We Fo­cus on be­ing the #1 Part­ner for any Brand

—De­val Parikh, CEO, Bright­star In­dia

DQ Channels - - Front page - ONKAR SHARMA onkars@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

What’s an over­view of the or­ga­ni­za­tion and how Bright­star plans to emerge from the tra­di­tional Bee­tel brand im­age and po­si­tion it­self as a new en­tity?

Tra­di­tion­ally, there were four lines of busi­nesses when I took on about 8 months ago. We have the en­ter­prise busi­ness in the first place. We have the con­sumer busi­ness, the net­works busi­ness and the Bee­tel line of busi­ness. Bee­tel, which has been do­ing mo­bile on and off, helped Bright­star en­ter the In­dian mar­ket. The ac­qui­si­tion of Bee­tel added mo­bile as a line of busi­ness to the com­pany. So, tzh­ese are tra­di­tion­ally the four lines of busi­nesses.

His­tor­i­cally, most of them have been distribution-led op­por­tu­ni­ties. Over the last few years we have trans­formed our­selves. In the en­ter­prise busi­ness, videos-to-board­room con­trib­ute a ma­jor chunk where Poly­com is our key part­ner. We are the largest part­ners of Poly­com in In­dia.

Our sec­ond line of busi­ness within en­ter­prise is voice where we fo­cus on part­ners such as Avaya, Unify and oth­ers. This in­cludes the tra­di­tional voice IP busi­ness and contact cen­ter so­lu­tions. The third line of en­ter­prise busi­ness in­cludes dis­plays which is an emerg­ing op­por­tu­nity. We are the largest part­ner for Sam­sung in In­dia in busi­ness dis­plays.

In our net­works busi­ness, we fo­cus on the ac­cess net­work. We have ex­clu­sive part­ner­ships for ser­vice, for distribution and for engi­neer­ing so­lu­tions. The net­work so­lu­tions in­clude Wi-FI equip­ment, routers from our part­ners like Rad­win and Huawei. We have ad­di­tion­ally started work­ing with 4G re­peaters.

Bright­star’s con­sumer busi­ness is much di­ver­si­fied and in­cludes the tra­di­tional Bee­tel land­line phones, Wi-Fi routers and don­gles. And in the mo­bile de­vice busi­ness, we are one of the largest part­ners of Ap­ple, Mo­torola, and Len­ovo.

One of the key things that we did as part of the trans­for­ma­tion ex­er­cise is to lever­age some of our global ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Our global ca­pa­bil­i­ties on the mo­bile side also in­clude fi­nan­cial so­lu­tions. In fi­nan­cial so­lu­tions we make the ex­pen­sive de­vices more af­ford­able. We in­te­grate var­i­ous as­pects into the over­all busi­ness. The idea is to make the end con­sumer ex­pe­ri­ence as pain­less as pos­si­ble. Today if you buy an iPhone say for Rs 50, 000 or Rs 60,000, cus­tomers do also need in­sur­ance against dam­age pro­tec­tion. De­vice pro­tec­tion is a mas­sive mar­ket glob­ally. It is pegged to be $40 bil­lion by 2020. But here in In­dia it is in in­fancy. This is the rea­son that we are also get­ting into the de­vice pro­tec­tion busi­ness.

We are about to start buy­back busi­ness too which would be launched in In­dia soon. We will get the old de­vices from cus­tomers. It will be a good propo­si­tion for cus­tomers look­ing for new de­vices.

Now we are a distribution plus ser­vice busi­ness as we feel that this is the need of the hour.

What sort of cloud ser­vices do you plan to in­tro­duce in In­dian mar­ket?

In the en­ter­prise side we will be launch­ing our cloud so­lu­tions. We are of the opin­ion that mid-mar­ket in In­dia is un­der-uti­lized and not fully cap­i­tal­ized. To help mid-tier com­pa­nies with cloud, it is im­por­tant to of­fer them so­lu­tions that will kick­start their busi­ness. Due to poor fiber con­nec­tiv­ity, mid-sized com­pa­nies have found it dif­fi­cult to har­ness the power of cloud. We have ex­pe­ri­ence in this area and be­lieve that we will be able to of­fer busi­nesses good con­nec­tiv­ity and de­liver cloud-based ser­vices at their door steps.

Have you built up the ca­pa­bil­ity to de­liver cloud-based so­lu­tions?

We are in the process of do­ing it. We will have it in the sec­ond half of this year, for sure. We are in the last stages of build­ing these ca­pa­bil­i­ties. In order to de­liver them, we will work with a lot of ex­ist­ing part­ners and will also seek new part­ner­ships.

At the same time, we are work­ing on ad­di­tional ar­eas in terms of net­work mon­i­tor­ing ser­vices for en­ter­prises as well as sur­veil­lance. We do not have def­i­nite dates as of now for launch­ing them. But we will be launch­ing them in this fi­nan­cial year only.

What are the other com­po­nents on which you are bet­ting big on?

We are bet­ting big on the pro­lif­er­a­tion of wi-fi and 4G ac­cess. Thanks to the mar­ket­place dy­nam­ics espe­cially Re­liance Jio which has brought in a dra­matic change in the ecosys­tem. Other op­er­a­tors have also tried to match their pric­ing. Be­cause of this, the data con­sump­tion has mul­ti­plied. The us­age is likely to go up fur­ther. We be­lieve that this will cre­ate fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties for us on the wi-fi front

What is the ex­ist­ing strength and what are the plans to get your strengths to match your ex­pec­ta­tions in the next 10-12 months?

On the tele­com side, we have part­ner­ships with all the ma­jor tel­cos and are ex­pand­ing our reach fur­ther. On the en­ter­prise side, we have cur­rently more than 500 part­ners. And with them we have fos­tered qual­ity part­ner­ships. All of them are top and trusted brands. For in­stance, we have healthy part­ner­ships with brands such as Poly­com or a Huawei on the distribution front. To make sure we form the right part­ner­ships, we fo­cus on qual­ity be­cause of which are able to re­main ei­ther num­ber 1 or num­ber 2 for that brand. For Poly­com, we are num­ber 1 in In­dia. For Sam­sung, we are num­ber 1 on dis­play side. For Huawei, we are num­ber 1 and only gold cer­ti­fied part­ner in In­dia. Sim­i­larly we are top dis­trib­u­tor for Sandisk and Ap­ple in In­dia. In short we fo­cus on nur­tur­ing part­ner­ships and build­ing brands.

You men­tioned about your buy­back busi­ness which in­volves re­verse lo­gis­tics and hav­ing in­fra­struc­ture in place to re­model/re­fur­bish de­vices. Do you have it all in place?

Let me touch upon our phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture ca­pa­bil­i­ties. We op­er­ate 28 ware­houses across In­dia in ev­ery state and re­gion. We have one fac­tory where we make land­line phones which means we have the abil­ity to man­u­fac­ture. This ca­pa­bil­ity is go­ing to be lever­aged in re­fur­bish­ing some of the de­vices in the fu­ture. All in all we have the phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture in place today. We also have the abil­ity to lever­age the global mar­kets. If we have to sell the units out­side of In­dia, we can do that. Bright­star on a an­nu­al­ized ba­sis touches about a 100 mil­lion mo­bile de­vices glob­ally. And a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of this is part of the re­verse side.

For all the fo­cus ar­eas that you men­tioned how are you align­ing your mar­ket­ing strate­gies?

In terms of mar­ket­ing strate­gies, we are look­ing at ar­eas that could give us mileage and help us reach out to the ap­pro­pri­ate au­di­ences. Our mar­ket­ing strat­egy is not go­ing to be one-size-fit­sall kind. In some cases, our mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­i­ties would heav­ily rely on the OEMs whereas in some cases our tele­com part­ners will help. We also plan to en­hance our reach in the distribution side and hence in­crease our part­ner base in In­dia.

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