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India’s Reliance to invest in Israeli Start Ups

The country's largest private-sector company has found a lot to like in Israeli tech firms
Bird's-eye view of Mumbai (photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash90)
Bird's-eye view of Mumbai (photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash90)

India’s largest private sector company Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) is scouting for Israeli start-ups to bring innovation to company’s e-commerce and telecom businesses. Reliance’s venture capital arm GenNext Ventures is reportedly in talks with other VC firms and private equity investors to identify start-ups in Israel.

Reliance offers to partner with Israeli start-ups and help them access Indian customer base. The company hopes to profit from cutting-edge Israeli innovation, especially in the area of telecommunications.

The move comes just days after India’s IT giant Infosys announced its decision to make big investments in Israeli start-ups.

The initiative is part of Reliance’s strategy to provide 4G services across India. Company is investing $13 billion in a nationwide telecom network that would provide high speed internet and digital services to a billion customers.

Besides Telecommunication, Reliance seems to be equally bullish on e-commerce. The company is looking to combine its telecom and retail arm to cut costs and create new synergies.

According to Shailesh Gogate, senior executive at Pune based global technology firm e-Zest, both India and Israel could gain from partnering in start-up sector. Indians are keen to learn the best practices in product and application development from Israeli partners, and in return offer them platforms to test innovation and access a bigger market.

Indian multinationals are already investing in Israeli start-up ecosystem in a big way. The entry of Reliance, India’s largest private sector enterprise with annual revenues in the excess of $67 billion is going to be a game-changer in bilateral cooperation in technology and innovation.

About the Author
Vijeta Uniyal is an Indian journalist based in Europe. He is Contributing Editor for the Commentator and Senior Distinguished Fellow at New York-based Gatestone Institute. He graduated from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi) and worked for more than 10 years in international organisations, including German Foreign Office, German Minister for Economics and Technology, Goethe Institute and Humboldt Foundation.
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