Facing the challenge, bravely

Tata Teleservices COO Sandeep Mathur discusses the company's future plans and operations and hopes that the unified licence regime will give it a level-playing field

Sandeep MathurChennai: Even after 28 years of selling experience under his belt, Sandeep Mathur, chief operating officer, Tata Teleservices, still feels like a fresher. Terming that he is on the wrong side of fifties, this genial B-Tech (IIT, Kanpur) and MBA (IIM-Ahmedabad) executive draws a parallel between selling photocopiers and telecom services.

Mathur, who spent a major part of his corporate life at Modi Xerox, says: "Initially we sold just the copier boxes. Later we started selling solutions. Similarly, from selling just landline connections, we are now selling total telecom solutions."

Heading Tata Teleservices' Andhra Pradesh operations, Mathur is expanding the company's subscriber base at a faster pace. "We are adding at an average of 25,000 subscribers per month; around 16,000 will be for our CDMA [code division multiple access] mobile service and the balance will be for fixed wireline and fixed wireless services."

Tata Indicom, which currently has around 3.5 lakh subscribers (fixed line: 1.2 lakh; fixed wireless: 90,000; CDMA mobile: 1.4 lakh), offers its services in 12 Andhra Pradesh cities. "By January we will reach the 4-lakh subscriber base," Mathur adds.