Disruption Redux

Been there, done that: Reliance Jio’s disruption playbook is familiar. Will its mistakes be too?

Better technology, boatloads of cash, unbridled ambition, rapid scaling and 'free'. Reliance Jio's playbook was once Reliance Communication's. It didn't work then, will it now?

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There are no new ideas. Only rediscovery or remixing.

The $80-billion Reliance Group’s strategy to disrupt and upend Indian telecom with its Jio brand is testament to this adage, even though the latter’s roots lie in literature and the creative arts, not business.

Customers in multiple Indian cities are currently signing up for free Jio fiber broadband at speeds of up to 100 Megabits.

India’s broadband penetration is under 10% and its average broadband speeds are abysmally low at around 6.5 Mbps.

In late July, Jio announced free 4G feature phones (provided customers agreed to pay a deposit and…

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