Indian billionaires
Reliance is not letting go of any opportunity to expand its footprint. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Mumbai: Reliance Industries ltd., India’s largest company by market value, plans to invest as much as Rs16.7 billion ($221 million) in the local unit of California-based Sanmina Corp. to set up a joint venture, expanding billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led group’s footprint in electronics manufacturing.

Reliance Strategic Business Ventures ltd., a wholly owned unit of Reliance Industries, will hold 50.1 per cent in the joint venture while Sanmina SCI India will own the remainder. The transaction is expected to close by September, the filing said. The manufacturing will initially take place at Sanmina’s 100-acre campus in the southern Indian city of Chennai.

The deal bolsters the consumer retail and technology flanks for the conglomerate as Ambani, Asia’s richest person, seeks to diversify his empire away from fossil fuel-based businesses and toward digital and green energy initiatives. It also aligns with Indian government’s push for boosting indigenous manufacturing through ‘Make in India’ and other initiatives.

“For both growth and security, it is essential for India to be more self-reliant in electronics manufacturing in telecom, IT, data centers, cloud, 5G, new energy and other industries as we chart our path in the new digital economy,” Akash Ambani, director at Reliance Jio Infocomm ltd., said in the filing. The partnership was aimed at “meeting both Indian and global demand,” Ambani’s elder son said.

The joint venture will focus on high technology infrastructure hardware across industries including communications networking, health-care systems, clean technology, defense and aerospace.