Vi Banks on IoT to Strengthen its Enterprise Business by Tapping SMEs
By: Ashwathy Nair
- The target of Vi for signing up new SMEs for the product is not yet revealed.
- There is a growth seen in semi-urban pockets by Vodafone Idea enterprise business.
- Vi has worked with Eunimart, Hubbler and Fiskl.
Vodafone Idea Ltd (Vi) mainly banks for new revenue sources on the Internet of Things (IoT), fixed-line broadband, cloud, and managed-security solutions with all components of its enterprise sector.
By tapping small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which is a fairly wide market, Vi is “aggressively planning” to improve its enterprise sector. However, the chief enterprise business officer of the company, Abhijit Kishore did not disclose Vi’s aim of signing up new SMEs for the products, such as software as a service (SaaS) or cloud, IoT, fixed-line data and managed-security solutions, where there has been a late increase in demand for bundled solutions.
“The SME and SoHo (Small Office-Home Office) are obviously a priority for us,” he further stated. Moving ahead, in order to improve this portfolio, we have an ambitious strategy. The market is very big and for us, that is a fairly large area. We’re not talking numbers, but we have a big number on the SME front to cater.”
In addition to health and wellness companies such as Mfine, Cure.fit and 1 mg, the initiative includes its new collaboration with edtech businesses such as upGrad, Udemy and Pedagogy. For help, that is business-related, Vodafone Idea has tied up with Eunimart, Hubbler and Fiskl. Telco plans to incorporate more partners in order to give its customers exclusive services. “Enterprise sector is very important in our overall strategy. In both large and medium and small business clients, we see great opportunities,” Kishore said.
The enterprise business could assist the cash-strapped telco, which owes thousands of crores in back fees to the government, to generate revenue during the loss in its customer base.
Though its rivals Bharti Airtel Ltd and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd continued to gain market share, In October, they lost 2.7 million customers. Vi might lose 50-70 million subscribers over the next year, according to Fitch Ratings, and it has already lost 155 million users in the past nine quarters. The global credit rating agency said earlier this month that Vi’s proposal to raise ₹25,000 crores in equity and debt could not regain its competitive position because the sum would not be adequate for its capital requirements.
The analysts stated that for a maximum of two years, the amount will be enabling Vi to sustain operations. So far, Vi has paid ₹7,854 in AGR
(adjusted gross revenue) dues, but it still owes the telecommunications department over ₹50,000 crores.
Kishore stated that growth in semi-urban pockets has been registered by Vi’s enterprise business, especially in tier-two and tier-three towns, although its coverage model is to first tap small and medium enterprises across some cities and then reach out through its partners to customers, and target those using retail services only.