Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani, during the virtual ‘Partnering for Digital India’ event on Tuesday, discussed 4G and 5G revolution, RIL-Facebook partnership and roles businesses can play to make India one of the top three economies in the next two decades.
The Facebook CEO said Reliance brought 4G revolution in India, and that 5G was now another big focus for the company. He said RIL has done a “truly remarkable” job in helping bring hundreds of millions of people onto the internet.
Zuckerberg said he was curious to know what lies for India next. “What other technologies or developments are you excited about now? And where do you see the country in the next five to ten years?” he asked the RIL Chairman.
Ambani said he sees India accelerating as a premier digital society. “I see us integrating both 5G…and just yesterday, our Prime Minister has said that he wants every village and every gram panchayat,” Ambani said.
He said India carried out “second-generation reforms” in the last six months. “We have unique opportunities and as Jio we are connecting all the 1.9 million schools in India and the 58 000 colleges,” he told the social media giant CEO.
He said at any point in time in the coming decades, India will have about 200 million children or young adults in the education system. “In 10 years, we can set for ourselves an objective to reskill India and the talent that you talked about, can improve 10x,” he said. Ambani said the same can be done in health and all the emerging technology and integrations.
Talking about new trends, Mark Zuckerberg said with 4G and coming 5G networks, video is becoming the primary way that people share.
“Anyone can largely capture something on their phones and can share it or stream it, and increasingly, people can consume that. And the video is just a lot richer of a medium than photos even can be,” he said.
On a question by Mark on Mukesh Ambani’s father’s legacy and the most important things he learned from him, Ambani said courage and self-belief, empathy and creativity, and the importance of relationship, trust, and loyalty were the three most important things his father taught him.
About Mark’s comments on virtual reality, the RIL Chairman said he would like to see the day when while sitting in Mumbai, he would experience and enjoy a cricket match in Australia via VR. “And I’m sure that day, with your digital architecture and leadership, is not far away,” he said.
Mark also talked about Facebook and Jio partnership, saying he sees opportunities in the FB-RIL deal as it can play a role in supporting the millions of small businesses in India, especially during the COVID-19 era.
Ambani said together, they have become a value creation platform for customers and small businesses.
Ambani said he believed India will grow to be among the top three economies in the world in the next two decades after transforming into a premier digital society. He said India’s young workforce will drive its economy and its per capita income will go up to $5,000 from the current level of $1,800-2,000.
Zuckerberg said India is a “very special and important country” for Facebook. “Millions of people here use our products every day to stay in touch with friends and family. Whether it’s a WhatsApp message, or a Facebook post, or photos on Instagram,” he said.