Jio is majority-owned by Reliance Industries Limited, one of the largest conglomerates in India. Jio was publicly launched in 2016. It is the leading mobile telecommunications operator in India and the second-largest single country operator in the world. It had 426 million mobile subscribers in March 2021.
Apart from its support for digital inclusivity of women and girls through Reliance Foundation, little evidence was found that Jio supports making digital technologies widely available, affordable and accessible. There is an opportunity to support initiatives in this area. The company could also consider disclosing information about how the economic value it generates is distributed among its stakeholders.
Jio has an opportunity to demonstrate its efforts in supporting digital skills development. It could also improve its performance in this measurement area by disclosing financial and other metrics for the Reliance Foundation’s Digital Classrooms programme, as well as the impact the programme has on its beneficiaries.
Even though there is evidence that Jio’s information security management system is certified by internationally recognised standards, it could provide a copy of the certificate. Limited evidence has been found regarding the company’s efforts on information security management, data protection and child online safety.
Apart from its support for the tech innovation ecosystem through JioGenNext, limited evidence has been found on Jio’s support for open, sustainable, inclusive and ethical innovation. Since the company discloses the number of employees in technical and research roles, it could also disclose how many of these employees are women. The company could further disclose how it applies ethics in its research and development (R&D) activities.
Core social indicators
The core social indicators assess societal expectations of business conduct that companies should meet if they aspire to be part of a system transformation that leaves no one behind.
Jio commits to respect human rights, however it does not commit to respect – or require its business relationships to commit to respect – all of the labour fundamentals outlined by the ILO core labour rights, including freedom of association and collective bargaining. Furthermore, the company does not disclose a process to identify, assess, and take action on salient human rights risks its own operations and business relationships. Jio does have a grievance mechanism, but it is unclear if it is accessible to all stakeholders, rather than just the company’s own workers, to raise human rights concerns and complaints.
Jio publicly commits to respecting the health and safety of workers, and places health and safety expectations on its business relationships and monitors their performance. However, the company lacks relevant disclosure in reference to collective bargaining, working hours and living wages. For example, while the company discloses the proportion of non-supervisory permanent employees covered by collective bargaining agreement, it does not disclose this figure for its entire workforce. In relation to workforce diversity, while Jio does not provide a breakdown of diversity within each employee category, it does have a target to increase the number of women in the entire workforce to 15%.
Jio does not disclose a global tax strategy, or the income tax payments for all the company’s tax jurisdictions. In reference to lobbying and political engagement, the company does not state that it does not make political contributions and does not disclose its lobbying expenditures; furthermore, it does not disclose its overarching approach to lobbying and political engagement in a public policy statement. However, Jio does have a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption and incudes anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses in contracts with its business relationships.