Here's What Heir to India's Richest Man Said at His Maiden Speech

Akash Ambani made his first public solo appearance at the India Digital Open Summit

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By Sanchita Dash


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He is the scion to India's biggest telecom network and his father is India's richest man, but when Akash Ambani got up to take the stage at India Digital Open Summit in Mumbai, dressed in a plain white shirt and grey trousers, he had his feet firm on the ground.

Ambani was introduced by Matthew Oommen, President of Network, Global Strategy and Service Development at RJio, as the building block for their open source innovations and the face of the next generation. Ambani was also credited by Oommen to be the man behind Reliance's open office culture and open collaboration framework.

Taking the stage to talk about open source innovation, Ambani spoke about its impact across a broad spectrum of industries, including e-commerce, services and industry enterprises.

The Director of Reliance Jio Infocomm said that open source is very important for them at Jio, both as a contributor as well as utilizing it for their business needs. He added that every day a person uses a LYF mobile, a Jio phone or an application, their lives are enriched through the technologies that are enabled by open source.

"Contributing to open source communities is very important as demonstrated by Jio's leadership and Jio's participation in various projects, one of them being the ONAP project which is very important for how we implement and manage our network going forward," said Ambani.

Open Source Will Drive Technology Progression

The open source software makes way for open collaboration and Ambani is bullish about its usage to drive India towards its goal of being a prominent technology leader. He listed various areas of technology that is already boosted by open source and are leveraging the same for innovation of tomorrow.

Artificial Intelligence

The power of artificial intelligence is known to all in the world of technology. The same is being used for voice assistance, recognition and command, which is growing on a daily basis in terms of usage, noted Ambani. "AI projects have leveraged open source to enable continuous innovation. There are so many examples of industry leading AI projects that have been contributed by the open source community," he said.


Ambani claimed that cloud is one of the key technology enabling infrastructures in the world today. He stated that the India's public cloud market is estimated to be at $2.6 billion this year and in 2020, it will grow to be a $4 billion market. "Openstack is the world's largest open source cloud project which is being leveraged on a daily basis by more and more customers including enterprises. It now powers over 60 data centres including public and private clouds in the world including ours at Reliance Jio. It's also being leveraged as core network management initiatives including ONAP," he said.


The Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality sector has been growing by leaps and bounds over the years. Acknowledging its growth, Ambani said that 2017 was the tipping point for AR and VR, with accelerated momentum happening in 2018. "In India, AR and VR is in its initial stages of adoption. But we believe that it will grow at a 50 per cent compounded rate for the next 5 years," he said.


Nobody has been a stranger to the developments of Blockchain over the past few years. But over the last year, with the continuous buzz around Blockchain, thanks to Bitcoin, Ambani claimed that 2017 was truly the year of blockchain and digital currency. "Beyond cryptocurrency, blockchain at its core provides a distributed ledger system for enabling secure transactions. A fundamental usecase of this was bitcoin but there can be so many others for so many different industries including banks, healthcare, real estate, education, IOT etc.," he said.

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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