Now it is eCommerce fashion retail that Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries has ventured into though a platform called AJIO. It will mainly target India's online spenders with high-margin, curated fashion. The portal, named after its telecom unit Reliance Jio and upcoming digital wallet Jio Money, has been tested on its employees for the last three months.
A group having diversified business ventures ranging from telecom, media and petroleum, is already one of the country's largest retailers. The mega group operates department chain Reliance Trends and Reliance Brands, which has partnered multiple premium international labels including Diesel and Superdry.
However, the new venture will mainly focus on designer wear and high-fashion global brands to differentiate itself in the cluttered online apparel market.
Sanjay Mehra, chief executive, AJIO said that they have leveraged the Jio ecosystem and its network for delivery. This is part of the brands omni-channel strategy and aims to reach 15,000 pin codes in the next two months.
The company will sell nearly 200 brands that they have already partnered, including Cross Jeans from Turkey, Australia's Holster and MDS of Singapore.
Adding further, Mehra, who joined Reliance last year from US firm Wolverine Worldwide said that about 60% of the brand’s merchandise will be unique and the model will be an inventory-based marketplace,.
The group's entry into online fashion retail comes against the backdrop of a recent government rule that capped sourcing and discounting by players that have foreign investors.
This would affect most of the existing players, including Myntra, part of the country's biggest online retailer, Flipkart, Amazon India, Snapdeal and Jabong. While apparel and footwear make up the largest slice in India's online retail pie, the number of retailers selling them is the highest, due to the profit margin, as per Euromonitor International, which pegs the segment at nearly `20,000 crore now and is expected to reach more than `70,000 crore by 2020.