If there is the Indian Dream (the equivalent of the American Dream), Reliance Industries perfectly embodies it. An illiterate, villager with no money becomes the country's richest person. That. Is. A. Great. Story! This 47-year-old giant has its fingers in every industry in India. I'm not even exaggerating. Reliance industries own about 158 subsidiaries, ranging from internet providers to film production houses. There is a very high chance that you use one of its product every day if you live in India. It is currently India's biggest company by market cap at more than Rs 850,000 Cr or about 5% of India's GDP.
You probably need an army of analysts to capture the extent of what the company does entirely!
Today I'm going to focus on just one arm of Reliance Industries called Jio.
It is heartening to see India embrace digital life. Reliance Jio continues to add subscribers at a rate unprecedented in the telecom world. But first, let's focus on macro, so we get some context.
Indian population stands at ~120 Cr.
There are ~70 Cr internet users in India.
Of that, ~63 Cr are mobile internet users.
At the beginning of 2019, Jio had more than 30 Cr subscribers!
That means Jio alone has ~50% market share of mobile internet users.
~25% of Indians use Jio internet. That is a lot of people.
On top of that, only ~50% of India uses the internet. Talk about room for growth!
From anecdotal accounts, the product is not shitty and gives excellent experience for most users, even on low-end phones. People are happy with it! Growth, check. Product, check. Let's look at what its worth. Facebook acquired a 9.9% stake in Jio. Not Reliance industries, just Jio. Facebook paid Rs. 43,500 Cr. for 9.9% of Jio, which makes Jio's market cap at Rs. 435,000 Cr. or 2% of Indian GDP. In 2019, Jio's revenue was ~46,500 Cr. Which means it's selling at about ten times sales. Jio's net profit was ~9,000 Cr. That means a net profit margin of ~20% and a PE ratio of 50! PE of 50 means, if all else equal, it will take 50 years for Facebook to get back their investment in Jio.
Where is the growth for Jio? Perhaps such lofty valuation for Jio might be justified. It's growing at a pretty fast pace compared to its competitors Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.
It might also be able to raise the price. The average revenue per user for Jio is Rs. 120, while its Rs.135 for Bharti Airtel.
There is an ecosystem argument. Jio is building an ecosystem with all its apps and services; Jio Sawaan, Jio TV, Jio Payments, etc.
And then there is THE DATA. There is a huge opportunity to monetize the data, and partnering with Facebook might be one way to do that.
Also, ~45,000 Cr is about ~$6 Billion, and $6 Billion for Facebook is less than it's quarterly net profit. I would say it's a great bet for Facebook and a massive get for Jio. Win-win.