Archive for January, 2015

RIL among other Private Fuel Retail Companies to Attract Customers

January 23, 2015

India’s two largest fuel retailing companies, Reliance Industries and Essar Energy, aredrawing up new business plans and making efforts to attract more and more customers, giving tough competition to State-run rivals. They will be offering great discounts and benefits to customers.

Lack of Sustainability in the Past

In 2002, 15% of the fuel retail market was ruled over by private players like Reliance, Essar and Shell. However, they were unable to sustain because of subsidized sales offered by State-run oil firms. As a result, Reliance decided to quit this sector while Shell and Essar also scaled down drastically.

Revival and Pull Strategies of Private Fuel Retailers

After the diesel price deregulation in October last year, the competition in the retail fuel market has been growing intensely. Reliance Industries has already restarted 230 outlets and further plans tooperate 1,400 stations in all. Essar also runs 1,400 outlets and is aiming to increase their numbers as well.

Private companies are striving to capture a bigger share of the market. They are providing efficient services and trying to get the pumps owned and operated by dealersto turn into exclusive retailers. They are also offering attractive deals to fleet operators.

Petrol pump operators revealed that Essar gives a concession up to Rs. 2 per liter on petrol. Reliance offers a discount of Rs.5 on petrol worth Rs. 300 and Rs. 10 on diesel worthRs. 1,000.

Stance of Private Fuel Retailers

Essar said that they want to offer their customers choices. To attract more customers, they have many levers such as service, non-fuel retail, fuel-plus offering, and more. They are aiming to attain retail market share that is equivalent to their share of refining capacity. The company also feels that private sector firms are a small part in the retail market and that will not be changing much.

Meanwhile, Reliance informed investors that they are planning to start attractive consumer schemes to boost the volumes in a swift manner and reach their 2006 performance levels. The company promised that it will work on its technology and focus on customer value. It will also work towards providing the right quantity and quality of fuel at the right price.

Stance of State-Run Companies

The benefits and discounts offered by private companies is a cause for concern for State-run oil companies. Ravi Shinde, President of the Petrol Dealers Association in Mumbai,expressed his concern over losing customers if this were to continue as India is a very price-sensitive market.

On the other hand, senior executives at Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation are confident that the strategies employed by private players will not affect them as they have made their services efficient.IOC accounts for 47% of business in this sector. The company said that automation of retail outlets leaves a better perception on customers. This increases sales and profits and benefits the dealer as well as the company in designing their day-to-day operations. He said that they are well-prepared for the rising competition after the private players reinitiate their business.

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Reliance Jio applies for Pan India Cable MSO License

January 16, 2015

Reliance Jio Media has applied for a pan India cable MSO (Multi-System Operator) license in order to foray into broadcast distribution business. It is expected that the company will receive a pan India MSO license in FY 2014-15. Reliance Jiois the only company to have pan-India Broadband Wireless Access spectrum that can be used for 4G services.

Reliance Jio Media is a subsidiary of Reliance JioInfocomm (the telecom arm of Reliance Industries), started in January, 2013 and located in Mumbai.

What is MSO?

MSO stands for Multi-System Operator. It is a cable operator who receives programming services from a broadcaster. It also transmits them for simultaneous reception either to multiple subscribers directly or through one or more local cable operators.

This license will help Reliance Jio to offer cable TV services through optical fiber, thereby providing triple play service. The existing large MSOs in the country areHathway, Siti Cable, IN cable, DEN and others. The license will enable Reliance to compete with them.

Preparations of Reliance Jio

Reliance Jio has decided to give 4G services across most of the telecom circles by March, 2015. The Mukesh Ambani flagship already announced that it will launch commercial 4G telecom service in 2015, entailing investment of Rs 70,000 crores. The company plans to cover about 5,000 towns and cities, initially.This will account for more than 90 percent of urban India. Additionally, it will also cover 215,000 villages.

The firm, earlier demonstrated download speeds of 49 megabit per second (Mbps) on its 4G network at IIT, Mumbai. With this speed, a user can download a normal bollywood movie in about 2 minutes. Reliance Jio also showcased a ‘Jio Television’ that can be delivered through 4G network.

What the company has already acquired?

Reliance Jio is focusing on convergence space. After acquiring Broadband Wireless Access spectrum in 2010, it bagged ISP (Internet Service Provider) license through acquisition of Infotel Broadband Services.Reliance is seeking to focus on all types of broadband services pan India as all these services will help it to offer broadband services through wireless, wireline and cable TV media.

Reliance Jio holds Unified License (UL), acquired in October, last year. This enables it to use any technology to provide telecom services. With it, the company can offer Fiber-To-The-Home services and high speed broadband services to home and enterprise users. It had to pay a sum of Rs. 1,658 crores which is the requisite amount internet service providers holding wireless broadband airwaves pay for offering voice services.

In February 2014, it also acquired airwaves in 1800 MHz band across 14 out of 22 service areas in the country. The spectrum in this band can also be used for providing 4G services.

Reliance JioInfocomm

Mumbai based Reliance Jio is headed by Mukesh Ambani. The company has acquired permits to offer high speed 4G data and voice services across the country. It is gearing up to launch its 4G wireless services in 2015 through airwaves in the 2.3 GHz band.

Reliance Jio tests 4G services in Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

January 9, 2015

Mukesh Ambani’s ambitious telecom venture, Reliance Jio Infocomm, has moved a step closer to its 4G launch. Reliance Jio gave access to the high-speed data for free in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, Gujarat to conduct ground tests. This platform had participants from all over the world.

The company will continue to offer these services, christened Jio Internet, as part of the extended soft launch during the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2015. Trial runs have been conducted by Reliance Jio Infocomm for the past 8-10 months to ensure that users get the best service post-launch.

The launch of 4G services

Earlier, Reliance Jio Infocomm had announced its plans to roll out its 4G LTE services at 800 cities in India by June 2015. The firm will initially distribute 4G dongles and Mi-Fi devices. This will allow users to access 4G on any Wi-Fi-enabled phone. The Mi-Fi devices can connect up to 10 handsets at a time. Reliance Jio is planning to offer an average speed of 16-18 mbps on its dongles. This speed is three times faster than the currently available 3G speed.

For enhanced connectivity, Reliance Jio has set up more than 30,000 towers, in addition to leasing towers from other companies. This will ensure greater reach and better network.

Other companies with 4G

Presently, Bharti Airtel and Aircel Ltd are the only telecom companies in India that offer 4G services. The former offers services in 15 cities including Bangalore, Pune and Mohan. Aircel covers four regions — Andhra Pradesh (AP), Assam, Bihar and Odisha.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) was initiated in 2003 by Atal Bihari Vajpayee to connect India to its vast overseas diaspora and bring the latter’s knowledge, expertise and skills on a common platform. The PBD Convention is the flagship event of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), Government of India. It is organized from 7th-9th January every year to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community in the development of India. January 9 was chosen as the day to celebrate this occasion, since it was on this day in 1915 that Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest pravasi, returned to India from South Africa. He led our nation’s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.

This year’s PBD exhibition was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited

Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), India’s largest private sector company. It is the first telecom operator to hold a pan-India unified license. This license authorizes Reliance Jio to provide all telecommunication services except Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite Service.

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Reliance’s Healthcare Division nominated for TOI Social Impact Awards

January 2, 2015

The healthcare division of Reliance Foundation has been nominated for the TOI Social Impact Awards, 2014.

Through this division, Reliance Foundation provides affordable curative and preventive services under its varied programmes. It offers many health centres, mobile medical clinics, emergency ambulance services, health awareness, diagnostic and preventive camps.

It follows the vision of “Health for All”. The division initiated a Health Outreach Programme to extend primary healthcare to vulnerable sections of the society. The Foundation’s Drishti Programme has supported more than 13,000 cornea transplants while Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital & Research Centre provides a world-class healthcare facility.

Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre

Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, situated in Mumbai, is a multi-specialty tertiary care hospital with 6 thrust areas – Cardiac Sciences, Nephro-Urology, Neuro Sciences, Oncology, Orthopaedics & Spine and Woman & Child Health. It has 345 beds and spans 8 lakh square feet. This technologically advanced institution aims to provide quality healthcare at affordable fees. Respect for Life is its motto.

Originally christened Sir Hurkisondas Nurrotumdas Hospital and Research Centre, it was founded in 1918 and was at the forefront of cutting-edge technology even then. Many noted freedom fighters -including Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel -politicians, philanthropists and doctors patronised the hospital. Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre carries forward this legacy of excellence in care and service to all.

TOI Social Impact Awards

These awards are aimed to encourage organizations aimed at social development. The entries were evaluated by a panel consisting of 20 experts that have 20 to 30 years of experience in the field. The seven criteria applied were scale of impact, replicability, sustainability, finances, people’s participation, innovativeness and promotion of equity.

Out of thousands of entries received from across the nation, 66 entities were selected in the first list. 44 of these were then shortlisted in the second and final rounds. The entities span government bodies, corporate houses and NGOs.

For the next stage, reporters from Times of India will visit the areas where these organizations have been working to assess their work and check how they positively impact lives. They will interact with locals, partners and others. Final winners will be announced after the report is prepared and the votes are counted.

The awards ceremony is scheduled in March at New Delhi. Three awards will be presented, one each for NGO, corporate and government entities in each sector. Reliance Foundation is nominated with 7 others in the health sector. The voting will close on 15th January, 2015.

Reliance Foundation

Reliance Foundation was established in 2010. It aims towards sustainable growth in India. It provides an impetus to the varied philanthropic initiatives of Reliance Industries. The Foundation strives to provide basic needs and develop the vulnerable sections of India. The five core pillars of the foundation are Rural Transformation, Education, Health, Urban Renewal and Arts, Culture & Heritage. More than 4 million people come within its target audience.

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