Vodafone set to focus on startups

Vodafone set to focus on startups
Highlights

Vodafone is looking to focus on fast-growing startup segment in India and has identified Hyderabad as one among the six potential cities in the country, where the telecom major intends to offer its services to the early stage ventures.

Hyderabad: Vodafone is looking to focus on fast-growing startup segment in India and has identified Hyderabad as one among the six potential cities in the country, where the telecom major intends to offer its services to the early stage ventures.

“We want to cover startups and offer services that are relevant to them. To start with, we have identified six cities which are the key hubs for startups. Primarily, Bangalore and New Delhi are the major hubs. Definitely, Hyderabad is also a part of that. The other cities are Mumbai, Pune and Chennai,” Ajay Sehgal, National Head, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Vodafone Business Services (VBS), the enterprise arm of Vodafone India, told The Hans India.

Currently, the telecom major is in the process of creating new structure so that it can become more relevant to the startups, both in terms of its offering as well as service wrap-up. “As startups are growing very fast, our efforts will be towards catering to their needs in a more effective, efficient and faster manner,” he said.

Sehgal rated T-Hub, the incubation centre set up by the Telangana government, as good initiative. “We are also thinking about how can we add value to the TS government’s initiative and mentor the startups there (in T-Hub), using our global expertise,” he said. When asked whether Vodafone would enter into any tie-up with the TS government, he said that telecom major’s intention was to help startups.

“We will find out how to approach them. Definitely, the intention is there,” he said. Meanwhile, Vodafone Business Services is looking to double its business from the SME segment. Currently, the telecom major’s income from the SME segment accounts for nearly 25 per cent of the revenues generated by the VBS division, which in turn contributes about 15 per cent to the Vodafone India’s total business.

“Our overall enterprise business has clocked 20 per cent growth last fiscal while the SME part of it has grown at the double that rate. We are initiating new measures to maintain similar growth levels,” Sehgal said. The company has launched a three-pronged strategy with focus on coverage, intelligence and automation, to ramp up its network for tapping the burgeoning SME segment. Besides, it is also offering cloud-based ICT (information and communications technology) services to SMEs at an affordable cost.

By P Madhusudhan Reddy

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