India’s second-largest telecom operator Vodafone will invest Rs 13,000 crores (£ 1.3 billion) for capacity augmentation, new business initiatives in the country and also for government’s Digital India and Make in India programs.
In a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in London, Vittorio Colao, Vodafone Group Plc’s CEO, committed this investment. Vodafone also reiterated its commitment to support government’s Digital India and Make in India initiatives.
Out of the total investment, Rs 8,000 crores (£ 800 million) will go under Digital India for enhancement, upgradation and expansion of network coverage
Under Make in India, Rs 3,000 crores (£ 300 million) will be utilized for further increase capacity and upgradation of its high-end technology centre and IT and customer experience centres in Pune and Ahmedabad.
These service centers will exemplify the “Make in India” opportunity globally, the company says.
It would invest Rs 1,000 crores (£ 100 million) for setting up a state-of-the-art Tier-4 data centre, which would be first of its kind in the Indian telecom sector and is specially designed to service the evolving communications needs of businesses and enterprises.
Under financial inclusion program, Rs 1,000 crores (£ 100 million) will be utilized towards the payment bank for which Vodafone M-Pesa has received an in-principle license from RBI.
Since starting operations in India in 2007, Vodafone has claimed to made an investment of over Rs 1,11,000 crores and contributed over Rs 1,00,000 crores to the exchequer and is today the largest FDI investor in the country.
Colao said, “At Vodafone, we are enthused with the PM’s vision for ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’. Vodafone India serves over 188 million citizens, of which almost 100 million are from rural areas. As the co-creator of the telecom ecosystem, a catalyst of the telecom revolution in India and being committed for the long term, we are ideally poised to partner the Government of India in fulfilling these important initiatives. We are pleased to announce our enhanced commitment to India through this series of significant further investments.”