Ambani sets up Estonian JV for e-governance; takes up e-residency
Mumbai: Industrialist Mukesh Ambani is keen on the e-governance space and has set up a subsidiary company in Estonia to get a grip on the solutions, government officials of the Northwestern European nation have said.
Ambani has formed a subsidiary with the Estonian government’s former chief information officer Taavi Kotka.
ooking for solutions in the e-governance space, Viljar Lubi, vice-minister for economic affairs and communications of Estonia, which is a European Union member, told a group of visiting journalists recently.
He, however, did not elaborate on the exact scope of the partnership, saying government only plays the role of a facilitator.
A Reliance Industries spokesperson refused to share details of the project or plan.
Multiple officials in Estonia, which is among the most digitised countries in the world, maintained that the role of private companies has been crucial in developing the digital infrastructure used by all most all of its citizens.
The country claims of 99 per cent of digital penetration.
Ambani, the richest Indian who runs the most profitable domestic company Reliance Industries, took an e-residency of the European nation in May this year, the officials said.
An e-residency helps a foreigner access the EU opportunity by helping him/her form a company, among other benefits.
“Weve one of the founders of e-residency programmes, Kotka, who is currently working together with Reliance and Mukesh Ambani to digitalise India in terms of accessing digital identity.
“That is why Ambani became an e-resident recently,” a spokesperson for Estonia’s e-residency programme said.
An email sent to Reliance Industries spokesperson on this aspect was also not answered.
Asked if Ambani has visited Estonia, Lubi declined to comment, but named other Indian industrialists like Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy as among those who have visited their country to have a closer look at the work on digitisation.
Lubi said while digitisation has helped Estonia to get connected its scattered and very low population basethe country with a large land mass is home to only 1.4 million citizens — it can help India as well because it has a large population to be reached out to.
There are just about 2,000 Indians who have opted to become e-residents of Estonia so far, primarily to access the business opportunity presented by the European Union.
Over half of them are freelancers, who unlike big companies, cannot afford to set up subsidiaries in any EU country, the official said.
An e-residency enables a person to work for EU clientele and is lapped by startups looking for a footing in the EU.
Lubi said Estonian journey to digitalisation started right after regaining independence in 1991 from the erstwhile USSR due to a resource crunch and later it discovered the efficacy of the same as the world went digital.