Ratan Tata got a lot of flak for his association with the corporate PR specialist; per se the association is not illegal but motivated agendas are. He’s the head of Tatas who had earned a good corporate reputation over the years with the tag line, “We also make Steel”.
Over the past few years, they entered into Telecom; bought over VSNL for their broadband and international telephony needs, misread the market, entered into CDMA and then forked into GSM with two competing brands- Virgin Mobile and Tata DoCoMo. While Virgin Mobile had it’s CDMA avatar (now in GSM), Docomo is spearheading it’s 3G foray.
In all the hoopla, it has carved a niche for itself by being an idiot and super idiot at the same time. There is no parallel in the world (not to my knowledge) where a same company would fight for the same customer pool. Leave aside it’s mobile business (which is opaque as far as the revenues are concerned), it’s broadband strategy is in tatters.
Hence when Forbes India came up with the cover story on Tata’s Telecom strategy, I was eagerly awaiting the web version because this crap is not worth the paper it is printed on (and hence not worth the money spent on this tattered crap rag). I was proved right when the “journalist” in question hammed on the same issue time and again; perhaps without even realizing that one needs to have an in-depth understanding of the sector. The title says a lot about the “telecom strategy” but sadly these morons on Forbes have restricted themselves to “mobile segment” alone.
I refuse to account for the sector changes or even track the people involved in decision making. This is not my specialty or my interest. My only interest is to get a better deal as a customer; see it through the prism of my own understanding and spout out my “wisdom”.
The whole article talks about the sectoral changes due to Mobile Number Portability or Spectrum charges being traded in “business publications” elsewhere. It does not make even one fucking cursory mention about it’s strategy elsewhere; where it has met it’s waterloo and has been drubbed by customers square- Broadband.
I don’t understand; really don’t understand as to why these idiots cant scale up the platform. They have DTH; they make tonnes in carriage fees (as per the media reports) and burning huge amount of cash in customer acquisition. A proper broadband access (and a portal) with content cross ported from DTH (if you take care of the license issues- what the fuck is their army of lawyers doing?) and you have a sure fire recipe for success.
Of course, this has to come with a balance of right targets and marketing. Last mile access alone is a major issue but not for the class B and class C cities and towns where they could have become the default broadband service providers. But because it needs funds, long term vision and skill of execution, Tatas are found wanting.
Forbes India disappoints me. Not that I had expected a stellar reporting from them but at least SOME bloody semblance of balance in the story. It only points towards the idea bankruptcy, lack of sectoral understanding and oodles of stupidity.