Mukesh Ambani, billionaire and chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd., pauses during a panel session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. World leaders, influential executives, bankers and policy makers attend the 47th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos from Jan. 17 - 20. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Mukesh Ambani calls for bridging COVID-19 vaccine, digital divide
Reliance Industries CMD Mukesh Ambani on Monday called for bridging the COVID-19 vaccine divide amid nations and also digital divide.
However, the world needs to come together to vaccinate everyone, he said.
It is difficult to imagine what India would have been without the 4G telecom network during the pandemic, he said.
“The digital divide must be bridged, both amid nations and within nations. This is because connectivity and communications have become the basic needs. And fundamental rights of every human being on the planet as basic as food, clothing, and shelter,” he said.
“Our Prime Minister (had) given a call for Digital India. I was rich (that) our digital services company called Jio rolled out a 4G network across the length and breadth of the country by 2018,” Ambani said. “We have always wondered what would we have done without a 4G network across India in facing the corona crisis.”
He said digital infrastructure was very useful during the pandemic for people working from home. In vaccination, and in letting children learn and study from home.
“I think that this string of digital and physical (healthcare infrastructure) will be the new normal,” he said. “To my mind, it is an complete must for all economies to integrate. And enhance this digital infrastructure which has been so very useful in the corona disaster.”
Ambani said the other challenge after the pandemic is to make sure that economies which did not have the benefit of stimulus support are nursed back and they grow. He said the whole world and global economy should grow in a sustainable way. Governments, companies and civil society will have to work together for this.
To a question, he said there is no option but for businesses to adopt a sustainable business model by embracing clean energy.
“We at Reliance have adopted this wholeheartedly and (are) transforming each one of our business lines. To be sustainable, recyclable and fully transparent environment, social, and governance standards. And I think that’s a requirement for every business to survive, as we go forward,” he said.