Future Group dials in with handset brand

Purvita Chatterjee Mumbai | Updated on March 11, 2011

Mr Kishore Biyani (right), Group CEO of the Future Group, andMr Deepak Gulati, Executive President of the MobilityBusiness Division of Tata Teleservices Ltd at the launch oftheir T24 GSM mobile services in Mumbai on Thursday. — Photo: Paul Noronha   -  Business Line

After entering the mobile services business through Tata Teleservices, the Kishore Biyani-promoted Future Group is now getting ready to launch mobile handsets under its own private label.

“We are looking at entering the handset market with our own brand and would be targeting the medium to lower segment with it. Our handsets would be for the masses, pegged between Rs 3,000 and Rs 7,000,'' said Mr Mayur Toshniwal, CEO, Telecom, Future Group.

In 2008, Future Group joined hands with Axiom Telecom, a mobile retail company from West Asia, to form Future Axiom Telecom Ltd, an equal joint venture, to retail and distribute mobile handsets and accessories and set up services in India.

“We already have a company for retailing telecom products and are now looking at getting our own handset brand. These handsets would be outsourced from China and we would be innovating in the segment to make a mark in it,” added Mr Toshniwal.

Innovation, the key

In fact, innovation would be the key to stand out in the telecom handset market. “Smaller players such as Micromax have been a success due to their innovative strategies. We are trying to understand customers and would be innovating with the handsets,” added Mr Toshniwal.

Meanwhile, following the launch of the T24 GSM mobile service across 16 telecom circles through Tata Teleservices, the Future Group is now entering Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra.

Mr Kishore Biyani, Group CEO, said, “We have completed nine months in the mobile services business and believe that this will be a game-changer for the group. We already have 7 lakh subscribers today and are targeting 10 million consumers in the next 24 months.''

T 24 has launched its services in States such as Andhra Pradesh. Offering free talk time to loyal consumers for a certain amount of purchases made, Tata Teleservices, through its association with the Future group, would be adding to its subscriber base through the consumers of the Future Group formats.

Mr Sandeep Singal, Head, Sales & Distribution, Tata Teleservices, said, “We are targeting more women subscribers through the T 24 prepaid cards. We would rather have more consumers through the Future Group rather than lose them to competition.''

With the baseline Shop More, Talk More, T24 is positioned as India's first unpaid connection.

Published on March 10, 2011

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