It combines the force of India’s second largest realty player, Unitech Ltd. and Norwegian giant Telenor, the 6th largest mobile communications player in the world. But is that enough to get heard in the cluttered Indian telecom market? What else is Uninor doing? 4Ps B&M quizzes its Executive Vice President, Delhi Hub, Allan Bonke
Though Uninor, a joint venture between Norwegian telecom major Telenor and India’s second largest real estate company Unitech Ltd, was a bit late in entering the Indian market, it seems to have compensated the move with its innovative offerings like ‘Dynamic Pricing’ especially designed for the Indian consumers. Result: The company has not only shown some really impressive surge in the recent past, but has also become the second most preferred new operator in the country (as per the recent numbers revealed by TRAI). In fact, going gung ho over its recent success, the company, which holds a pan-India licence to offer mobile telephony services, is now looking forward to increase its presence in India (Uninor is operating in 13 circles at present). 4Ps B&M, caught up will Allan Bonke, Executive Vice President, Delhi Hub, Uninor to understand how the company is trying to break into the cluttered Indian telecom market. Excerpts of the interview:

With several established brands already around, don’t you think that you entered the Indian telecom market a bit late?
With just about 8-9 operators offering their services to a population of over 1.2 billion people, we think that there is still plenty of scope for us. We are not afraid of the fact that we are late entrants in the Indian market as it has still not saturated. In fact, our aim is to get closer to our customers and provide them with better services. To make this happen we already have a decentralised hub model in place that gives us the liberty to work independently as separate SBUs. Then, we have the support office that takes care of several activities which include product development, pan-India interaction with our partners, legal compliance, et al.

You mean to say that you entered India at the right time.
Yes, we entered the Indian market at the right time. Here we have the right technology and the right kind of audience. It’s a right time for us to start our operation in India because there is a technology boom in the market. In fact, India is not the only market where we have entered late, we have done it in the past in other markets as well. Despite entering that market late we have become leaders there, and in no time. And we can repeat the same success in India as well.

All the new players that have entered the Indian telecom market have played on the pricing flank to gain initial momentum. What about you?
We are very clear about the fact that we don’t want to be the price leader. If you would have noticed we are the only one who has never come out with pay-per-second plans. Instead, we want to be competitive on all fronts and as such have focused more on innovative offerings. For instance, the latest and the most innovative offering by Uninor is ‘Dynamic Pricing’, wherein call tariffs change as the time or the place of the call changes. In fact, Uninor is the first one to offer such innovative and exciting tariff plan. The endeavour is not to offer the lowest price but to add value through innovative offerings that the customer can value and appreciate.
So, what exactly is your core competency?
We have outsourced most of our functions including IT support, network support and customer support. This model helps us in being readily operational, which is a great thing for a new operator. Our focus is on speed and accuracy apart from offering our customers the latest technology and innovative products. We also have a huge focus on our people as a brand and ensure that all our employees get the maximum exposure, experience and have a career progression path ahead of them at all times.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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