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Customer Success

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Customer Success

 

Massive communication

Reliance drives revenue and profitability with SAS®

With a mobile network second in size only to China's, the Indian communications sector is the fastest-growing industry in the world – and maybe the most competitive. With an ongoing price war and high government taxes related to the wireline and wireless phone markets, communications providers are focused on data and content services to increase revenue and profitability.

Customer Success Video
Check out this video to learn more about Reliance Communications and its successes with SAS.

(Runtime: 5 mins, 48 secs)
Customer Viewpoint
You have questions; our customers have answers. Check out this video Q&A.
Amitava Ghosh 
Senior Vice President


(Requires Windows Media Player 6.4.7 or higher)

"Ninety-five percent of our customers are prepaid versus postpaid," says Amitava Ghosh, Senior Vice President at Reliance Communications. "This is a fundamental difference between the telecommunications industry in India versus the US. Due to the tremendous price war and high government taxes, there's almost negligible money to be made in the voice market. So the major push is in data-related services – either Internet services or value-added content, such as movie downloads and ring tones. It's a paradigm shift from providing services to offering products; this is where we plan to derive half of our revenues in the future."

Delivering value
To help with this strategy, Reliance Communications – India's largest private-sector information and communications company, with more than 100 million customers across its CDMA, GSM and 3G networks – is using SAS communications solutions to better manage churn, segment its customers and optimize campaign management to drive higher-value customer acquisitions and increase the average revenue per user (ARPU).

"Our big focus recently has been analytics and customer value – it's in everyone's performance measures," explains Ghosh. "We want to be a data-driven decision company: Give us the data and we'll drive decisions and profitability on it. Revenue increases will only come through managing your profitable customers better."

Beating the competition
With every communications player scrambling to win a piece of the data services business, Reliance is enhancing its approach to customer relationship management to gain a competitive advantage in growing its revenue and profitability per customer.

"It's our fundamental job to improve customer service," says Ghosh. "When our ARPU decreased from 400 rupees to 120, and the government allowed mobile number portability, we experienced a lot of churn and knew that customer value management would have to be ramped up. This is where analytics from SAS came into play.

"We don't just want customer acquisition. We want high-quality acquisition, which means we want a customer who's going to stay with us and use all our services," he continues. "We're looking for more value rather than numbers. In the past, sheer number of customers was a big thing because the government gave you a discount on the spectrum based on how many acquisitions you had. That's changed, and there's no advantage to acquiring customers unless doing so raises the company ARPU."

Building profitable relationships
Ghosh says the company now has a customer value management team in place that is strictly measured on increasing customer profitability. The team is using SAS to develop relevant rate and value-added service plans targeted at micro-segments of the population, and to nurture new and existing customers into more profitable relationships over time.

"India has diverse demographics," Ghosh explains. "So if you're running a campaign to target people who use a lot of SMS, you can't mix and match; you have to segment at the regional level. SAS has allowed us to do that."

To illustrate the size of the Indian market, and the opportunity that exists for communications companies, Reliance deploys approximately 150 campaigns per day, seven days a week.

"We send about 40 to 50 million SMS communications per day, which are all automated and supported by SAS," he says. "We've moved from churn prediction to campaign management and have already realized ROI from the automation alone. All the lines of business are running campaigns, and they're all automated and performed at a very low cost."

Data drives business
While this all sounds easy, the campaigns require a lot of data to generate deep customer insight. They also create a lot of data.

"One of the biggest challenges facing the communications industry is data management," Ghosh says. "For us, 120 million subscribers generate about 200 million records per day. In one month, I may have 6 billion rows of records. Besides the analytics, one of SAS' strengths is data management and its ability to scale; the database has to be very scalable.

"Whether it's building better customer relationships, developing better pricing or offering the right products to the right person at the right time, they all require data. I see SAS Analytics as part of daily business life. Analytics is here to stay."

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Reliance Communications

Business Issue:
Acquire higher-value customers and increase average revenue per user through churn management, customer segmentation and marketing optimization
Benefits:
The ability to predict and prevent customer churn, develop and automate 150 targeted campaigns per day, manage large volumes of data and nurture new customers into more profitable relationships

"Better customer relationships, better pricing and offering the right products to the right person at the right time – they all require data. I see SAS Analytics as part of daily business life. Analytics is here to stay."

Amitava Ghosh

Senior Vice President

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