NEW DELHI: Canadian tablet PC maker DataWind will be investing Rs 100 crore in the first six months after getting approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to rollout MVNO or Mobile Virtual Network Operator services in India.
“We are expecting to get approval from FIPB within a month and the company will invest Rs 100 crore in first five to six months to launch MVNO services in the country,” DataWind chief executive Suneet Singh Tuli told ETTelecom.
The Toronto Stock Exchange-listed company, as part of policy, requires Indian government approval before making any foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country.
DataWind is already in active discussions with state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to resell its voice minutes and data bandwidth in India’s less-penetrated regions.
In March 2016, the telecom department has introduced a policy that allows small entrepreneurs to buy bulk voice minutes and data bandwidth from telecom operators and resell services under their own brand without owning any network or airwaves.
Tuli feels that cost-effective data offering is apparently a distant reality and the world is expected to miss the United Nation’s 2020 deadline for providing affordable Internet access to all.
The company, according to top executive, is looking at ultra-low cost data recharge voucher with a denomination as low as Rs 20 per GB. It is also banking on its compression technology to offer high-speed data services.
The tablet PC major runs two captive manufacturing facilities— in Amritsar and Hyderabad— both producing 12,000 device its a day.
Priced at Rs 3,999, Datawind has introduced the first-ever Punjabi education tablet VidyaTab-Punjabi.
Both research firms— International Data Corporation (IDC) and CyberMedia Research (CMR)— in their recent findings revealed that DataWind retained its leadership position in the low-cost tablet PC segment in India.
The Canadian government is apparently supportive of Tuli-driven company’s commercial ambitions in India.
“Relationship between Canada and India is important and we look forward for more such opportunities,” Canada’s Minister for Small Business & Tourism Bardish Chagger said at the launch of DataWind’s new Punjabi language tablet PC.
Chagger will also be meeting India’s Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitaraman and Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Kalraj Mishra during her three-day India visit.