to invest $100 mn in three years

March 27th, 2008 - 3:56 pm ICT by admin  

By Nayanima Basu
Mumbai, March 27 (IANS), an online video-on-demand (VoD) and video rental business unit of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, is planning to invest $100 million by 2011 to expand its business both in India and overseas. The company has aligned its VoD business mainly for the overseas market to tap non-resident Indians while its video rental unit would be focussed completely on the domestic market, said Kamal Gianchandani, chief operating officer.

“Our businesses, VoD and rental, are focussed on two different markets. They cater to different needs and audiences. But our unique selling point for these markets is content aggregation which no one is doing,” Gianchandani told IANS.

“In the domestic market, we are planning to spend $100 million over three years to expand our rental business,” he said, adding the company wanted to increase its number of stores to 150 by 2009 and 500 by 2010 from the present 26.

He said the stores were currently operational in six cities - Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Chandigarh. The expansion follows the franchise route for expansion.

“We will also start a video delivery service. Viewers can have videos delivered at their doorstep. They can register through our portal. We also plan to set up call centres where one can call in and order movies.”

The official explained that the company would offer both rental and subscription options at Rs.250-500 a month for unlimited content.

“The domestic home video market is booming. Despite a plethora of channels, some even catering to niche audiences, one cannot deny the fact that there is a need for movie rental and we are trying to fill that gap.”

He said the market currently had a few small players and that it may take a year or two for a project like what was being planned by his company to succeed. “But the potential in this type of a business is phenomenal.”

The firm has also lined up huge expansion plans for the growing diaspora market. “We will increase our presence in all major markets where there is huge Indian presence - the US, Britain, Middle East, Europe.”

“VoD is too futuristic a business as far as India is concerned because of low broadband penetration. But the potential of this kind of business is huge in overseas markets.”

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