Virgin Mobile gets Tata Tele Services franchise, targets youth

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Mumbai, Mar 2: Promising the mobile telephone crazy youth of India a new experience, Virgin Mobile, today became a franchise of Tata Tele Services (TTS) and promises to build up a five million customer base over the next three years.

Virgin Mobile will venture in the country through the franchise model. ''The company will make the highest investment ever in India,'' Virgin group Founder Chairman Sir Richard Branson said. Sir Branson did not come out with the figures or the terms of agreement with the Tatas, but said that the venture willd emerge profitable in three years time.

He said Virgin Mobile has brought to its customers, ten firsts in the Indian telecom market, including a secret inbuilt password enabling the users to save secretly some of their personal messages. Other country firsts included one touch value added service access from every Virgin Mobile branded handset, call more for less, true care and value for money handset range with a price tag between Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000, offering 100 per cent colour and FM.

He said more than 250 Virgin Mobile employees have been researching in India to deliver country specific value added features, which may be incorporated in other countries where Virgin Mobile is offering its services. These countries include the US, UK, France.

Virgin group operate in over 29 countries having a combined revenue of nearly 20 billion dollars in 2006.

Tata Tele Services Managing Director Anil Sardana said that at present the relationship will be that of franchise and Virgin Mobile will be another branded services of the telecom operator, like Tataindicom.

Virin Mobile India Deputy CEO Jamie Heywood said that there were more than 215 million Indians in the 14 to 25 years of age group and over the next three years this group will be adding 509 million new subscribers and have mobile services revenue of over Rs 350 billion.

By focusing exclusively on a single segment and by continuing to deliver innovative services, Virgin Mobile can capture more than ten per cent of this incremental market within three years of launch, he added.


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