India: BlackRock, Jio to Launch Digital Asset Venture

Lavina Daryanani
Source: Forbes India

The world’s largest asset manager BlackRock has partnered with India’s Jio Financial Services [JFS] to launch the first-of-a-kind digital asset manager. The 50:50 joint venture, Jio BlackRock, will introduce a new player to the Indian market. The official statement revealed that JFS and BlackRock are targeting an initial investment of $150 million each in the joint venture.

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A recent research report brought to light that the Indian asset management market is worth around $865 billion at the moment. With the growing investor appetite, the market is expected to register a compounded annual growth of 14% by 2028.

The report further highlighted that despite the Covid-blow and the economic turbulence, the Indian investment market managed to close the decade “on a noteworthy record.” In fact, there has been a “swift transformation,” with the market becoming more technology-driven. Consequentially, the landscape seems ideal for BlackRock to establish a ‘digital’ asset venture. Commenting on the digital transformation in India, and explaining how that is a prerequisite, Rachel Lord, Chair & Head of APAC at BlackRock said,

“India represents an enormously important opportunity. The convergence of rising affluence, favorable demographics, and digital transformation across industries is reshaping the market in incredible ways.”

Financial ‘well-being’ will be Delivered to Indians: Jio Exec

Hitesh Sethia, President and CEO at JFS, underlined that this partnership will leverage BlackRock’s “deep expertise” in investment and risk management, along with technology capability. This, when combined with JFS’s market prowess, will help drive a digital transformation. Sethia added,

“Jio BlackRock will be a truly transformational, customer-centric, and digital-first enterprise with the vision to democratize access to financial investment solutions and deliver financial well-being to the doorstep of every Indian.”

BlackRock has been making strides in India for quite some time. Over the past 17 years, its India platform has grown to over 2,400 employees. Moreover, it has offices located in Mumbai, Gurgaon, and Bangalore. The latest joint venture with Jio will launch its operations only after receiving regulatory and statutory approvals. Furthermore, this new firm will have its own management team.

Several prominent voices from the Indian crypto community have acknowledged the latest development. In fact, speculations are also being made with respect to the launch of a crypto-related financial product in the nation. However, there is not much clarity at the moment regarding the nature of these assets or the investment vehicle.

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