Maxx Mobile signs on MS Dhoni for a record Rs29 crore

Maxx Mobile, one of India's largest homegrown mobile phone companies, today announced a record Rs29 crore seven-year deal with Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the captain of India's international cricket team and one of India's most successful sportsman. MAXX's seven-year deal with MS Dhoni makes it one of the longest duration deals signed with any brand endorser in recent times. Prior to this, Maxx had a one-year contract with MS Dhoni.

 The seven-year extension deal takes brand endorsement with cricket stars to a new high and provides Maxx Mobile, one of India's fastest growing brands; the right connect with customers across the country. Maxx Mobile will leverage the popularity of MS Dhoni to highlight the advantage of owning its unique brand and also utilize the cricketer's star power to reach out to the youth.

As part of the deal, MS Dhoni will be associated with multiple marketing initiatives planned by Maxx Mobile to promote the brand. These include print and television advertising, outdoor campaigns, promotional events and mass engagement programs across India.


Does mobile number portability threat makes customer services more responsive?

With the increasing likelihood of many more dissatisfied customers switching services on the introduction of number portability, mobile phone firms are pushing executives to be more responsive to customers 

How many times have you tried to get a mobile phone service problem resolved and ended up more disappointed? You might find this is changing now. Suddenly, customer service executives are taking a little more interest in such complaints. This is not from any change of heart; simply a new worry that many more disappointed customers might switch services conveniently through the soon-to-be-introduced number portability facility.

It has been observed over the past few weeks that customer service executives are scanning complaint sites on the web, replying to subscribers and trying to resolve the problems. It is understood that the pre-paid phone segment is already seeing a lot of shifting by subscribers who are influenced by frequently-changing call rates. Now, number portability will enable post-paid customers looking for better services, to shift. The new 3G services, which are to be also launched soon, would in all likelihood intensify the rush to change operators.

Fitch Ratings expects that pricing pressure, which so far had been more on the pre-paid segment, will spread to the post-paid segment after mobile number portability (MNP), although to a lesser extent. In addition, new entrants and smaller wireless telecoms will get a stronger chance to compete against incumbent leaders in the post-paid segment where the annual churn rate is only 12-24% compared to 50-70% in pre-paid, the ratings agency says.

Of the total number of mobile phone subscribers in India, only 5% are from the post-paid segment. Interestingly, it has been revealed that out of the estimated 70 crore subscribers, 70% are active users.

Mobile number portability was rolled out in the Haryana circle on 25th November and it is expected that it will be available across all circles in the country by January-end. The schedule is likely to be announced separately.

Currently there are seven to eight mobile service providers (MSPs) in each of the circles. Irrespective of the number of MSPs in a particular circle, the government has fixed the number of 3G-enabled service providers to three or four in each circle. In addition, more and more people are buying smartphones and want to explore the world through mobile Internet. This will create the space for faster and reliable data connection. Therefore, subscribers who find that their existing service provider does not offer 3G services would likely shift to another. Whether it is the basic voice plan or data charges, whoever offers better services and a good overall experience will catch the maximum number of subscribers.

So, to control the possible migration of subscribers, many service providers have directed their CSEs to respond quicker to subscriber queries. Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL), which had initiated the tariff war over the past few months, is believed to be at the forefront to provide a better experience to subscribers.

The Tata group company has committed to compensate subscribers if it fails to meet the pre-determined levels of service standards. The Customer Service Charter includes five customer commitments, namely the bill dispute commitment, the call drop commitment, the handset replacement commitment, the value added services (VAS) commitment and the call-cack commitment.

The 'bill dispute commitment' offers resolution of bill disputes within three working days, failing which TTSL will compensate its customers at the rate of Rs25 for every additional day taken to resolve the complaint. Similarly, other commitments also carry compensation in case the services are not according to what is guaranteed.

There is no doubt that each MSP is trying hard to retain subscribers by offering a better experience and solving their complaints at the earliest. However, given the huge number of subscribers, especially in the pre-paid segment, the CSEs will find it difficult to satisfy them all. Nevertheless, it is a good step in the right direction. 




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Shreyas Shipping & Logistics signs MoU with Tata Motors

Shreyas Shipping & Logistics Ltd through its wholly-owned subsidiary Shreyas Relay Systems Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tata Motors Ltd for acquisition of 50 trailers. Shreyas plans to invest Rs17 crore at regular intervals for acquiring 50 trailers. It mentioned that this is a part of plan to acquire 100 such trailers soon to emerge as India's preferred integrated logistics solutions provider.

The trailers to be acquired by Tata Motors are new age vehicles with cutting-edge technologies. The fleets of trailers have GPS connectivity, providing real time information to the clients about cargo, container and other key aspects.

Besides this, Shreyas has also sealed an agreement for a warehouse and domestic cargo distribution centre at Tuticorin. The facility at Tuticorin will be operational within the next few weeks. Shreyas has also firmed up plans for establishing similar facilities at Mundra and Cochin almost immediately.

Shreyas, through the acquisition of trailers along with establishing warehouse and domestic cargo distribution centres at strategic locations, is supporting its forward integration initiatives with a vision of offering end-to-end logistics solutions to its customers.

On Wednesday, Shreyas ended 4.81% down at Rs44.50 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while benchmark Sensex declined 1.19% to 19,696.48 points.


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