Business services Feb, 02 2010

Communicating returns

By Ramanjit Kaur
Communicating returns

Today, the internet has gained immense popularity as an effective medium of communication for personal as well as for business purposes. In an interview, Rajiv Kumar, CEO, World Phone Internet Services Pvt. Ltd talks about the growth of his company.

Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Could you shed some light on the inception of World Phone Internet Services Pvt. Ltd?

Rajiv Kumar (RK): World Phone is one of the significant players of ISP (Internet Service Provider) in India. We established our business in 2001 as an ISP. Since then, we aimed at providing an edge in services ranging from internet bandwidth, internet telephony (VoIP) and related services for corporate as well as domestic users. World Phone is a category ‘A’ internet telephony service provider licensed by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Government of India. The innovative offerings of the World Phone have successfully managed to add several power brands and corporate clients into our kitty. Quality service, customer satisfaction and affordability are the key guiding forces around which the World Phone company policy revolves. Our plans and products available at highly competitive rates are the result of having harnessed superior technology with many innovative measures to ensure QOS (Quality of Service) at par with the international standards.

RK: What inspired World Phone Internet Services to take the franchise route? Have you noticed any difference in the performance of the company after you opted for franchising?

RK: Being a mid-sized organisation, it was difficult for World Phone to reach and have a presence across India. This inspired us to take the franchise model and spread our presence across the country, which we would not have been able to do otherwise. World Phone today operates in over 80 cities across the country.

RK: What practices and initiatives have you introduced in World Phone Internet Services?

RK: The practices and initiatives that we have introduced in World Phone (with a special focus on franchisees) are complete industry and product training, timely updates, new developments in the company, transparency and accountability in the system. The franchises are considered as extended hands of World Phone rather than just outsiders or agents.

RK: What are the criteria for securing the franchise of your company?

RK: The criteria for securing the franchise of our company include:

  • Knowledge about the Telecom Industry
  • Knowledge about the local market
  • Contacts and relationships in the local market
  • Capability to invest in terms of operating expenses

RK: How many outlets do you presently have?

RK: Presently, we have around 100 franchisees/ direct selling agents across India.  And now we are targeting to sign up 150 more in the current fiscal year.

RK: What support and training does a franchisee get when partnering with your company?

RK: Complete support and training is given to every franchisee of World Phone. The training includes basic industry and product training, technical training and sales process training. We provide them with marketing and advertising support and give them all the possible communication material, which will help them in conducting sales.

RK: What is the break even period for World Phone Internet Services franchise?

RK: The break even period completely depends on the capability and performance of the franchisee. We work on a commission based model; therefore the revenue is dependent on the sales. But the expected time line with an average performance is six months.

RK: Have you faced any challenges during the initial phases of your business establishment? If yes, what were they? How did you overcome those challenges?

RK: Initially, while expanding our business we faced the challenge of low awareness regarding both internet and internet telephony services. Internet telephony has got its space with the enterprise and SME sector especially software, however, it is yet to get established among the general population. World Phone is probably the only company that has spent huge resources in advertising/ marketing to popularise the concept of internet telephony. We have advertised in local daily news papers, FM and through SMS and email campaigns. We have been participating in various exhibitions to educate the public on internet and internet telephony.

RK: Any advice for the young entrepreneurs?

RK: Young entrepreneurs mean lots of energy, good business acumen and risk taking capabilities. My advice to them is to decide the sector they want to choose and work hard to achieve their goals. Every sector has its own tricks on the trade. In many cases entrepreneurs loose the battle before the sunrise.

If you are dedicated, success is bound to come.

RK: What are the company’s future plans in terms of expansion through franchising?

RK: World Phone plans to launch many new services related to IT. Most of these services will be value additions or will ride on IP (Internet Protocol). We want to expand to over 250 cities and towns all across India through franchisees and DSAs (Direct Selling Agents).

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