The Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Mukesh Ambani, said on Monday that the industry, governments and civil society will have to work as a coalition for the global economy.
Addressing the Qatar Economic Forum, Ambani spoke about the biggest challenges for the industry as the world emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Well, I think that one of the challenges is to make sure that we get rid of the vaccination divide. It is critical that bulk of the developed world will be vaccinated by the end of the year. I think we in India have taken a lot many steps, and we expect that by the end of this year or by the first quarter of next year, we will do very well. We have to make sure that we are in this all together,” Ambani said.
“The second challenge for all of us, particularly in the more developed countries, is to make sure that we bring back the economies, which have not had the benefit of stimulus, which have not had the benefit of government money, by really supporting the whole global economy to come back and grow,” Ambani said.
“We must be able to grow the whole world in a sustainable way and not only bring back the developed economies. And towards that all of us — the industry, governments and civil society — will have to work as a coalition, not only for our own company, not only for our own country, but for the global economy,” Ambani added.
Talking about how business has changed post the pandemic, Ambani said, “I think that trade along with purpose and compassion is the way forward. And that is going to get all of us, as humanity, together to integrate and make sure that collectively we can actually deal with global problems as one, and help each other moving forward. To my mind, this for the global economy is a fork in the road, and gives us an opportunity that together we can achieve a lot more.”
On the digital divide, Ambani said connectivity and communication have become the basic needs, and also fundamental rights of every human being on the planet — as basic as food, clothing and shelter.
“We never realised this as acutely as we did in the corona pandemic. Even in India, our Prime Minister had given a call for Digital India, and I was privileged, with our digital services company called Jio, to roll out a 4G network. We were lucky that we rolled out the network across the length and breadth of India by 2018. We have always wondered what could we have done without a 4G network across India in facing the corona crisis.
“So yes, the digital infrastructure was very useful in work from home, in vaccinating all our people, in making sure that our children learn at home and learn online. And I think that this trend of digital-physical will be the new normal and in the future, we will deliver most of our health and education services in a digital-physical sense,” Ambani said.
On sustainability in business, Ambani said, “My view is that we have no option, as a society or as a business, but to really adopt sustainable business model. To ensure that, embracing the model of clean energy is a pre-requisite for our growth and we at Reliance have adopted this whole-heartedly and are transforming each of our businesses to be sustainable, circular, recyclable and fully transparent with environment, social and governance standards. I think that is prerequisite for every business to survive as we go forward. It will mean transforming our businesses and integrating them with the future.”