Enterprise pure play

Another player queues up for a piece of Indian telecom.

Jim Marsh
Jim Marsh
In the world of telecommunications, Cable & Wireless must be a bit of an oddity. Based in London, it operates through two standalone business units, of which one focuses on international business, offering telecom services to both retail and business consumers, and the other on Europe, Asia & US, but only catering to business customers. Now, it wants a piece of India’s booming telecom market. C&W recently acquired two licences from the government of India to provide national and international long distance operations, and plans to deploy its backbone to provide high-speed communication channels to global firms operating in and out of India. “With our technological advantage and reach in almost 155 countries at present, we will be able to provide connectivity solutions to multinational and local customers in India with high-quality managed IP services,” says Jim Marsh CEO, Cable & Wireless, Europe, Asia and US.

Marsh’s C&W, which gets about a quarter of its revenue from Asia, plans to roll out the core backbone in India over the next three months. The network will connect the metros along with Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata. The firm, which is probably the only company that focusses purely on enterprise business, will manage the networks of its clients who “need to do business in India, and also Indian companies that need to reach out to the rest of the international business community, apart from just providing the core connectivity,” says Marsh.

After setting up its initial network, C&W will work with domestic partners for further network expansions. “For that we are already looking at partners like Bharti and Tata and others,” says Marsh. The company plans to stay focussed on solutions for the financial services sector and the retail industry, besides working with IT and ITES firms. “Maintaining growth is the biggest challenge for any enterprise and optimising services through cost-effective measure are essential prerequisites for them,” says Sunanda Das, Managing Director for India, C&W. Given that the enterprise market in India for telecom services is projected to touch $6 billion by 2010, C&W has plenty of room to play.

— Amit Mukherjee