There has very rarely been a massive marketing movement as the one initiated by Mukesh Ambani last year, and we saw the launch and subsequent super dominance of the Jio 4G LTE network, that had the other operators scurrying for cover.
In a week perhaps, almost all my friends and acquaintances were flashing their new Jio connections, and the ones who hadn’t managed to survive the long queues found solace in the excuse that they were patiently waiting to see how things worked out.
The word did indeed spread like wild fire, and with hitherto unseen blazing speeds, Jio captured quite a few millions of young hearts, especially offering all of this and more on a platter, and that too for free! The honeymoon was to come to a close by Dec 2016, but they threw another surprise by extending the free deal to March 2017, and today I hear they have no plans of curtailing their dream services and have extended them till the dawn of 2018!
There were the occasional notes and discussions as to how there must be a master plan behind all these free deals, and the complaints, few and far in between, as to how the speeds dropped after a couple of months. But eventually none of it mattered, and it was Jug Jug Ji(y)o all the way.
Life changes a lot, with Jio, and a friend who has been off limits for the last six years rings up and asks where I have been all this while. Dumbstruck me mumbles something in apology, when the elated pal hails Ambani and asks if its right that he abstains from calling with the kind of free calls that were being given away.
All on a sudden those WhatsApp groups that were almost falling down to pieces act as if they have been on a glucose drip, and are bombarded with messages, left, right and center. The customary good morning, good afternoon and good night messages multiple triple fold, and no greetings are spared. And if that wasn’t enough, people start telling you that you need to be on Hike and Allo as well.
There was a friend who used to say that he was surprised that people spent such a hell of a long time on Facebook, who suddenly discovered that Facebook wasn’t as worthless as he had thought it to be. Within a few weeks I started receiving advice from the guy as to how I needed to hone up my social skills.
Despite all the pressure, I still belong to a fast waning club of non-Jio users, who do not get to float around on the air balloons, as the ad suggests. I know its a big shame, and you are asked what it is that is holding you back from jumping on to the bandwagon and getting a taste of what is being lapped up in a hurry. I am neither cynical of Jio’s intentions nor do I distrust their ploys to render India truly digital. Its simply that I haven’t had the time nor the true inclination.
In fact, I was even told the other day by a friend in jest, that they could very well be listing down the names of the handful of people who aren’t on the Jio network, and could soon be heading towards your place with a sim card neatly wrapped in gift ribbon – “For those of you, who aren’t there, yet!”
Maybe I would go grab a Jio, like the rest of the world, before something like that happens.