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Kishore Biyani all set to launch telecom services

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Business model to be based on MVNO platform.

Mr Kishore Biyani
Mr Kishore Biyani

Purvita Chatterjee

Mumbai, Jan. 7

Mr Kishore Biyani is getting ready to unleash his mobile services.

The business model is likely to be based on the MVNO platform( Mobile Virtual Network Operator) platform whereby a mobile operator does not own its own spectrum and usually does not have its own network infrastructure.

Instead, MVNOs have business arrangements with traditional mobile operators to buy minutes of use (MOU) for sale to their own customers. ``We should be ready with the telecom services within the next six to eight weeks,'' stated Mr Kishore Biyani, Chairman of the Future Group.

It was at the IRF (India Retail Forum) last year that Mr Biyani had disclosed his plans to enter the telecom space with plans of making Rs 1000 crore on the project. Currently, the telecom project is being handled by Mr Biyani himself and the services are now on the threshold of being launched soon through his retail outlets.

“There are many thoughts on generating revenues, but it our telecom project which will be unleashed within a matter of weeks,'' added Mr. Biyani.

Virgin Mobile model

Currently it is the Virgin Mobile brand which has entered India through a franchise arrangement with Tata Teleservices. The Future Group is expected to be based on a business model similar to that of Virgin Mobile.

According to sources, there will be SIM cards based on the GSM platform from the Tata DoCo o brand which will provide the back-end for the Future Group's foray into telecom.

However, there are no plans to tap into the synergies which might exist in the hardware market considering the group already has a joint venture under Future Axiom Telecom which is into sourcing and wholesale distribution of mobile handsets.

Hospitality plans

The Future Group is also keen to enter the hospitality industry with its own chain of hotels. “It is just a thought at the moment and nothing has been formed up as yet,'' added Mr Biyani.

Besides, the Future Group is also planning to upgrade its loyalty and direct marketing programmes. There would be new loyalty card which can be used across the group companies.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 8, 2010)
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