Idea Cellular is all set to launch its services in Delhi today. Though the service provider has the backing of Birla, TATA and AT&T, it might have to tread on troubled waters, at least, initially, as it is the fourth player in the circle. The other three being Airtel, Hutch and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL). However, Manosh Sengupta, General Manager, Marketing Communications, Idea Cellular Ltd dismisses the thought as a 'myth' and is all set to make an impact. Says he, "Though we are seven years behind competition as far as launch of cellular services in Delhi is concerned, the difference would not be there at all. We have bridged the seven year gap successfully both in terms of technology and awareness." Ideas Cellular would have presence in Gurgaon, Faridabad, NOIDA & Ghaziabad as well.
It is all set for a multimedia blitzkrieg including television, print, outdoor, radio and ground shows to coincide with the launch. As far as television is concerned, the company would advertise on Star Plus, ZEE, Sony, ESPN, Discovery, Aaj Tak and others. Says Sengupta, "We are deciding on the programmes on the basis of their TRPS in Delhi, and not on the basis of their national TRPS". The company also plans to take some slots on weekend programming.
In addition to television, it plans to use print to make important announcements and outdoor to sustain those announcements. The outdoor campaign would include 100 odd bus shelters, and other outdoor signage. As far as outdoor signage is concerned, Idea cellular has as significant outdoor presence in Poona as any FMCG brand.
The service provider also plans to use radio, ground events and road shows. Net too is a part of the media strategy but the company first wants to test Delhi market Says Sengupta, "If we do not use NET in our media plan this year, we are definitely going to do so next year. Right now, we have a very well maintained website and people can find out about all the new elements we introduce in our cellular services on the website".
When asked by exchange4media about the company's national media budget, said Sengupta, "We don't divulge the specific components of our budget because it involves strategic elements. However, we spend 9% of our net revenue on advertising - which makes it to the tune of Rs 75 crore. It includes media spend, production of outdoor material and events. But it does not include business promotion schemes etc." Media agency on the account is Initiative Media.
The creative for Idea Cellular is handled by Lowe, and will be in tune with national brand strategy. However, the agency has taken up subjects and issues, which are specific to Delhi.
According to Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI)'s figures, MTNL's cellular subscriber base in Delhi reached 1.09 lakhs in September, Bharti's 7.64 lakhs and that of Hutch to 5.31 lakhs. The competition for Idea, in that sense, is pretty formidable.
However Idea Cellular (rechristened in April 2002 from called Birla Tata AT&T), is one of the strongest players nationwide. It registered a growth of 135% in the year 2001 -2002. It is present in five circles - Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai), Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh (including Chhattisgarh) and now New Delhi.