In the Introduction and Part I, I shared lessons learned about all the necessary “soft” factors how to achieve mind-blowing results as Reliance Jio did and will do in the future. In Part II, I have focused on technology and architecture. In the final part, I will look at agility and innovation and how to do this in a truly large organization:

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 1. Focus on one problem only at a time and get it out of the way fast

What probably is the only way, how young start-ups work, is nevertheless not something applied for a large infrastructure provider. However, given the fact, that many unknowns throughout a pan-India deployment would evolve, this principle has been very effective. It ensured, that all teams were only focused on the actual challenge at hand and no room for excuse for non-delivery was given. It also ensured, we were flexible to react to the largest issue at hand with a very quick turnaround time. One of the greatest examples was the implementation – from decision to full deployment in the field – of the digital on-boarding solution within three weeks.

2. Agility, Agility, Agility

Agility was taken to the extreme, at least in the phase of building and massively testing our platform. While many of our back-end systems’ partners have release cycles of many months up to years, we knew, we would not be able to deal with that in our start-up mentality, our bold ambitions and the hyper dynamic market in India. Thus, we forced upon even large back-end providers a very agile and fast model. We also ensured, that every customer-facing, partner-facing and employee-facing platform would ultimately be developed by our own team. That enabled agile approaches and nowadays even allows to start deploying a micro-service approach in certain areas.

However, we had to compensate for quality challenges in this “fast fail and fix fast” approach, especially when it comes to customer experience. We therefore have implemented – early in the process – a unique way of testing from a customer’s/ sales partner’s perspective: We hired and trained a couple of hundred fresh engineers from college, provided them a comprehensive training about our services and platforms and then asked them to use and test all our data, voice services and apps. By this, we had first hand inputs not only to major flaws, but our core target group (digital users) directly providing their ideas into our development. This was so successful, that we are using that mechanism now for almost all new services and platforms we are developing. This is not substituting regular testing phases and testing automation, but it gives us the extra edge to be just better than our main competitors.

3. Innovation – Test any relevant innovation fast

Innovation is only good if you can implement and deploy it effectively. We have therefore adapted a habit to look at many new evolving technologies, where we would put particular focus on the teams, who are running those companies. If they are superior and eager to go the extra mile for us, we would run 2-3 weeks PoCs and take a quick decision whether to deploy or not. By doing this, again we avoided massive RfP processes and had the new innovations available very fast. Very often we used multiple competing solutions/technologies to see what suits us best. Whenever we saw a technology/solution with great potential we started to build our own technical team alongside the deployment.


Let me summarize the key learnings out of building and scaling Reliance Jio from my perspective:

  1. Powerful ambitions move mountains
  2. Very best people – combining global experts and local talent
  3. Personal Ownership for end-results – no limits
  4. Design Decisions – scalability, performance, resilience, automation and a lot more
  5. Think extremely big – follow-up in the tiniest (important) details
  6. Treat and challenge technology partners as (co-)owners of business success
  7. Focus on one problem only at a time and get it out of the way fast
  8. Agility, Agility, Agility
  9. Innovation – Test any relevant innovation fast

Finally I would like to thank all my extraordinary colleagues from Reliance Jio and all our partners, who made this remarkable success possible.