BlackBerry Boys – Is that a cost-effective way forward for Vodafone in India

This is the new advertisement from Vodafone — a call to everyone for using the Blackberry services, instead of only the corporates.
I don’t want to comment on the video as a whole for it must have been created by extremely bright people.
What intrigues me most is what Vodafone is after.
In order to capture the usage of the masses, which in India is slowly moving away from the conventional voice and SMS and into data driven services– and that Blackberry is way too secure than conventional EDGE or GPRS, it is a good option to use the same. But the challenge is– cost.
In India, Blackbery services are a few times more costly than EDGE. The question then would the Indian ‘mass’ accept paying more than is required. A few user would, but if the idea is to capture the mass of the over a billion people, Blackberry services may just not be the right choice in India, as over 25% of the population is below poverty line- and rural india is almost yet to be explored.
In terms of competitive stance, yes, the move would provide good competition — but probably only in the up-town markets.

How about costs? and what about the famous “revenue assurance” for Vodafone India?
In India, costs of operations are way on the rise– and if premium services like Blackberry is being provided at cheap rates, who assurances a profitable business? Now this is one of the examples, as to why- cost management and containment must be a part of revenue assurance. A premium service is being rolled out at dirt cheap rates when subscribers are being added at the rate of over 10 million a quarter. In this context , what happens to top-line revenues? Dwindling, no doubts. And now what about the costs incurred ? Are they being approportioned in the most effective ways ? So even if Vodafone make some money in the short term by rolling out the service in such a way- it would be another short instant of time before competition also does the same thing. Effectively the economy of the industry in this market is being destroyed — and in turn is not helping effectively anyone.

May I suggest  the following:
1. Contain costs by making cost management an integral part of revenue assurance to get a real health of the business. I have a complete article on the same here.
2. Business consolidation instead of cut-throat competition as an effective way of long term survival. A short idea for the same is in another post here.  

While you enjoy the Video, also do share your thoughts.

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