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Hinduja Group expected to launch HITS in last quarter of FY15
MUMBAI: The Hinduja Group is expected to launch its headend-in-the-sky (HITS) platform, GHITS, by the fourth quarter of the current fiscal.
Hinduja Ventures Ltd’s (HVL) wholly-owned subsidiary Grant Investrade Ltd (GIL) had got the licence for the same from the Information & Broadcasting Ministry (MIB) in March this year.
HVL group CEO of media and IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMCL) MD and CEO Tony D’Silva told TelevisionPost.com that the company has got all the clearances and it will start roll out soon. “We haven’t fixed a definite date for launch though,” he said.
Earlier, HVL invested Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) in GIL by way of preference capital to spearhead the HITS business.
GIL had commenced project activities for the HITS platform last year, and the business is expected to go live by March 2015.
Incidentally, once operational, HITS will support HVL’s subsidiary IMCL with all the backend services including CAS, SMS and IT (corporate & network).
As per the company, GHITS will also provide specialist services like TV Everywhere and value-added services (VAS) to IMCL.
HVL is looking at many synergies between GHITS and IMCL. For instance, IMCL will not need to incur capital expenditure for the backend and upgrade costs to digital head-ends. IMCL will also benefit from lower operating costs for: DHE manpower and operation, including AMCs where applicable; backend staffing; administrative expenses; power and fuel; and multi-lingual call centre set-up costs and operation.
Furthermore, there will be additional savings on administrative expenses by combining functions like HR and legal, and IMCL will be the anchor customer for the HITS platform.
IMCL will provide a ready customer base to the HITS platform which will enable it to break even much faster.
HVL believes that with the mandate of digitisation, a number of cable operators will find themselves having to move from a B2B model to a B2C model. Apart from considering their financial resources and size, they will find it difficult to be able to muster and provide quality digital services with multiple choices to their customers and compete with other providers like direct-to-home (DTH) who have well-established customer-friendly services.
Considering this, HVL thought it appropriate to launch a ‘white label service’ model to the large number of cable operators through a HITS model, which would provide quality backend services stipulated by TRAI.