ONEOTT INTERTAINMENT, the broadband subsidiary of Hinduja Group’s NXTDIGITAL, aims to grow its subscriber base to 7-8 lakh this fiscal by upselling bundled services to cable TV customers of parent company and chasing inorganic ‘operational merger’ with smaller internet service providers, its CEO said. The fixed line broadband player crossed 6 lakh subscriber mark in FY21, adding over one lakh customer in the fourth quarter alone.
“We have an ambitious plan of 30 per cent growth this year, that would bring the subscriber numbers to 7-8 lakh,” ONEOTT Chief Executive Officer Yugal Kishore Sharma said.
‘ONE Broadband’ is positioning itself in the on-demand entertainment space by offering convergent solutions in the ecosystem of Connectivity, Devices, Content and Apps, powered by a Fiber-Optic To The Home (FTTH) network, and cable infrastructure. It has also been leveraging the cable television and HITS (Headend-In-The-Sky) subscriber base of NXTDIGITAL for expanding its footprint across the country.
“We are going to all cities where NXT services of cable TV, is available…our synergy of overall NXT media, in which we have cable TV base of over 5 million, is a unique strategy for us to convert into broadband as well,” Sharma explained.
Besides this, the company is looking at inorganic growth through ‘operational merger’ of smaller internet service providers (ISPs).
“We have an inorganic business model which comes from smaller ISPs in smaller towns. These ISPs find it difficult to sustain business, because of cost pressure as well as competitive advantage of large players, including telcos, that have international bandwidth, gateways, fibre networks,” Sharma said.
Many such ISPs are teaming up with ONEOTT to sustain operations, and for benefits such as cost, management bandwidth, regulatory and compliance requirements, competitiveness, and leverage of a national brand.
“We are getting into operational merger with smaller ISPs. We get into managing their business, and their business come under our licence and control,” he said.
Elaborating on the model, Sharma said ISPs continue to be promoters and have a profit-sharing model. “There is a profit sharing agreement. Since it is their business, they help us expand it because overheads are ours. So they help in further expansion,” Sharma added.
Sharma noted that the broadband service provider, which has a strong footprint in west, north and south India, is now looking to spread its wings in eastern part of the country.
“We are not relatively strong in East, from a broadband perspective. But now we are leveraging NXT parent company’s base…We have HITS platform which is highly prevalent in North Eastern states especially, where terrestrial network can not go. So these are tier 3/4 markets, which we are keen to open up,” he said.
The company has presence in 35-40 cities, including Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Nasik, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Surat, Delhi, Patna, among others.
“Our HITS platform touches 1500 cities, so this is the funnel we have, and we have partners in those cities. That is our expansion strategy, where we plan to expand by leveraging HITS platform and HITS cities,” Sharma said. PTI