Reliance Jio – The Indian Telco Dials D for Disruption
In July 2016, the Mukesh Ambani (Mukesh) led Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) launched Lyf brand of smartphones in Indian metropolitan areas with Jio 4G enabled SIM cards. The commercial launch of Jio SIM was scheduled for the later part of the year. Their Lyf smartphones came with a three months unlimited data preview offer. The company differentiated its products based on network, technology and content. LTE technology used packet data for transmission and RJIL recommended transfer of voice calls as well with the LTE technology termed as the new technology VoLTE. It offered pan-India 4G services using LTE technology.1 LTE technology used packet data2 for transmission and RJIL recommended transfer of voice calls as well with the LTE technology termed as the new technology VoLTE. This meant VoLTE enabled users had the advantage of free voice calls using the broadband network. This was fundamentally different from RJIL’s rivals who offered discreet data and voice packs using 2G or 3G networks. However, VoLTE being a new technology mandated company to develop the necessary infrastructure such as IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)3 and LTE enabled smartphones to offer the best usage to its customers. RJIL promised a bouquet of other applications as well revolving around education, healthcare, e-commerce, social media and gaming using this technology. Besides the necessary infrastructure, the company wanted VoLTE enabled smartphones. The company had signed partnership agreements with the leading smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, Lenovo, ZTE, Intex, etc., to manufacture VoLTE supported smartphones.4
Expected Learning Outcomes
- • Conduct and understand a general environment analysis, industry and competitive analysis
- • Provides insights on the evolution of Indian telecom industry
- • Critically evaluate the firm’s strategic positioning and scope in a competitive environment
Case Positioning and Setting
The case study is appropriate for MBA Programs in a Strategy formulation module after the fundamentals concepts and theories of strategic management have been discussed. The case study focusses on the internal and external environment analysis to understand the company’s future success.
Prerequisite Conceptual Understanding
- • Michael E. Porter, “The five Competitive Forces that Shape Strategy”, Harvard Business Review, 86 (1), 2008, pages79–93
- • Michael E. Porter, “What is Strategy?” Harvard Business Review, 74, 1996, pages 61–78
- • Michael E. Porter, Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, Free Press, New York, 1985
- I. Map the evolution of telecom industry in India. List the key growth drivers of this industry in recent times. How did RJIL plan to leverage these key drivers to its business advantage?
- II. ..............