Reliance Retail, the retail arm of Reliance Industries, has issued a warning against fraudulent websites seeking franchises in the name of its online portal, JioMart. The digital avatar of Reliance Retail which went live in May this year is offering its services in over 200 cities. In its statement, the company clarified that it is currently not running any dealership or franchise model at present.
"We have been informed about certain unscrupulous individuals who are creating fake websites, pretending to be us or associated with us and duping innocent individuals under the pretence of granting franchisee of JioMart services," Reliance Retail said in a notice.
"We would like to inform the public at large that we are not operating any dealership or franchisee model currently nor have we appointed any franchisee or any agent for... appointment (of) any dealer or franchisee in any manner whatsoever. Further, we do not charge any amount under the pretence of appointing a person as a franchisee," it further added.
Reliance Retail warned of initiating legal proceedings against such fake websites misusing its brand name to protect its goodwill and reputation.
"The public, manufacturers, traders, and dealers are hereby cautioned against such unscrupulous individuals and their online fraud activities; and are hereby warned that we will not be responsible for any business dealing with such dishonest individuals," it said in the notice.
Reliance Retail launched JioMart earlier this year shortly after Facebook acquired 9.99 per cent in its parent company's digital unit, Jio Platforms. In April, Facebook's popular messaging platform WhatsApp had signed a commercial agreement with JioMart which connects small businesses and kirana shops to buyers.
The portal is aimed at taking on online retail bigwigs like Amazon and Flipkart, along with other players including BigBasket and Grofers in the grocery delivery market. The segment has seen a boom and even entry of players from other sectors during the coronavirus lockdown.