Top 10: 8 - TTSL: Making Waves

VoicenData Bureau
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With restructuring across the board, Tata Teleservices (TTSL)

saw substantial growth across the domain. Not only that its subscriber base

crossed the 10 mn mark last year, revenues reached a new high. The company

generated revenue of Rs 2,575 crore this year as against Rs 1,347 crore in FY

2004-05, a growth of 91%.


There was a major change of guard at TTSL last year. Soon

after Firdose Vandrewala stepped down as chairman of TTSL, Ratan Tata took over

to give a fillip to the telecom business, and Darryl Green was appointed the CEO

of the company.


Area of operation: Fixed

and Cellular Services, Data Services

Address: Tata Teleservices Limited, Rational House, Appa Saheb
Marathe Marg, Prabhadevi, Mumbai-400018

Phone: +91-22-56671414

Fax: +91-22-56605335


Recently, TTSL offloaded a 7% stake to the Chennai-based

entrepreneur C Sivasankaran. This deal came on the heels of TTSL's 9.9% stake

sale to Singapore's Temasek Holdings. In all, TTSL offloaded around 17% of its

equity for Rs 2,650-2,800 crore in these two transactions. The company will use

this money to expand its network across the country.


TTSL has 3.5 mn (3,053,429) fixed wireline and fixed

wireless phone subscribers, while mobile subscribers stand at 4.15 mn


TTSL invested Rs 15,000 crore in various telecom

initiatives last year and would invest around Rs 4,000 crore in FY 2006-07.


  • Ratan Tata took over as chairman of

    TTSL and Darryl Green as CEO
  • Marked entry into prepaid segment
  • Launched operations in 12 new circles
  • Sold stake to Temasek and Sivasankaran


The company launched operations in 12 new circles last year

and became a pan India operator by offering telecom services in 20 circles.

Besides, it also launched services in semi-urban areas, rural and major highways

across India. Under the USO agreement, the company rolled out fixed wireless

terminals (FWTs) in rural areas, thus becoming the first private operator in the

country to install residential lines (FWTs) in villages with population of less

than 5,000. The company offers telecom services in more than 2,500 towns and

would cover an additional 1,500 towns by the end of this year.

Last year, TTSL marked its entry into the prepaid segment

by launching Tata Indicom True Paid, across all its existing 20 circles. It

launched the pre-paid services with Non Stop Mobile (NSM) feature wherein

incoming calls are free for two years. It received a huge response and the

company added over one million subscribers in a record period of 45 days.

TTSL got international recognition when its 'Walky'

received the 'Best Service in Emerging Markets Award' at the World

Communication Awards in London.  This

year, the company will target entry-level users mainly in non-metros, and

penetration in semi—urban and rural areas.


'It's our endeavor to provide connection to rural


TTSL now has a pan India presence but still lags

behind other operators...your comments?

In December 2003, immediately after the announcement

of UASL, Tata Teleservices started implementing the telecom blueprint as

the company was looking for the most opportune time for its

implementation. Within few days, we migrated to UASL in our existing

circles and applied for licenses in 12 new circles. We have been

successful in achieving a pan India presence within the time frame, we

envisaged earlier.


Darryl Green

The Tata Group's commitment towards the entire

telecom value chain is in itself a great strength. This, coupled with the

brand name, generates a tremendous amount of trust and confidence in the

minds of consumers. Even though we entered a little late, we are reaping

the benefits of lower capex per subscriber, which indeed is a great

strategic advantage.

As telecom industry is booming, we do expect that the

year 2006-07 will be a fruitful year for TTSL. The potential of

application driven value added services would be an opportunity to add

significant revenues. It will also be a key differentiator for the brand

in the coming year.

After outsourcing your IT infrastructure to TCS, what

are your plans for managed services on network side?

The partnership with TCS will provide a comprehensive

IT roadmap for TTSL. With a state-of-the-art infrastructure to support

existing and new business initiatives TTSL would deliver a high quality

service. The scope of the engagement includes management of all IT related

activities including implementation, application development, maintenance,

and change management across the enterprise. In addition, management of

data centers, information security management, training end-users on new

applications, disaster recovery, and business continuity will also be the

responsibility of TCS.

What has TTSL done in the service delivery area?

Tata Indicom's telecom services are available at

exclusive 2,700 True Value outlets and several retail selling points that

are set up all across the country. This is the largest retail network in


What network expansion did you do last year?

We started rolling out our services in 12 new

circles. This made us a pan India operator. We did this by offering

telecom services in 20 circles, besides launching those in 2,500 towns

covering semi-urban, rural and major highways across India. We would be

covering additional 1,500 towns this year.

What initiatives have you taken in rural areas?

To increase rural penetration, TTSL has rolled out

Fixed Wireless Terminals (FWT), in such areas. In this fiscal, Tata

Teleservices will invest about Rs 1,000 crore for its rural thrust that

will include setting up of specialized 3,000 base stations in difficult

terrains in rural parts of the country. The company believes that a large

part of the country still does not have network coverage. It is our

endeavor to provide connection to remote parts of the country.

The company has chalked out aggressive plans to cater to

the customer needs, which involve increase in capacities, introducing cutting

edge technologies and a host of value added services.

In this fiscal, Tata Teleservices will invest about Rs

1,000 crore for setting up of specialized 3,000 base stations in difficult

terrains in rural parts of the country. TTSL has doubled its target for the

current fiscal. The focus will be on the entry—level customers in the

semi-urban and rural areas. The company has already given orders to ZTE to

deploy CDMA 2000 solutions across the country.