Reliance Industries Limited Chairman Mukesh Ambani on Tuesday said that the Indian economy will not only bounce back but will also grow with unprecedented acceleration.
Speaking at the Indian Mobile Congress 2020, he said that urgent policy steps are needed to bring smartphones to 300 million phone users "trapped" in 2G phones and accelerate the early rollout of 5G.
Ambani said that India will welcome the new decade with supreme confidence under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"The Indian economy will not only bounce back but will also grow with unprecedented acceleration. India can -- and India will -- prove cynics wrong by becoming a $5 trillion economy. It will be a more equal India... ... with increased incomes, increased employment, and improved quality of life for 1 billion Indians at the middle and bottom of the Economic Pyramid. India has the historic opportunity to become the world's preeminent digital society with ease of living for all," he said.
"As many as 300 million mobile subscribers in India are still trapped in the 2G era. Urgent policy steps are needed to ensure that these underprivileged people have an affordable smartphone, So that they too can benefit from Direct Benefit Transfer into their bank accounts, and actively participate in the digital economy," he said.
"India is today among the best digitally connected nations in the world. In order to maintain this lead, policy steps are needed to accelerate the early rollout of 5G, and to make it affordable and available everywhere," he added.
Ambani said that Jio will pioneer the 5G revolution in India in the second half of 2021 and it will be powered by the indigenous-developed network, hardware and technology components.
"Jio's 5G service will be a testimony to your inspiring vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat. I can say with utmost confidence that 5G will enable India to not only participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution but also to lead it," he said.
The RIL chairman said that the Central government's Digital India Mission has made our country highly resilient in the face of the toughest of adversities.
"In four short years, the Indian Mobile Congress has grown enormously in prestige and impact. It has already earned a proud place in the annual calendar of global conversations on digital technologies. This is because of India's two unique strengths, which the world has now fully recognised," Ambani said.
"One is the confluence of three D's -- India's Vibrant DEMOCRACY, India's Young DEMOGRAPHY and India's DIGITAL Transformation. The other is the visionary and dynamic leadership of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji. His Digital India Mission has made our country highly resilient in the face of the toughest of adversities," he said.
"The outbreak of COVID-19 posed life-threatening challenges. But our high-speed 4G connectivity infrastructure has proved to be India's digital lifeline," he said.
Emphasising on internet usage in 2020 further, the RIL chairman said that digital technology has evolved into a platform of unlimited enablement and empowerment from being a means of limited engagement and entertainment.
"Throughout 2020, India worked online, studied online, shopped online, received healthcare online, socialised online, played online... Simply put, India thrived online. This underscores the phenomenal evolution of Digital Technology in India," he said.
Despite the lockdown, he said that the entire industry consisting of thousands of engineers and employees worked round the clock to provide critical support 24X7 to all sections of the society and business.
"The government supported the industry to go the extra mile in keeping the services going during this period. They deserve our appreciation and gratitude. Honourable Prime Minister, With great admiration and enthusiasm, the nation has welcomed your announcement about the early availability of affordable COVID vaccine. The pandemic will be surely behind us soon in 2021," he said.
He also expressed gratitude to spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar stating that his focused efforts are the reason why many leading global companies are coming to India to set up manufacturing facilities. India has developed world-class strengths in chip design.
"I clearly foresee India becoming a major hub for the state-of-the-art semiconductor industry. When all the stakeholders work together, we can surely ensure that India's success in hardware will match our success in software," he said.