Telenor Communications, a wholly owned company of the Norway-based Telenor Group, has been operating in India as 'Uninor' since 2009. The telecom company has hit refresh; it will now offer voice and data services under the brand name 'Telenor'.
The brand, which operates in six circles, will retain its 'Sabse Sasta' (most affordable) stance. According to Vivek Sood, CEO, Telenor India (formerly Telewings Communications Services), the approach has been profitable for the company, both, from a customer acquisition and revenue standpoint.
"Our three-pillar strategy, of being the best in basic services, mass market distribution and low cost operations, has helped us grow our market share to the fourth position - from the thirteenth - in less than six years," he states.
The company offers pre-paid voice and 2G internet services in its operational circles namely, UP (West), UP (East), Bihar (including Jharkhand), Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. It will soon commence commercial operations in Assam.
To a metro-dweller looking to upgrade from 3G, Telenor's offering might be unattractive. However, it holds great value to the TG it caters to, insist its brand custodians. The "mass market," informs Sood, is interested in affordability and basic voice and data services. "In India, loyalties are driven by propositions, not by brands," he says.
Upanga Dutta, CMO, Telenor India, elaborates, "Our customers are not very tech-savvy and use data for basic social messaging. They want affordable services in a manner that is easily understood." With this development, Telenor India will continue to cater to this price-sensitive TG while extending its commitment to delivering 'fair' and 'easy' services, goes the case.
The effort includes increasing its retail presence across circles and mordernising the network with advanced technology solutions. Earlier this year, the company transformed all its call centers by introducing new tools for customer service. The multilingual *121# self-help menu, single IVR systems and better training of its staff, were among the steps taken.
Making it known...
To communicate the change to its current and potential customers, Telenor India has rolled out a 360-degree marketing campaign. The new tagline is 'Ab life full paisa vasool'. Crafted by McCann Erickson, the campaign will run across television, print, outdoor and digital media.
The company has earmarked around Rs 80-100 crore for this campaign, which, during the transition phase, will run across national as well as regional media channels. Since Telenor India currently operates in limited circles, the focus will eventually shift to regional platforms.
The right place to be?
However, he feels the company will have to offer 3G/4G services as soon as possible. After all, the market harbours a fast-growing interest in, and need for, high-quality data services. "No player can expect to retain customers, in the long run, without offering acceptable data speeds... Auctions for the 3G spectrum are yet to be announced. In any case, the spectrum on offer may not be sufficient. And, of course, success in auctions is not guaranteed. I would expect Telenor to grow inorganically, possibly through mergers and acquisitions," says Uppal.