Sanjay Mashruwala

Reliance Industries (RIL) has appointed Sanjay Mashruwala as the Managing Director of its 4G venture, Reliance Jio Infocomm, reports The Economic Times. Citing an executive with direct knowledge on this development, the report states that RIL had sent an internal mail to all its employees last week, announcing Mashruwala’s appointment.

Prior to this appointment, Mashruwala was serving as the president of RIL’s petrochemical division and had apparently played a key role in RIL’s oil and gas pipeline rollout, as indicated by a Voice&Data report. He had also reportedly played a key role in rolling out an optical fibre cable network across the country, when Reliance Infocomm had launched its mobile services in India about a decade ago.

This appointment comes at a time when Reliance Jio Infocomm had signed a Rs 1,200 crore worth agreement with Reliance Communications for sharing RCOM’s nationwide inter-city fibre optic network infrastructure and making use of multiple fiber pairs across RCOM’s 1,20,000 KM inter-city fiber optic network to provide 4G services in the country. In return, RCOM had received reciprocal access to the optic fiber infrastructure being built by RIL.

RIL’s 4G Strategy: Interestingly, the report also mentions that RIL will offering two types of services – a wireless mobility service and a Google Fiber-like high speed broadband service along with television and other services.

Remember that RIL has inked or at least rumored to have inked several partnerships with companies like Network18, Disney’s UTV and Extramarks Education and with major cable operators, including MSOs (Multi-System Operators) such as Hathway, Den, Digicable and InCable over the past few years which can enable them to offer such a service in the country. We’ve got a compilation of all that is being said and reported on MediaNama, as well as around the web, on the Reliance 4G launch.

Similar Developments

In December 2012, Ajit Nazre, a former partner with the venture fund Kliener Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB), and Arvind Rao, former CEO of mobile VAS company OnMobile Global, had joined Reliance Industries in an advisory capacity for the company’s 4G rollout. While both Nazre and Rao had separately confirmed this development to MediaNama, they had declined to comment on the exact nature of their roles. We had heard from sources that Rao was looking into value added services strategy and content partnerships for the 4G rollout while Nazre was looking at corporate strategy and was looking into the creation of a consumer centric and open ecosystem for content and services, but Nazre had denied it.

Last month, an ET report had suggested that Maxis Communications CEO Sandip Das was joining Reliance Industries as the head of its 4G venture and Das would be working with Manoj Modi who is apparently leading RIL’s 4G rollout in the country. RIL had however declined to comment on this appointment to the publication.

Other prominent members in the team include Mathew Oomen who was apparently the operational head of RIL’s 4G rollout, Kiran Thomas who is reportedly assisting Oomen in the 4G rollout, Sumit Chowdhury who was appointed as the Chief Information Officer at Reliance Infotel Broadband in September 2012 and was reportedly overlooking RIL’s systems, technology and product platforms and Madhumati Lele, who was previously working as Vodafone India’s customer services head.

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