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Shop More, Talk More – Future Group’s innovative mobile offering !

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In this competitive era, the corporate world is increasingly looking to squeeze in maximum possible benefits from their current set up of infrastructure and support services. If your reach is spread across the most diverse geographical locations within the country, you can leverage such potential into building newer opportunities for yourself.

Most of us must be aware as to how Indian Post Office has leveraged its widespread reach in distributing various kinds of financial products and services such as insurance, mutual funds, etc. Another such state-owned company that benefits from its diverse reach is SBI which has thousands of bank branches spread far and wide across the country.

In a most recent instance, Kishor Biyani’s Future Group has tied up with Tata Teleservices to venture into mobile telephony services under the brand name T24 (talk 24 hours).

future-group

The service, which will be sold through the Future Group’s retail outlets in 75 cities and 65 rural destinations in the country, is targeted at customers at its retail stores like Pantaloons, Big Bazaar and Central.

This is how it works – A customer at Future Group store will get 50 minutes free talk-time if he does shopping worth Rs.2501 at Pantaloon. The same spells out at Rs.90 minute talk-time for a spending amount of Rs.1501 in Big Bazaar.

Over here, let me provide you an example of being a loyal buyer at Reliance Fresh. They have a card system, where your day-to-day shopping amount gets accumulated into your card and you get certain bonus points based on certain specific amount of purchases made. These bonus points can in turn be converted into free shopping sums over certain threshold limit.

The above mentioned Future Group plan seems to be replicating the same model but with a double benefit opportunity. At first, a loyal customer from any of the Future Group stores is offered mobile telephony service and than free talk-time depending upon the shopping amount that the customer carries out. On the other hand, the Future group also gets to market a new product altogether to its customers in association with Tata Teleservices.

By doing so, it is able to market a service which is out-of-its context and couldn’t have been possible without massive investments in physical infrastructure. However, by acting as a mobile virtual network operator it is able to venture in an altogether new industry without blocking investment capital.

A customer may not be willing to ditch its current mobile operator. But, if he is getting some serious talk-time for free against his shopping with the Future Group, he may as well be tempted to retain an extra SIM card and use it as a spare one depending upon his convenience. In return, the company can hold on the customer as a loyal shopper at its stores.

Cunning business idea, isn’t it? But, Will it actually work?

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