British Telecom India sees growth opportunity in crisis

November 19th, 2008 - 2:47 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) With cost-cutting becoming the key mantra for corporates tackling the current crisis, British Telecom sees new growth opportunities in India by offering communication solutions that will help lower expenses, BT India chairman Arun Seth said here.“Our customers are looking at how to cut costs. We see this as an opportunity as we can offer solutions that brings down costs,” Seth told IANS in an interview.

“We are telling our customers that instead of looking at the cost of what you are asking us to do now, let us manage your entire communication network, then we can cut your costs significantly,” he said.

“We are saying, if you are now spending, say, Rs.10 on different vendors or solution providers to manage your communication network, of which you are spending Rs.3 on us, we can give significant cost cutting if you allow us to manage the entire network,” he said.

“It is difficult to reduce cost on Rs.3 but it is much easier to cut costs on the entire spend of Rs.10,” he said by way of explanation. “Scale helps.”

“We are saying we will also take over your assets and use the same people to do a lot more, not only do your work but for other customers as well… it is a kind of sharing to bring down costs.”

Elaborating, he said that IT and telecommunication can be used as tools to increase efficiencies and cut down on resource use.

Echoing his views, BT Asia Pacific’s President Allen Ma told IANS: “We don’t think the current crisis will have much impact on our business because people will still need communication solutions that reduce costs.”

Video conference and web conference solutions, for example, can bring down travel costs, Seth said.

Citing an example, he said BT uses an automation algorithm developed by Indian software companies to send its field force to people requiring delivery or repairs in its telephone business in Britain.

“This has reduced the travel kilometres of our trucks as the automation makes sure the trucks move only once when customers are available to take the delivery or allow repairs. Otherwise, they often end up going more than once as the customer was not available the first time.”

Then, to emphasise that his company is on a strong platform, Seth said: “Every one has the need to grow, so for us there are many opportunities despite the current downturn.”

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