New Delhi [India], April 27 (ANI): Broadband India Forum (BIF) on Monday lauded Facebook's Rs 43,574 crore investment in Jio and said that such investment in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic underlines the tremendous resilience, vitality, and outlook of the digital services sector.
BIF, a leading independent think-tank and policy forum for digital communications, said that they believe this partnership could be beneficial to over 50 million micro, small and medium businesses, over 100 million farmers, about 30 million small merchants and many millions of small and medium enterprises in the informal sector across India.
"Facebook and Jio, both esteemed members of BIF, and leaders in their respective business verticals, have come together through this move and reaffirmed the promise and potential that the future holds for the Digital Services sector in the country," BIF President TV Ramachandran said in a statement.
Ramachandran said that the critical importance of this sector has been demonstrated by the major role it has played and continues to play in these difficult times to mitigate the ill-effects of the pandemic while also maintaining near-normalcy in the country.
The statement said that the move will further strengthen the prospects of the broadband ecosystem in India, which has already set global benchmarks in terms of data consumption on a per-subscriber basis, to the tune of 11GB/per user/month, and steadily rising.
"The pact signed between Jio Platforms, Reliance Retail, and WhatsApp to cross leverage e-commerce platform JioMart and WhatsApp is also clearly aimed at facilitating new business opportunities by enabling a seamless digital connectivity experience between the consumer and local businesses/shops/Kirana stores," the statement said.
"The collaboration is expected to be suited to help people and businesses operate more effectively in the growing digital economy, by bringing together an efficient mechanism for purchase and delivery of products or procurement of services at the local levels," it added.
It said that this is especially relevant in the present circumstances, wherein the COVID-19 crisis has constrained consumers' options, severely impacted the supply chain and normal business practices, and thereby necessitated added innovative measures.
There are, as usual, some apprehensions in certain quarters that net neutrality and data protection norms would be flouted and consumer interest harmed, it said. BIF, however, said that it believes that this is erroneous, far-fetched, and not based on facts. (ANI)