Videocon’s foray into mobile services has been delayed. Starting with Mumbai and Chennai, the company now plans to roll out its GSM mobile services from March
Consumer electronics giant Videocon Group will launch its mobile services in Mumbai and Chennai by March, according to a senior official. Earlier, there were reports that the company would launch its GSM mobile services in Mumbai by 20th February.
Although the company has not fixed any date for launching its services, it is planning to increase the number of its retail outlets across the country to facilitate its foray. “We are launching our GSM mobile services by next month in Mumbai and Chennai which will require us to add more outlets. We are planning to add approximately 500 or more outlets across the country over a year,” said SM Hegde, director, Videocon Group.
Mumbai is one of the busiest telecom circles in India, which delivers a large chunk of revenues to various mobile operators. Average revenue per user (ARPU) of many mobile operators in India is highest in the Mumbai circle.
Earlier this month, while speaking with PTI in Davos, Videocon Industries' president and vice chairman Pradeepkumar N Dhoot had said that the company plans to cover the entire country with its GSM mobile services within the next 18 months.
Datacom, a subsidiary of Videocon Group, was one of the eight new operators who were given licences in January 2008 to provide nationwide cellular services. Datacom has now been renamed as Videocon Telecommunication Ltd, which has earmarked an investment of Rs9,000 crore and is looking at becoming profitable in three-five years.
Currently, Videocon owns about 350 retail outlets and has 350 franchise outlets across India. It has three retail brands under its portfolio DIGIworld, NEXT Retail India Ltd and Planet M.
However, the company says that the number of new retail outlets could go up, depending on demand. “We might increase the number of outlets from 500 to 1,000 according to the demand in the market,” said Mr Hegde.
Videocon is planning to invest about Rs20 crore-Rs25 crore annually into its retail business, he added.
Videocon’s NEXT Retail is a multi-brand and multi-product showroom, Planet M is a music retail & electronic appliance showroom and DIGIworld is the company’s own brand retail business. DIGIworld has a major presence in North India.