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Reliance hosts world's largest virtual AGM

Source: PTI
July 15, 2020 23:39 IST
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As many as 3.2 lakh shareholders attended the meeting on the newly-minted JioMeet platform from 550 cities in 48 countries.

RIL AGM

Photograph: ANI Photo

Reliance Industries Ltd, the country's most valuable company, on Wednesday hosted what is being dubbed as the world's largest virtual shareholder meeting where lakhs of shareholders joined in from 550 cities across 48 countries.

The 43rd annual general meeting (AGM) of RIL also featured Nita Ambani, wife of Asia's richest man and head of the company Mukesh Ambani, who made her maiden speech, detailing the firm's COVID-19 response.

 

As many as 3.2 lakh shareholders attended the meeting on the newly-minted JioMeet platform from 550 cities in 48 countries, according to information available from the company.

Several others attended the meeting through other video conferencing and audio-visual means.

RIL has over 26 lakh shareholders.

JioMeet, Reliance's answer to video conferencing app Zoom, was launched earlier this month and has already seen 5 million downloads.

"JioMeet since its release a few days ago has already been downloaded by more than 5 million users. It is India's first and only cloud-based video-conferencing app," Mukesh Ambani, 63, said at the AGM.

Ambani has been delivering the chairman's address at the AGMs since taking over as the company head in 2002.

While the entire family, including mother Kokilaben Ambani, attended most of the AGMs in recent years, Ambani's twin children Akash and Isha have been since 2017 presenting to shareholders various technology innovations by Jio.

Like in past years, they appeared online at the AGM on Wednesday with Kiran Mathew Thomas, who is on the board of Jio Platforms -- RIL's much sought after digital venture -- to unveil the new offering Jio Glass that allows companies to conduct holographic video calls with 3D figures of themselves and also share presentations at the same time.

Nita Ambani, chairperson and founder of Reliance Foundation, spoke at the AGM for the first time. She gave a detailed report of the activities of the foundation and how during the COVID-19 crisis it continued to pull all stops to assist the needy.

She has been on the board of RIL for the last four years.

According to the company, shareholders attended from over 550 cities from 48 countries in Asia, Europe, and US through a specially-created video conferencing interface, live graphics, ticker tapes on the JioMeet platform.

Some shareholders logged in through K Fintech, Registrar and Share Transfer Agent to RIL.

All RIL directors and the company secretaries joined from their respective homes virtually.

Another global first in this AGM was the deployment of a chatbot, +917977111111, developed by Jio Haptik just to educate and onboard shareholders by answering over 80 queries -- from onboarding basics to dividend receivable and how to vote.

The bot hosted three easy-to-understand videos too.

Mumbai, the headquarters of RIL, where the physical meeting has been held all these years, saw the highest number of attendees in the virtual meet too.

The financial capital was followed by Delhi, Bengaluru and Pune, according to information from the company.

So far, all the post-IPO AGMs of Reliance have been physical meetings that have often been equated with the 'big, fat Indian weddings'.

The company, widely credited with having launched the equity culture in India, held AGMs in stadiums during the times of its founder Dhirubhai Ambani.

In 1985, 12,000 shareholders attended the Reliance AGM at the Cooperage Football Ground in Mumbai's Colaba. The next year, around 35,000 attended it at the city's Cross Maidan.

Over the years, the AGMs got shifted to auditoriums even as its shareholder base swelled to over 26 lakh.

At Wednesday's AGM, shareholders were able to watch, ask questions to the chairman, and vote -- all aided by technology.

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