Though it has been renamed as Loop Mobile, the country’s oldest mobile service provider has a fascinating story to tell right from the time when it was BPL Mobile. Indigo Books has published two coffee table books that trace the success story of BPL Mobile – ‘Scratch to Success - The story of BPL Mobile from October 2nd to July 20th 2005’ and ‘Living Wirefree -Ten Stories’.
‘Scratch to Success…’ is the story of Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s BPL Mobile and recounts his journey of transforming the start-up into India’s most cherished branding and operational successes. ‘Living Wirefree…’ presents 10 real life stories about how BPL Mobile had helped the people associated in overcoming their hurdles.
‘Scratch to Success…’ gives an interesting peek into the incredible journey that Rajeev Chandrasekhar embarked upon in 1995 when he was just 27. It talks about the various milestones of BPL Mobile and also gives details of the new world that cellular technology opened up in India. It is the story that charts out how a cost conscious India, which relied on land lines, wholeheartedly embraced to live wirefree. The book tells how BPL Mobile won the licence of the Mumbai (then Bombay) circle in 1994 and the journey thereafter, when Chandrasekhar sold and exited the telecom sector.
As most coffee table books, there are numerous photographs to make the book an interesting read. The advertising of BPL Mobile gets considerable space and tells an interesting tale of how its communication evolved over the years. One gets to read about the vision, milestones, office culture and interesting tit-bits like what made the BPL Mobile spirit work 24x7 – the culture of round-the-clock working, free-flowing sandwiches and tea, folding beds within the office, and shower arrangements with a nearby hotel saving a commute home.
The book also gives insights on how BPL built the network, the launch, about marketing the idea and creating the category, maintaining fiscal prudence and the financial challenges of running BPL Mobile among a host of other key issues. One needs to keep in mind the fact that those were early days of cellular phones in India and there were a lot of speculations and doubts. The book chronicles all the ups and downs in this journey of BPL Mobile.
The second book, ‘Living Wirefree’ has a set of 10 stories that show how BPL Mobile helped people in overcoming hurdles and emerging winners. These stories are real life incidents and are engrossing read. With pictures, these stories are the humanising factor of a tech device, which becomes much more than an instrument to communicate with people. Both the books complement each other and complete the BPL Mobile story.