Rank 24: Sterling Cellular: Turnaround Success

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

This was truly a great year for Sterling Cellular Ltd. The company not only

managed to better its last year’s growth rate, but also snatched away market

share from its rival Bharti Cellular.


Growing at an impressive 58.9 percent, highest among all the metro private

operators, the company recorded a sales figure of Rs 386.6 crore. Its subscriber

base grew by 79.1 percent and stood at 3.9 lakh in March 2002. While the company

had just about one-third of the market in terms of subscriber base, its market

share in revenue terms was significantly higher at about 41 percent. This was

possible because of Sterling’s conscious effort to focus on signing the

high-revenue subscribers and marketing value-added services aggressively. The

company put its bet on post-paid subscribers as opposed to the competitor Bharti’s

focus on the pre-paid.

Sterling also focused seriously on content partnerships. As a result, a lot

of applications such as ring-tones and picture download are available on its

network. The success of this recently launched service is also due to the right

payment model.

Sterling Cellular





Sudershan Banerjee

Area of Operation : Cellular

Address : C-48 Okhla

Industrial Area Phase I, New Delhi 110 020
Tel  : 98111 44444
Fax: : 011-6828850
Web site : 

Strength  : The Hutch name; Good ARPU
Weakness : Far behind Bharti

in brand recall
Opportunity : Content-based applications
Threat  : New operators

and an aggressive MTNL

Sterling Cellular has a great turnaround story. A company that seemed no

match for its competitor Bharti just a couple of years ago, has today emerged as

a serious challenger, excelling in many areas and focusing on the right markets.

It already has a better ARPU. It remains to be seen if it can have a higher

market share.