Labourers rest in front of an advertisement of Reliance Industries Limited at a construction site in Mumbai


  • This is one of the biggest investments of the Qatar wealth fund in Indian retail sector
  • Qatar Investment Authority had previously backed Indian food delivery startup Swiggy and ed-tech platform Byju's
  • There are speculations that the Ambanis have plans to list Reliance Retail

Qatar's sovereign wealth fund has announced an investment of one billion in the retail arm of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries for a 0.99% stake. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is the ninth foreign investor in Reliance Retail Ventures (RRVL), raising the firm's valuation to $100 billion.

This is one of the biggest investments of Qatar's wealth fund in the Indian retail sector, the Financial Times reported. Earlier this month, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the fund invested $474 million for a 3% stake in Adani Green Energy, which is managed by business tycoon Gautam Adani. The Qatar fund previously backed food delivery startup Swiggy and ed-tech platform Byju's, expressing interest in India's fast-growing retail market.

The "investment will translate into a minority equity stake of 0.99% in RRVL on a fully diluted basis," QIA Chief Executive Mansoor Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud said in a statement.

QIA also holds a stake in the media and entertainment business of Reliance Industries (RIL) through the investment platform Bodhi Tree Systems.

"We are looking forward to Reliance Retail Ventures Limited, with its strong vision and impressive growth trajectory, joining our growing and diverse portfolio of investments in India," it added.

Led by Mukesh Ambani's daughter Isha Ambani, RRVL was valued at $62.4 billion in 2020 after raising more than $6 billion from investors, including Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, Abu Dhabi's Mubadala, the U.S.' Silver Lake and private equity giant KKR. The firm further reported revenue of $31.7 billion for the financial year that ended in March, a massive 30% surge from the previous year. RIL, the largest company in India by market value, currently owns 88.9% of Reliance Retail, with the remaining 11.08% held by overseas investors.

Reliance Retail, which is the largest retail chain in India, operates 18,500 stores and digital commerce platforms to serve over 267 million customers in the country. With the new investment, it aims to expand into new categories, including low-cost fast fashion.

It recently partnered with Chinese e-commerce platform Sheinto help the fashion brand re-enter India. The collaboration came almost three years after the Indian government banned Shein as part of a decision to freeze dozens of Chinese apps amid border tensions.

Reliance Retail also collaborated with a number of global brands, including Tiffany, Burberry and Pret A Manger to help them launch and mark their presence in India. Making a remarkable push into e-commerce, Reliance Retail partnered with Meta's WhatsApp to sell groceries through the instant messaging app.

There are speculations that the Ambanis have plans to list Reliance Retail, but there's no official announcement from the firm yet. Earlier this week, the conglomerate listed its financial business arm, Jio Financial Services.