Monday, June 15, 2015

Karlo Duniya Mutthi Mein - Part 3

The Internet was launched in India in 1995. Interestingly, India's mobile services were also launched in the same year. When I got my first mobile phone in 1997, it was a heavy walkie-talkie like machine, which, had to be held in the hand, for the fear of tearing away my pocket.!

The outgoing call rate, when I got my mobile was about Rs.12 outgoing and Rs.6 incoming! We had a second-to-second billing plan too. It used to be very funny, with people making as short a call as possible to avoid hefty phone bills. I remember, I had a client who would ask me if I was calling from my mobile, and if I answered yes, would immediately cut the line and call be back from his landline. It was convenient to own a mobile, and it was also a status symbol, but it was damned expensive.

In 2003, Reliance launched its CDMA technology based mobile services, after laying out 80000 kms. of fibre cables across the length and breadth of the country. Everywhere you went, you could see the Reliance workers digging by the roadside and laying the blue coloured cables.

Why was this a game changer? Because at that time, the outgoing rates for all mobile services were in the range of Rs. 4 - 6 per minute and incoming calls were still charged. Overnight, Reliance changed the game, turned the market upside-down by charging 40 paise for Reliance-to-Reliance calls and FREE incoming. The other operators were forced to come to an agreement to make the incoming calls free.

Image source: http://image.slidesharecdn.com/reliancecommunications-130823083814-phpapp02/95/reliance-communications-4-638.jpg?cb=1377247132

One fine morning, we all woke up to the 'Karlo Duniya Mutthi Mein' campaign for the launch of Reliance Infocomm. "Ek soch thi, ek sapna tha bole har koi, badhe har koi" campaign was launched with a scheme with mobile phones at Rs.500/-. Overnight the elitist mobile phone reached the hands of the common man. All credit goes to Reliance for placing the mobile phone into the hands of your local bhajiwala (vegetable vendor) and the local chaiwala.

The rest, my friends, is history. When mobile services were launched in 1995, for five years, the mobile subscriber base barely reached 5 million. Today, India boasts of the largest mobile subscriber base, and we have not even covered half the population yet! Reliance not only brought about a communication revolution, but paved way for faster growth of mobile telephony across India, and in turn, for the status of media as of now. I wrote about Gulshan Kumar and Moser Baer in the previous two posts. There are several other game changers, people and organizations which made media what it is today.

Mukesh Ambani, while addressing the stock holders meeting 2 days back announced the the Reliance Jio 4G services will be launched in December. The other mobile operators are shrugging it off, making several comments in the media about how the technology used by Reliance is not tested, and how they were ready to face the challenge. However, I am sure everyone is gearing up towards this event, because, Reliance is the only operator which has won the license to provide 4G across India (Someone please correct me if I am wrong). Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani, who owns Reliance Communication, with 3G services, have already signed an agreement, under which, Reliance Communication will lease out its towers to Reliance Jio.

So get ready for Reliance Jio folks, the next game changer is about to be launched.

Here's are links to the famous, and game changing Karlo Duniya Mutthi Mein Campaigns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hzIPAydPoQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpBQrXMD5gA