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[HCDX] India: 'WorldSpace will focus on tier-2, class-B cities'
'WorldSpace will focus on tier-2, class-B cities'
Having acquired 177,000 lakh subscribers within four
years of its launch, WorldSpace India is now eyeing to
capture smaller towns. The radio service is available
on subscription only on a special satellite radio-set
that costs about Rs 2,350. Additionally, the consumers
have to shell out a subscription fees starting from Rs
1,000 (for six months) to Rs 3,250 for two years. It
offers over 40 channels including 10 regional language
channels and some specialised channels on
spirituality, rock and classical music, news channels
among others. HARSHAD JAIN, chief marketing officer,
WorldSpace India, shares his plans with ASHISH SINHA.
What will be your focus area this year? How many
subscribers have you got?
This year, WorldSpace will focus on tier-2, class-B
cities in India with an aggressive outlook to capture
the market. There will be a renewed thrust on
strategic alliances and commercial broadcasting
combined with efforts on customer retention.
We introduced a subscription business model and in the
past few years have expanded its retail presence to
reach out to customers across the country, offering an
exciting choice of over 40 radio stations playing a
wide choice of music, entertainment and information.
WorldSpace is the world's only company positioned to
offer satellite radio experience to five billion
consumers in more than 130 countries. In India, we
have approximately 177,644 subscribers.
Which are the focus regions for you in 2008?
WorldSpace was first launched in Bangalore and
therefore, is headquartered here. Hence, the awareness
levels and adoption is highest in this market and
other southern markets. Metro markets like Delhi and
Mumbai have also shown a high level of traction. Going
forward, eastern and central India presents an
opportunity for WorldSpace.
How many dealers/distributors of WorldSpace Radio are
there in India?
Currently, we are working with over 74 business
associates and over 2,000 retail outlets across the
country. We plan to extend our retail operations to
key markets in the country. Our strategy was to
achieve growth in the top-10 city category before
extending our retail network beyond the metros.
Today we cover several markets including non-metro
markets such as Cochin, Pune, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad,
Trivandrum, Surat, Nagpur and Goa etc. Non-metro
markets are important as there are limited
entertainment options there and we can provide great
value to our customers through our programmes.
Does WorldSpace manufacture its own radio sets? If
not, from where do you source your radio sets?
WorldSpace does not manufacture its own radio sets.
They are manufactured by contract manufacturers as per
the terms and conditions of the agreements provided by
WorldSpace. Our current (DIG F8) Rxs are manufactured
by BPL in India and Tongshi in China. But the Chinese
sets are not sold in India.
Going forward, are there plans to increase the channel
offerings? If so, how many additional channels can we
expect and by when?
At WorldSpace, we are constantly in the pursuit of
customer feedback. In 2006, we saw a clear demand from
our listeners for humour. We then launched a 24-hour
humour channel called Punch line.
There was a clear awakening from consumers on health,
wellness and spirituality. Thus, our bouquet of
channel offerings like Radio Art of Living, Sai Global
Harmony and Radio Moksha.
Last year, we made an announcement that our music (ten
channels ? Hindi and regional language stations) was
available online via a strategic alliance with MSN. We
will continue to seek and benefit from other such
strategic alliances this year too.
© 2008 Business Standard filed
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