‘Our en­deavor is to cap­ture 10% of the mar­ket share within the next two years’

Voice&Data - - NEWS&VIEWS - man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Uni­con­nect Gyana Ran­jan Swain

What is the size of the in­ter­na­tional SIM card mar­ket in In­dia, both in terms of value and the num­ber of users?

There are ap­prox­i­mately 17 mn In­di­ans trav­el­ing over­seas per an­num and the blended Av­er­age Rev­enue Per User (ARPU) is ap­prox­i­mately 2,500. The mar­ket size, based on the as­sump­tion that 80% of the In­di­ans trav­el­ing over­seas would use a SIM for com­mu­ni­ca­tion pur­pose, would be 13.6 mn users x 2,500, ie, to­talling 3,400 crore.

What per­cent of in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors from In­dia use in­ter­na­tional SIM cards?

Of all the users, 35% of the trav­el­ers are us­ing their In­dian SIM cards at ex­or­bi­tant rates and would be glad to switch over to an eco­nom­i­cal SIM, if con­ve­niently avail­able at the right time. Es­ti­mated 40% of the trav­el­ers pro­cure their SIM on ar­rival at the for­eign des­ti­na­tions. It is in­ferred that 20% may not use an in­ter­na­tional SIM or would use the hand­set of their com­pan­ion. Cur­rently, only 5% pas­sen­gers take an in­ter­na­tional SIM in In­dia prior to travel due to lack of re­tail dis­tri­bu­tion net­work and aware­ness.

How has been the growth path for Uni­con­nect since it com­menced op­er­a­tions?

The com­pany has ex­pe­ri­enced steady growth over the last few years, how­ever our en­deavor is to cap­ture 10% of the mar­ket share within the next 2 years. There has been a growth of ap­prox­i­mately 15% in the rev­enue and about 20% in the num­ber of cus­tomers year on year.

Though there are many com­pa­nies like you op­er­at­ing in the same space, claim­ing a num­ber of ser­vices to users, how­ever, the busi­ness has never taken off. Why is it so?

A de­tailed anal­y­sis of the re­quire­ments of the In­dian in­ter­na­tional trav­eler re­veals that cer­tain ba­sic fea­tures, ie, pre­paid op­tion, real time call records, wide cov­er­age, and cost ef­fec­tive tar­iffs have to be ful­filled for the busi­ness to grow to a de­cent size. Most of the com­pa­nies in this niche seg­ment of the tele­com in­dus­try are not in a po­si­tion to ful­fill these re­quire­ments. Un­cionnect is look­ing at ex­pand­ing its op­er­a­tions from 7 cities to 10 more cities in or­der to serve the In­di­ans trav­el­ing over­seas from other parts of the coun­try.

Is­sues like call not get­ting through, la­tency, lack of clar­ity in voice dur­ing con­ver­sa­tions, etc, are still there in us­ing an in­ter­na­tional SIM card. What are you do­ing to over­come this?

Most of these is­sues can com­pletely be avoided if cor­rect part­ners are cho­sen glob­ally in or­der to de­liver a world class ser­vice. In the un­like­li­hood that there is an is­sue with a par­tic­u­lar net­work, the cus­tomer has the op­tion of log­ging on to an additional net­work in the same coun­try which is pos­si­ble as Uni­con­nect cur­rently pro­vides con­nec­tiv­ity across 500 plus mo­bile net­works world­wide.


Tarun Ku­mar Bhar­tia

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