Tata Telecom aims at Rs 2.5 bn sales in 2001/02

By : |December 19, 2001 0



Suresh Seshadri

CHENNAI: Telecommunications gear maker Tata Telecom Ltd. expects to post
sales of about Rs 2.5 billion in the year to March 2002, a senior company
official said on Thursday.

US communications gear maker Avaya, Inc. owns 25.5 per cent of the company;
the Tata Industries, an unlisted company of the Tata business group, holds
another 25.5 per cent and lenders and institutional and public investors own the
rest.

"We expect to end this year with sales of Rs 2.4 to 2.5 billion, up from
the Rs 2.0 billion we did last year," Peter Jayaseelan, regional director
at Tata Telecom, told reporters on the sidelines of a business meeting. "We
grew by about 30 per cent in the first half of this year, and though decision
making has slowed after September 11, we are confident we will end the year with
25 per cent growth."

He clarified that while Tata Telecom had posted sales of Rs 2.34 billion in
the last year to March 2001, this figure included about Rs 340 million in sales
from telephone handset business Tatafone, which was then spun off in April.



Emerging opportunities

Jayaseelan said the company was now focusing on emerging opportunities from
the convergence of voice and data transmission over the Internet. India is yet
to allow use of voice over Internet Protocol (IP) technology for telephony and
its industry regulator, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, is consulting
telecom players for opening up Internet-based telephony services.

"We are now focused on the convergence market, and with voice over IP
expected to be allowed by next April, once the convergence bill is passed, we
see the voice market growing in a big way," Jayaseelan said. He said Tata
Telecom is aiming to grab a sizeable share of the Re 16-18 billion Indian market
for voice and data compatible communications gear in the coming years. "We
want to be a Rs 5.0 billion company by 2003," he said.

The company had also seen a sharp spurt in enquiries for video and
teleconferencing equipment after September 11 as several Indian companies sought
to cut-back on travel by their executives for cost and security reasons.
"We expect that seven to 10 per cent of our sales will come from
teleconferencing equipment this year," Jayaseelan said.

(C) Reuters Limited.

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