ended March 31, 2020 have already been circulated to you. Reliance had yet another year of record performance. Reliance became the first Indian company to exceed market capitalisation of $150 billion.
Reliance is also the first Indian company to cross Rs 1,00,000 crore in consolidated EBITDA. The earnings from our O2C and Upstream businesses declined due to the challenging market environment. Yet, the consolidated performance was up 10% over the last year due to strong growth in Organized Retail and Digital Services businesses.
Our consumer businesses continued to deliver hyper growth with an EBITDA growth of 49% this year. Consumer businesses today contribute about 35% of our consolidated EBITDA. Just five years ago, nearly all of our EBITDA was from our energy and materials business. Since then, our consumer and technology businesses have rapidly achieved scale by their exponential growth. Reliance’s seminal contribution to the Indian economy remains unmatched.
Here are a few snapshots:
* At Rs 202,830 crore, we continue to be India’s largest exporter accounting for 9.1% of India’s total merchandise exports across 109 countries.
* We are India’s highest payer of customs and excise duty in the private sector with payments of over Rs 21,660 crore.
* We are amongst the highest payers of GST and VATat Rs 69,372 crore.
* We are amongst the highest payers of Income Tax in the private sector paying Rs 8,386 crore.
In last year’s AGM speech, I had shared my goals of growing our businesses through partnerships and achieving a Net Debt Free Balance Sheet. I am happy to report that we have fulfilled this promise well ahead of the timelines that we had set ourselves. In a short span of a few months, we have raised a record amount of capital and forged several new strategic partnerships.
We completed India’s largest-ever Rs 53,124 crore Rights Issue. This was also the world’s largest Rights Issue by a non-financial institution in a decade. This was over-subscribed 1.59 times, setting another record in the Indian capital markets.
A unique feature of RIL’s Rights Issue was that it was completed entirely on a digital platform during the lockdown period. None of the stakeholders – regulators, bankers, financial institutions, retail investors and others – had to step out of their offices or homes for it. This showcased India’s potential to be a pioneer and an innovator in this Digital Age.
Let me take a few minutes to warmly welcome our new and esteemed partners in Jio. First, Facebook, a global technology powerhouse and a leading social media and Internet company as our premier strategic partner.
After Facebook, we have investments from some of the most admired technology and financial investors – Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, TPG and LCatterton. All of them have a long history of successfully investing in the best of technology and growth enterprises in the world. Intel and Qualcomm, who have shaped the semiconductor industry, are at the heart of the digital ecosystems. We will work with them to develop new products for India and Indians.
I look forward to working with each of them in a collaborative way to build on Jio Platforms’ portfolio of technology and solutions. It gives me great pleasure to welcome three of the world’s largest Sovereign Wealth Funds – ADIA and Mubadala of the UAE, and PIF of Saudi Arabia – as our valued partners. We are grateful to all our partners. What they bring is more than money. They bring faith in the Indian economy’s immense growth potential. They also bring a strong vote of confidence in our bold mission, and our ability to execute it. We look forward to working with all of them and generating value to all our stakeholders.
As we end our current cycle of capital raising, we are delighted to welcome another strategic partner into Jio. A company that needs no introduction, because it is a household name in India and globally. A company that has pioneered search engine and operating systems that are used across the world. Let me welcome, Google to be our strategic investor in Jio Platforms.
Today, we have signed a binding partnership and an investment agreement with Google, under which Google will invest Rs 33,737 crores for a 7.7% stake in Jio Platforms. This transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary approvals. With this investment by Google, strategic and financial investors have committed a total of Rs 152,056 crore in the last few months. We have also concluded our JV with BP in our existing fuel retailing business. BP has invested Rs 7,629 crore for its 49% stake in the JV.
Cumulatively, we have raised a total of Rs 212,809 crore through our Rights Issue, the combined investments in Jio Platforms, and investment by BP. This is unprecedented in the history of capital markets in India. Indeed, there would be very few parallels globally.
This capital raise is significantly in excess of our Net Debt of Rs 161,035 crore at the end of FY19-20. Reliance is now truly a zero Net Debt company, well ahead of my goal of March 2021. We now have an extremely strong Balance Sheet that will support all our growth plans for our three hyper-growth engines – Jio, Retail and O2C. Our target for capital raise is now complete and we now look forward to only adding strategic partners who share our vision in each of our current and future businesses.