October 2020 was meant to be a big month for Reliance Jio, the country’s biggest telco. Just over a year ago, Mukesh Ambani—chairman of Jio’s parent company, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL)—had told shareholders that Jio was within touching distance of reaching 500 million subscribers. In October that year, anonymous company sources told reporters that the target was to meet this milestone in 12 months.
While Reliance has managed to grow from practically nothing to almost 400 million active subscribers in the five years since its launch in September 2016, it missed its target.
It isn’t for a lack of ambition, though.