Step towards convenience? Uninor to rope auto drivers, milkmen to sell recharges

Norway’s Telenor is taking the next step on their way to become India’s fourth largest operator by coupling their ‘cheap’ services along with door-step delivery of SIM cards and phone recharges by roping milkmen, newspaper boys and auto-rickshaw drivers.

Yogesh Malik, CEO, Uninor says they are working to achieve the fourth position by the end of this year. The company which sheds out innovative beam into the market will reach Rs.1.2 lakh crore in revenues this year according to research firm Gartner.

Malik, who took over as CEO on May 1, said the company is about to gain 8 per cent market share in terms of subscriber number in each of the six circles — UP East, UP West, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Uninor, which last year won spectrum to offer mobile phone services in six of the 22 telecom services areas for Rs 4,018 crore, is focusing on breaking even by 2013-end, Malik said. To begin with, Uninor has trained auto-drivers in Pune to enroll new customers and sell recharge vouchers. Malik said: The project has kicked off with 10 auto rickshaws in Pune as a pilot. This number will soon be scaled up to 40 such auto-rickshaws. Monthly income of the auto driver is around Rs 2,500 with about 50-60 transactions a month. Uninor plans to launch 1,000 auto recharge vehicles in five or six cities across Maharashtra over the next 6 months.

This strategy will soon be replicated by all the competitors. While Uninor started a pilot project for using milkmen and newspaper vendors at its retail channel as well. Malik says,

We just want to make things available for customers and let him decide where he wants to do business. Milkmen visits the house every day or newspaper vendor in the morning. The project is currently underway at local areas in Pune. He can make some extra money just by selling a recharge at the door.

The company had 3.17 crore subscribers by the end of February 2013, as per sectoral regulator TRAI.


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