Giving his acceptance speech at the Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence, Ambani, who won the 'Business Leader of the Year' award, said Reliance took a contrarian bet to invest Rs 3.5 lakh crore in India and that has paid off handsomely.
"A few years ago, the fashion in India was to invest abroad," Ambani said.
"If you don't invest abroad, you are left out. We took a contrarian bet and invested over Rs 3.5 lakh crore in a single bet in India. The significant portion of that investment is in Jio."
Reliance Jio Infocomm, which launched services in September last year, disrupted the market by introducing free voice for life for the first time and cheap data prices.
Ambani referred to the intense rivalry with the older telecom companies that was sparked by Jio's entry, suggesting that the relationship is still amicable.
"The prime minister's vision is backed up by the concrete action in terms of open, transparent and fair policies where even some ragging by incumbents is tolerable and fun and we can still be friends," he told an audience that included Bharti Group chairman Sunil Mittal, Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla and Vodafone India CEO Sunil Sood.
Jio's 140 million customers have made India the world's No 1 mobile data market. "I firmly believe with digital technology and exponential technology, the world will change (more) in the next 20 years than in the last 300 years," he said.
"Jio provides critical infrastructure to India and India needs to participate in the global economy as first-class citizens at par with any other country. Not that 'vahaan pehle hota hai aur India mein dus saal ke baad hota hai' (it first happens abroad and India only gets it 10 years later)."
This is the second time Ambani has won ET's Business Leader of the Year award. He first won it in 2006.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of politiconation.in . The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.