Saturday May 25, 2019

‘Green’ lessons earn Reliance staffer Guinness entry

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Coimbatore: An hour-long lesson last year on how to segregate waste at source, involving 12,994 people of this city, has fetched C G S Manion, a member of the polyester division of RelianceIndustries, a Guinness World Record.

Manion, who has to his credit nearly 15 years of work towards environment protection, was selected by the Coimbatore Municipal Corporation to conduct a lesson on recycling on August 5 last year, which the Guinness has recognised.

In its citation, Guinness World Record called it the largest recycling lesson.

“This event was an attempt to reach a majority of local households with practical messages on waste segregation, reduce dumping of waste and recover for recycling and composting,” it said.

The environment expert’s campaigns also work in tandem with his employer Reliance Industries’ own facilities, townships and adjoining places through a host of initiatives like the one on a sustainable system to collect and dispose used plastic bottles in a green manner.

“These projects are very special to me not for the Guinness Record, but for reaching out to our society for a genuine social cause,” said Manion, also associated with a non-profit organisation that has undertaken works like the restoration of water bodies and afforestation.

Named Siruthuli, a small drop of water in Tamil, the non-profit venture started with projects to rejuvenate water sources in this city and has now ventured further into afforestation, waste management and awareness programmes.

“Such efforts are reflections of our company’s commitment to ‘recycle, reduce and re-use’,” a Reliance Industries spokesperson said, referring to how the company re-uses plastics to replace carcinogenic asbestos and make pre-coloured fabrics to avoid harmful dyeing later.

“We see such efforts as an inspiration for our ‘go green with swatch Bharat’ campaign,” the spokesperson said, and added that the strategy involved creating awareness on safe disposal of plastic bottles, adopt a systematic collection system and making fibres out of them.

At some high-profile events like the Indian Premier League cricket matches, the venues are peppered with banners explaining safe disposal methods and calling upon patrons to bring their plastic bottles for a “greener future”.(IANS)

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Reliance Retail Set to Disrupt Amazon, Walmart-Flipkart

The eCommerce competition in India remains fierce

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Reliance Jio. Source: www.reliancejio.website

Reliance Retail’s upcoming entry into the online retail sector is the biggest challenge for Amazon and Walmart-Flipkart as the Mukesh Ambani-led behemoth is well positioned to create massive disruption in the market, a new report has stressed.

According to the global market research firm Forrester, the online retail sales in India will grow at a five-year CAGR of 25.8 per cent to reach $85 billion by 2023, despite the hiccups of demonetization in 2016, GST in 2017 and the governmental changes in eCommerce policy announced last December.

The time is ripe for Reliance Retail, which operates 10,415 stores in more than 6,600 cities, with 500 million annual footfalls – giving the company the kind of scale required to swiftly launch India-based operations.

“One of the things that will trouble Amazon and Flipkart is Reliance’s history of launching operations via massive discounts,” Satish Meena, senior forecast analyst at Forrester Research, said on Tuesday.

Reliance entered the telecom sector in 2003 with the Monsoon Hungama tariff plan, which brought tariffs for voice calls down to just Rs 0.40 a minute from the existing rate of Rs 2 a minute, followed by the launch of Jio 4G plan in 2016 that dropped data rates from Rs 250 per GB to Rs 50 per GB.

“This kind of discounting can disrupt any market, and we expect something similar to happen in the grocery space during Reliancea¿s launch,” Meena added.

Reliance is fast working on creating the world’s largest online-to-offline New Commerce Platform, according to Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries.

“Due to the recent changes in eCommerce policy and the restrictions on an inventory-led model for marketplaces with FDI, Reliance Retail is finding a favourable policy environment to launch operations where it can use its existing retail infrastructure to deliver goods to customers,” the Forrester report noted.

Reliance launched the food and grocery app among its employees in April 2019 to prepare for the commercial launch later in the year.

Reliance Retail is the largest retailer in India, with $18.7 billion in revenue during financial year 2019, and it grew at a CAGR of 55 per cent in the last five years.

Reliance Retail had $81 billion in revenue and $9.4 billion in profit during 2019.

e-commerce
Security guards stand at the reception desk of the Amazon India office in Bengaluru, India, Aug. 14, 2015. VOA

“This gives Reliance Retail access to long-term capital from the conglomerate, which has a presence in energy, petrochemicals, telecom, textiles, retail, and natural resources,” said Forrester.

Reliance Retail also has a portfolio of over 40 brands, from the midmarket to premium segments and including Hamleys (which the company has acquired for Rs 620 crore) and Marks & Spencer.

“These can provide a boost to the fashion and lifestyle segment, which will be the largest category by online spending in the coming years,” said the report.

Reliance launched its mobile business at the end of 2015, and by April 2019, it had over 300 million mobile subscribers a” making it the third-largest player in a short span of time.

Jio is building on these mobile subscribers by investing in related services to create an ecosystem that gives customers access to rich content and payments options.

This ecosystem will be available for Reliance Retail to build on.

To compete with Amazon and Flipkart, Reliance will have to significantly improve the customer experience, both in stores and on its online channel, because discounts and cashbacks will not generate loyalty for online customers a” as we saw in the Paytm Mall case.

Also Read- US Temporarily Loosens Restrictions on Huawei Products

“Removal of discounts may lead to a significant loss of buyers from the platform. The positioning of the Reliance platform and its fulfilment will play a critical role in the fight against Amazon and Flipkart,” emphasised the Forrester report.

The eCommerce competition in India remains fierce.

Amazon has been the most popular online retailer since it surpassed Flipkart in 2016, although Flipkart is still the single-largest online retailer, with 31.9 per cent market share in 2018 (38.4 per cent if you include Myntra and Jabong), closely followed by Amazon at 31 per cent. (IANS)