The Indian economy will overtake China’s by the middle of the 21st century, Reliance Industries chairperson Mukesh Ambani said on Friday. “Can we close the gap between India and China, and India and the United States? Yes, we can,” Ambani said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi.
Predicting a “fourth industrial revolution”, Ambani said that those who do not keep up with new technologies would become irrelevant. The foundation of the next such revolution would be data connectivity, computing and Artificial Intelligence, he added.
“There’s no doubt that machine intelligence will augment biological intelligence,” the Reliance chairperson said on the growth of Artificial Intelligence. “We are in the age of super intelligence [intelligence superior to that of the human brain]. What manufacturing was for China, super intelligence can be for India.”
Ambani said the historical lack of infrastructure in India was actually a boon. “Not having legacy technology means we do not have to retrain people,” he said. “We can skip multiple technologies and reach the next generation.”
On the rise of internet consumption in India, Ambani said, “By 2050, we will have 300 million more Indians to feed... data is not only the new oil, but also the new soil.”
He said the launch of the mobile network Jio helped India become “Number 1 in mobile broadband”, adding that many did not back him when he planned to introduce Jio.
The billionaire also took a dig at his rival Bharti Airtel’s Sunil Mittal for blaming Jio for the telecom industry’s losses, PTI reported. “The question... you should be thinking about is even if there are profits and losses, who gains and who loses... As long as the consumer gains and the country moves forward, it is worth taking those losses,” he said at the summit. “Some of us are big boys, we can afford that.”
On being known as the richest Indian, Ambani said, “I never carry money. I don’t have a credit card. Somebody else always pays for me.”