Reliance Industries will hold its 45th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at 2 pm on 29 August. RIL will broadcast it simultaneously on a virtual reality platform as well as on five social media platforms as it takes another leap in digitally connecting people for its annual shareholder meeting.
Reliance Industries is likely to make announcements about the firm’s 5G rollout, how RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani plans to unlock the value of his telecom and retail units through separate listings, and when and how his children will take over the reins.
The 65-year-old billionaire will virtually address shareholders at the 45th AGM in the immersive and interactive 3D world of metaverse.
Ambani’s once-a-year speech at the AGM comes as the refining-to-retail group faces the twin challenges of a global recession and the blistering rise of Gautam Adani, who eclipsed the RIL Chairman as Asia’s richest man earlier this year and is emerging as an alternative power center on the corporate landscape.
A look at what investors are expecting
The patriarch signalled that succession planning atop Reliance will be expedited in last year’s shareholder meet and reiterated it explicitly in December. His three children — daughter Isha and sons Akash and Anant — are already holding various directorships in the group’s unlisted firms and are becoming more visible in their leadership.
Ambani Looks to Walton Family Playbook on Succession
Ambani stepped down as the chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. in June, making way for his elder son, Akash, who took over the helm at India’s largest wireless operator. As rumors keep swirling around Ambani’s health, investors will look for more concrete steps to be taken in leadership transition, with Isha, Anant and possibly his wife, Nita, taking on more responsibility.
Reliance Jio Infocomm bought airwaves worth over $11 billion at a local spectrum auction as it sought to cement its edge over the smaller rivals — Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Vodafone Idea Ltd. — in the rollout of speedier 5G networks. That will be key to boosting revenues and luring high-value users.
India Sells $19 Billion of Airwaves With Reliance as Top Buyer
Investors will be looking for proof of the pudding here. The technology is yet to return profits for Asian wireless operations despite investing billions of dollars, even for those in China which have been offering 5G service since 2019. Details like a nationwide rollout date, tariff plans for 5G services as well as where demand lies for the service will be crucial for Reliance Jio to reveal.
The Ambani children may demonstrate some of the key features of the 5G services at the meeting, just as they’ve showcased new telecoms products in the past.
The street has been waiting to get better clarity around the initial public offerings of Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail Ltd., especially after the two consumer businesses raked in $27 billion from marquee global investors in 2020.
Ambani Sold a Tech Dream for $27 Billion. Now He Has to Deliver
Both companies are market leaders in their respective sector with a formidable lead over their rivals. Their listings — or even spinoffs — could propel Ambani’s net worth. “The timelines are crucial to get the mojo back for Reliance stock,” Bathini said. Reliance has gained just about 11% this year compared to the more than 40% rise by top performers on the S&P BSE Sensex.
New Energy, Old Energy
The $76 billion pivot toward green energy is the biggest transformation that Ambani is helming currently. It’s also a difficult transition given the conglomerate’s roots in petrochemicals and crude oil refining and the continued out-sized contribution of the fossil fuel-led businesses in Reliance’s yearly revenue.
Ambani Says Green Push to Outshine Other Reliance Businesses
Investors will look for updates around last year’s announced plans to build four giga-factories to make solar modules, hydrogen electrolyzers, fuel cells and storage batteries. Ambani has also been on a tear acquiring small green energy firms globally for expertise and technology. There are also plans to become among the world’s top blue hydrogen makers.
Ambani emphasized his vision for the “internationalization of Reliance” in his speech last year.
In the past year, Reliance has made overtures toward big overseas deals like a potential acquisition of the British drugstore chain Boots, which was never completed. Investors will want to see if the appetite for global acquisitions still exists amid a slowing worldwide economy.
Then there’s always the possibility of a curve ball at the meeting, said Bathini. “Never underestimate the power of senior Ambani” to surprise the market, he said.
How to receive RIL AGM updates on Whatsapp?
RIL has also activated its 7977111111 WhatsApp Chatbot for its 45th AGM for anyone to easily discover the dates and processes etc around the meeting. The chatbot, which can be activated with a simple ‘hi’ message to the given number, helps a user find details like the date and timing of the AGM, how to watch it live, how a shareholder can vote or ask questions etc.
With agency inputs
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