Since 2016, Reliance Industries Limited, one of India’s largest energy- to-retail conglomerates, has spent over $36 billion to blanket India with its first all-4G network constructed by Samsung. By offering free calls and data for pennies, and low priced mobile phones, Reliance Jio Infocomm (Reliance Jio) has disrupted the Indian telecoms sector forever, by launching a low cost internet tsunami that has connected the market of 1.3 billion people in India to the internet like never before, and forcing a series of competitors into retreat or merger.
Within just three years, Reliance Jio has won over 331 million subscribers to become India’s biggest telecom operator, as companies prepare for the planned rollout of a 5G network.  That is higher than nearest rival Vodafone Idea Ltd, which is the entity that emerged after a merger of the local unit of Vodafone Group Plc with Idea Cellular Ltd, brought about by Reliance Jio’s strategy of providing low cost data services and mobile phones. Not only is Reliance Jio continuing significantly to grow its customer base, it has also experienced an industry leading customer “churn” rate as low as 1 per cent.
Reliance Jio’s expansion has been funded through a combination of equity and shareholder loans from Reliance Industries Limited and from borrowings, primarily ECA financings from the Korean export credit agencies, Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-sure) and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (K-EXIM). With a stronger credit rating than the Indian government’s BBB-, in an international bank market flush with liquidity, Reliance Industries Limited’s, Reliance Jio has sealed aggregate financings of $1.75 billion from K-SURE, and so far US$750 million from K-EXIM. Milbank advised K-sure, K-EXIM and the commercial banks on each of these financings.
The financings made available to Reliance Jio (which have been sup- ported by corporate guarantees from Reliance Industries Limited) are now the largest Indian loans covered by K-sure, and its largest global telecom financing. Reliance Jio is also K-sure’s largest privately owned borrower.