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Satyam to set up 500 more cyber cafes over the next three months

25-December-2000
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Satyam to set up 500 more cyber cafes over the next three months

At present, the company has over 200 `Satyam i- Ways'-natiowide branded cyber cafe chains-in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. "We hope to increase the number to 500 across the nation by March 2001," says Mr Kannan. To offer value-added services to its members, Satyam i-Way plans to offer services which include display and sale of other relevant products like greeting cards, books and music tapes, online education, customised softwares and contents and e-commerce fulfillment points. "Currently, there are about 1,500 (Web stations) PCs networked to our central server. Each centre has an average membership of 150 totalling a current subscriber base of 30,000," adds Mr Kannan. As part of its future plans, the company plans to provide customised promotion packages to Indian corporates to market their products effectively. "A cyber cafe offers a platform for offline promotions and advertising too. A marketing brief from marketers and advertisers will help us to design promotions for effective visibility in the desired markets," says Mr Kannan. Satyam i-Way was launched in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai three months ago. Says Mr Kannan: "Our aim is cater to the largest segment of Netizens. After we reach a certain critical mass, we will extend our brands to other mini metros too." The company test-marketed the brand in Bangalore in March 2000 and then launched it in other major metros across the country. As for investments for extending the services to other cities, Mr David Appasamy, general manager, corporate communications, Satyam Infoway Ltd explains: "Today, we operate on franchise basis and most of our partners are franchisees. Before launching our services, we had advertised for franchisees." Currently, there are around 1,000 browsing centres operating in major and mini metros across the nation. In the niche category, Satyam i-Way's major competitor is Dishnet's chain of cybercafes called "Hub". "Cybercafes as a point of Internet access is on a steady increase. And today almost a third of Internet users access it at cybercafes. OurUSP is: We provide a complete Net experience with high speed connectivity," explains Mr Appasamy. According to Mr Appasamy, Satyam i-Way offers a host of benefits which include free e-mail id with sify.com roaming facility. "At our chains, we are now looking at providing a value-added experience", adds Mr Appasamy.Stressing the role of public access points in India, Mr Appasamy says the cyber cafes also enable retailing of a wide range of Internet products and services in India.

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