Gaining Subscriber Market Share is the Key for BSNL Says CMD

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Anupam Shrivastava, CMD of BSNL has revealed the company's plan for the current year during a media interaction. He stated that BSNL's current goal would be increasing the subscriber market share and growing in the enterprise space to protect revenue over the upcoming quarters. The state-run telco has been able to match up the competition in the last 18 months, which in turn benefited the company in growing the market share. BSNL is currently the fifth largest telecom service provider in India with over 110 million subscribers and the leading wired broadband operator with close to 10 million users on board.


“In 2018-19, we are going to grow our revenue on the back of the enterprise business, infrastructure sharing, collaboration for FTTH (Fiber to the home) and other services,” said Shrivastava, as per a report by Indian Express.

However, the chief officer is not expecting any surge in profits this year as the competition in the industry is still high. “In this financial year, it won’t be possible...because the market has disrupted a lot and many companies are in red. We hope that in 2019-20 we will be able to swing into net profit,” he added when asked about the company becoming profitable this year.

BSNL currently has close to 10% of market share in the Indian telecom market with the chart being led by Bharti Airtel with over 25% share. In the last one year, BSNL introduced various attractive tariff plans to stay ahead of the competition and they paid off well for the telco. In fact, BSNL is the only the operator in the top five list with no 4G services at all on board. Shrivastava reaffirmed that the 4G services launch would happen in the near future, which will help the operator further.

“We gained customers from companies that were closing operations. We did a mid-course correction. We realised that in this disruptive market, there is no point in focusing solely on revenue but also customer market share...we were able to do both,” Shrivastava added.

BSNL has been a loss-making entity for years now. Losses stood at Rs 4,786 crore in 2015-16, while the same has been Rs 8,234 in 2014-15. The numbers for 2017-18 are yet to come, but he added that EBITDA should remain in positive territory despite of the cutthroat competition in the industry.

“While the number is still to come out for 2017-18, we expect that EBITDA should remain in positive territory in spite of competition in the market. We also expect to reduce net loss through lower expenditure...We expect to maintain our revenue (at the same level as last year) during 2017-18,” he concluded.

BSNL is currently focussing on adding new subscribers, but at the same time, rival telcos are giving some tough to the government-owned entity. BSNL is expected to reveal the financial numbers of FY 2017-18 in early June.

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Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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