The Hinduja Group has lined up investments to the tune of US$ 1.3 bn in the telecom, cable and Internet. The company is planning a convergence of its telecom, media and cable businesses. This has been reported by a leading national daily.
The Indian infotech sector has been drawing in a lot of investment from both domestic and international companies. Leading corporate have also firmed up plans to capitalise on, in particular, the boom in the Internet service provider business. Leading this pack are Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited, a telecom service provider and Satyam Infoway, a subsidiary of a large software house. Other companies like Zee Telefilms, a leading media company, have initiated plans to offer ISP services via cable ('broadband').
The Hindujas are planning to set up an Internet backbone that would include a 1,400-kilometer optical fibre network. The network will cater to its Internet and telecom businesses. The Group also plans to offer Internet on cable and cellular phones. The backbone is likely to be operational within a period of 12 to 18 months. The investment by the Hinduja Group will in all probability be just one of many.
The interest and the potential of the Indian Internet sector are evident. And the reasons are not far to seek. Some highlights of a study conducted are mentioned below:
The installed personal and network computer base in India will grow at a rate that averages 44 percent annually from 1.9 million in 1998 to 8.2 million in 2002;
Internet users in India will grow at a rate that averages 76 percent annually from 0.5 million in 1998 to 4.5 million in 2002; and
Internet commerce revenues in India will grow at a rate that averages 260 percent annually from US$ 3.5 million in 1998 to US$ 593.6 million in 2002.
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