04 April 2016 Current Affairs: Reliance Industries is extending the Jio brand name to new businesses, the latest being a fashion ecommerce site dubbed AJIO.com, said people aware of the development. The company has named its telecom unit Reliance Jio and its upcoming digital wallet Jio Money. AJIO.com has been tested among some employees since December, said the people cited above. It will be opened to all employees later this week through an official communication.Reliance plans to adopt a dual ecommerce model similar to Flipkart's, which operates a general merchandise marketplace and fashion portal Myntra, which it acquired in May last year for about $300 million. This strategy stems from high margins in the fashion business, while the marketplace ventures are low margin but encompass a vast range of products. In a presentation to analysts in October last year, Reliance said the ecommerce platform for electronic products was ready for deployment, while it plans to roll out an online grocery marketplace in the fourth quarter of the fiscal. In the presentation, Reliance said it plans to enroll 1,50,000 small and medium vendors for its ecommerce marketplace by the end of the current fiscal year. AJIO.com has lined up brands from the US, Russia, Turkey, Singapore, and Australia besides other countries. The brands may include Holster of Australia, Gizia of Turkey and mds from Singapore, said the people cited above. It aims to distinguish its portfolio through a mix of curated, exclusive global and local brands besides handpicked artisanal products, they said. ET had reported last July that Reliance had appointed Sanjay Mehra, a veteran of US firm Wolverine World Wide that owns Caterpillar shoes and Merrell apparel, as chief executive of its fashion and lifestyle ecommerce business. Reliance is expected to make a high-profile entry into the general merchandising marketplace where it will compete with Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal.The AJIO labels will be different from those sold by Reliance Trends and Reliance Brands. AJIO plans to leverage Reliance Jio's digital platform as well as the 3,000-strong Reliance Retail network for deliveries and returns.
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