Mumbai, July 21 (IANS) In an action-packed Annual General Meeting of Reliance Industries Limited on Friday, its Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani announced the launch of zero cost ‘intelligent smartphone’ as well as recommended bonus shares in the ratio of 1:1 for the company’s shareholders.
The JioPhone will be available for beta testing from August 15.
“The JioPhone will be available to all Indians for an effective price of Rs zero,” Ambani told the company’s 40th Annual General Meeting (AGM) here. The phone will be available from Jio Infocomm, a fully-owned subsidiary of RIL.
The much-awaited phone was launched by Ambani’s son and daughter Akash and Isha Ambani. The phone will support 22 Indian languages. To protect against misuse, customers have to pay a fully refundable Rs 1,500 security deposit while taking a JioPhone.
He also said: “The launch of the JioPhone will fulfill the dream of our Founder, Dhirubhai Ambani, and the Digital India vision of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
Charting out the long journey of the RIL since it was founded by his father Dhirubhai Ambani in 1977, Ambani said its net profit index had jumped 10,000 times during the last 40 years.
Describing how from its beginning as a textiles start-up, RIL has now created “multiple growth engines”, he told shareholders at the 40th AGM here that the company’s “net profit went from Rs 3 crore to Rs 30,000 crore” during the period.
“RIL’s market capitalisation has grown from Rs 10 crore in 1977, to over Rs 5 lakh crore now, at a compound annual growth rate of 32 per cent,” he said.
Ambani dedicated the 40 years to the founder Chairman and his father, Dhirubhai Ambani.
In an emotional speech, he said: “For the first 25 years, I sat by the side of my father, who tutored me with boundless affection, attention and hope. I can feel as if he is sitting here, smiling and talking to me and to all of you. I hear him telling me… Now, you are in my place. You have the responsibility to protect Reliance and promote the interests of all its shareowners, partners and employees. I am confident that you will take Reliance to greater height.”
Before ending his speech, he said: “Dhirubhai lives in our hearts for eternity. Let us welcome Dhirubhai again to this AGM.”
While Ambani was delivering this speech, his mother Kokilaben Ambani, who was present in the audience, burst into tears when he said he was grateful to his mother.
Cheering shareholders were heard shouting “Dhirubhai Zindabad!”
At the AGM, Ambani also said that RIL’s deal last month with British energy major BP on joint investment of $6 billion across the entire energy value chain in India was a major highlight of RIL’s oil and gas business in the past year.
“RIL and BP have recently approved an investment plan to monetise over 3 trillion cubic feet of gas from new fields in the KG (Krishna Godavari basin) D6 block,” he said.
RIL was investing together with its eastern offshore KG basin gas fields’ consortium partner BP after a gap of six years.
Ambani also announced a 1:1 bonus shares for RIL shareholders. In a regulatory filing, the company said bonus would be issued by “capitalisation of its reserves in the ratio of 1 bonus equity share of Rs 10 each fully paid-up for every 1 existing equity share of Rs 10 each fully paid-up (that is in the ratio of 1:1).”
The company’s shares closed trading at Rs 1,586.20 per share, up 3.76 per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Friday.