Google on Wednesday became the latest Silicon Valley player to invest in the digital unit of the Indian oil-to-telecoms juggernaut, following in the footsteps of Facebook and Intel.
These votes of confidence notwithstanding, Ambani’s success will depend on India‘s mom-and-pop stores and their ability to adapt to the demands of an online business, analysts say.
Keeping bargain-hungry consumers satisfied in a fiercely contested market may be even harder.
Early signs have not been promising for JioMart since its roll-out in 200 Indian cities in May.
Customers have complained about everything from rotting vegetables to missing deliveries and delayed refunds.
An avid online shopper who buys electronics from Amazon and clothing from Walmart-owned retailer Myntra, Mehul Shah is the kind of customer much sought after by Ambani and his rivals.
The 22-year-old placed his first JioMart order soon after the platform’s hotly-anticipated launch.
“I wanted to experience what it was like… because there was so much hype around it,” he told AFP.
But fewer than half his items were delivered and mint leaves he ordered arrived rotten, forcing Shah to throw them away.