Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) announced the soft-launch of JioMart– an e-commerce venture to deliver groceries and other household essentials. The platform, powered by Reliance Retail and Reliance Jio, has been launched on a pilot basis in parts of the state of Maharashtra including Navi Mumbai, Kalyan, and Thane.
The e-commerce venture, which is being marketed as “Desh Ki Nayi Dukaan” currently offers a catalog of 50,000 grocery items and promises “free and express delivery.”
JioMart is an online grocery delivery service, powered by Reliance Retail and Reliance Jio, where consumers can head over to buy essential household items from nearby retailers. The platform does not sell groceries directly to the customers but instead, connects offline retailers with online buyers. The JioMart is an online-to-offline (O2O) marketplace under which it will source grocery items from nearby merchants, instead of procuring from a native warehouse– similar to how Amazon Prime Now and Grofers started their business.
Reliance Retail has started taking pre-registrations for JioMart, which will offer free home delivery to its customers irrespective of the value of their cart, no-questions-asked returns, and express delivery.
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, called this venture “new commerce”. With JioMart, Reliance wants to connect with 30 million offline retailers and reach at least 200 million people. This was announced at the Reliance Industries’ 42nd annual general meeting (AGM) in 2019.
The soft launch this week comes months after Ambani, who runs Reliance Industries — India’s largest industrial house — said that he wants to service tens of millions of retailers and store owners across the country.
For Reliance, being a home player, getting in the grocery delivery area will be easy as it will have no problems with FDI rules. Amazon, on the other hand, has to watch out for changing FDI rules as the central government can turn around and change its stance in order to protect the interests of the small retailers, aka kiranas, across the country.
While JioMart is limited to Maharashtra as of now, it will be gradually expanded across India to compete directly with Amazon Prime Now, Grofers, Big Basket, and Flipkart. As per a report by LiveMint, the company is sending invites to all Jio users to avail of the preliminary discounts on JioMart. The report also suggests that the service will not be limited to three regions only and the company will scale it up further.