Title: Disruptive innovation in saturated Indian telecom space: a case of Reliance Jio

Authors: Neetu Yadav; Kritesh Gupta

Addresses: Department of Management, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India ' Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (MD), c/o Indane Bottiling Plant, NH-31, Babalpur Road, Harahua, Varanasi – 221105, India

Abstract: An introduction of Reliance Jio in 2016 has disrupted saturated Indian telecom industry, and in just six months since the launch, data consumption in India has gone up six-fold to 1.2 billion gigabytes per month, making India the largest mobile data consumer in the world. As operator claims that 100 million users in 170 days of the launch were the fastest in the world. Price sensitive Indian telecom industry experienced consolidation due to margin pressures. This article probes into the reasons for the unprecedented growth of Jio primarily from innovation angle and does it qualify to be a 'disruptive innovation' as per the disruption theory proposed by Christensen? It is found that a late entrant in hyper-competitive telecom space brought disruption in the industry by focusing on process innovation, product and services innovation, business model innovation that has shifted from voice to data. With a PAN India 4G license, it emerged as a digital content solution provider and also qualified to be a disruptive innovation.

Keywords: disruptive innovation; consolidation; Indian telecom service industry; innovation; the theory of disruption.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIR.2020.109324

International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, 2020 Vol.23 No.1, pp.127 - 140

Received: 25 May 2018
Accepted: 27 Apr 2019

Published online: 18 Aug 2020 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article