Vodafone: SMEs, start-ups offer big opportunities as India goes digital

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 10, 2017

SUNIL SOOD, MD & CEO, Vodafone India

Telecom operator fast-tracks digitalisation as content is turning king

Vodafone India is betting big on start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grow its business from the corporate sector, which contributed 17 per cent of its revenues in fiscal 2017.

The country’s second-largest mobile operator by subscribers is also expecting digital and content to drive growth in the near future.

“Start-ups and SMEs are playing a key role in fostering new ideas and enabling Digital India. Dynamic innovation needs strong technology support and trusted partners for sustainable growth. Vodafone’s global experience as an enabler and our rich understanding and roots in India, ideally positions us to service the evolving needs of this community,” Vodafone India Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Sunil Sood said.

“Our ready business proposition is designed to provide a comprehensive suite of solutions empowering start-ups and SMEs to catalyse innovation and fast track growth,” he said.

Vodafone India’s enterprise business, mainly done through its division Vodafone Business Services (VBS), contributed 12 per cent to its overall revenues in FY14, which rose to 14 per cent in FY15 and 15 per cent in FY16.

Emerging technologies

“In many ways telecom holds the key to the future. New technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence (AI), analytics and machine learning will all be dependent on the connectivity that telecom provides. With over one billion users, India is already one of the most exciting markets to do business in,” Sood added.

Vodafone India, which launched a new brand positioning on October 31, is also speeding up its digitalisation initiatives and looking to partner with its customers as they go digital.

“Market consolidation has speeded up, and Digital India is fast becoming a reality. We believe this is a real opportunity for us to capitalise. Convergence, digital transformation and content will be key drivers for our business along with enterprise.”

Idea merger

The Idea Cellular-Vodafone merger is also inching towards final approvals with the merger set to come up before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Mumbai in the first week of December. After this, the companies will have to get Department of Telecommunications’ approvals and later file with the Registrar of Companies.

Vodafone had earlier said that it expects to complete the merger next year, but without providing specific dates.

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Published on November 10, 2017
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