Reliance Jio falls short on acquiring customers by almost half of target

September 11, 2016 10:54 pm | Updated September 22, 2016 06:41 pm IST - MUMBAI:

A Reliance employee demonstrates Jio LYF phone at their headquarters on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, June 1, 2016. Picture taken June 1, 2016. REUTERS/Clara Ferreira Marques

A Reliance employee demonstrates Jio LYF phone at their headquarters on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, June 1, 2016. Picture taken June 1, 2016. REUTERS/Clara Ferreira Marques

Reliance Jio, the newest telecom operator, is adding five lakh customers a day for its recently announced Jio Welcome offer, or half the number it had aimed for.

Reliance Industries (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani had expected to add a million consumers each day using e-KYC, (or compliance with Know Your Customer norms in electronic form) to reach the target of 100 million customers by the end of the year. The company is also facing challenges in scaling up new connections as the e-KYC facility is now available only in Mumbai and New Delhi.

100-million target

The company has crossed five million registered users on its network including those it signed up during the testing phase preceding its launch early this month.

“We have crossed the 5-million subscriber base mark and we are adding about five-lakh-plus customers every day since our launch on September 5, under the Jio Welcome offer,” said a Reliance Jio employee on conditions of anonymity.

During the annual general meeting (AGM) of RIL, the parent firm of Reliance Jio, on September 1, Mr. Ambani had said that the target was to enrol one million customers a day and reach 100 million consumers “in the shortest possible time.”

The internal deadline set within the company was December 31, 2016 when the offer for free, bundled unlimited voice and data services ends.

The company is currently adding customers through 3,500 retail outlets of Reliance Digital, Express and Digital Express Mini stores, which are flooded with customers seeking new Jio connections.

“We want to add 5 million customers a week or 20 million a month but (we are) facing difficulty in activating so many customers at the backend,” said another Jio official.

“For e-KYC customers, we can activate connection in a couple of hours if you come with your Aadhaar card,” he said.

Reliance Jio is facing difficulty in scaling up the number of new connections as the e-KYC sign-up is now is restricted to Mumbai and Delhi only.

“I was given a token and asked to come after 3 days to get my Jio SIM on September 5. Now, after getting the SIM a couple of days ago, they are yet to activate it,” said a banker who didn’t wished to be named.

Expanding service

The company is aiming to expand the service to the top 8 cities and to all its retail outlets for faster enrolment of customers.

“With (the) digital process, we will have the capacity to acquire a million customers a day,” said Mr. Ambani during the RIL AGM.

“I request all Jio users to kindly bear with us for any inconvenience, until we fully implement this process. We want to make the on-boarding experience for Jio users as simple and delightful as possible. And with eKYC, in a few weeks, any Jio customer carrying an Aadhaar card will be able to walk out of a Jio store with a working connection within 15 minutes,” Mr. Ambani said.

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