Telecom operator Uninor said on Monday that it has entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest ever retail expansion by any company in the world by opening 362 retail outlets at the same time in a single day.
This one-day record took Uninor 75 days of planning and 5,400 hours of execution involving 200 retail employees covering 1,50,000 customers in its six operating circles.
"It is Uninor's retailers and Uninor's customers that have together made a Guinness World Record today," Uninor Chief Marketing officer Rajeev Sethi said in a statement. Uninor, telecom arm of Norwegian firm Telenor, now has the second highest number of retail stores among all operators in its six circles, the statement said.
"This means that our SIMs and recharges will be available at more shops and much closer to where a subscriber is than virtually any other operator," added Sethi.
Uninor has operations in six telecom circles- UP (West), UP (East), Bihar (including Jharkhand), Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The company, in February, acquired spectrum for Assam service area but is yet to start its service there.
Uninor identified areas where it had a subscriber base of about 10,000 customers and had no stores within 5 kms of radius of such areas. It was estimated that it needed to open over 360 stores to fill the gap. However, an expansion of this scale would have required at least 2 years, Sethi said.
Currently, Uninor has 1,100 operational stores. By opening these additional stores, it takes its overall footprint to 1480 stores - making it the second largest among all operators in its circles, the statement said. The retail expansion came after a company statement in February announcing an investment of Rs 500 crore to expand its network and distribution infrastructure by 30 per cent in its six operational circles, it added.
The company has also announced plans of re-deploying 5,000 sites from closed down circles for geographical expansion in existing six circles in the same statement. Telenor has sought the government's approval to raise its stake in Uninor to 100 per cent from about 74 per cent at present with investment of Rs 780 crore.