No regrets entering India, will turn-around in one year: Telenor
Hyderabad: Stating it has no regrets on entering the Indian market despite troubles faced by its telecom venture Uninor, Telenor on Monday said it would soon finalise a new partner which is a non-telecom and non-real estate company and will hold 74 percent in the new entity to be formed.
Uninor Managing Director and the Executive Vice President and Head of the Norwegian firm Telenor's Asia operations, Sigve Brekke, also said break even by the Indian venture next year is achievable.
"Breaking even in three years of operations by 2013 is an extremely ambitious target. However, it is achievable. (With) break even across Uninor will happen sometime during 2013 calender.
Telenor is seeking to scrap the joint venture with its Indian partner Unitech which holds 32.75 percent stake in Uninor and plans to migrate its business to a new company. The rest is held by Telenor.
This is to seek fresh operating licences as the company's telecom permits were among the 122 quashed by the Supreme Court in February.
When asked if he regretted entering the Indian market, Brekke replied "the short answer is no".
To another query, he said: "We have already lined up new partners. I cannot give their names now. We are also taking steps to moving our assets to the new company.
"So all these things to be in place before we go into auction," Brekke told a press conference here.
When asked for details on the proposed new partner, Brekke said: "There are some very interesting names. They are not in telecom, and real estate either. So there are very credible Indian companies, a handful of them. But we want that separation process first before announcing new partner".
Replying to a query he said the separation process is going on in boardrooms as well as courtrooms.
"Before we go into the auction, three things should happen. One, we need separation from our current partner. Two, we need to get new partner on board. Three, we want bid on the new company", he said.
Uninor last month said it will scale down operations in four telecom circles - Tamil Nadu, Kerala,
Karnataka and Orissa, while sharpening focus on nine other areas in view of continuing uncertainty over spectrum auction.
It had said it will strengthen operations in UP East, UP West, Bihar and Jharkhand, Kolkata, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai, Maharashtra and Goa and Gujarat.
On operations in Andhra Pradesh, Brekke said the State is one of the best performing circles for Uninor in terms of revenues.
He said the coverage will be increased by spreading 100 new locations and setting up 20 exclusive Uninor outlets.
"We are also increasing the number of retailers selling Uninor by 3000.Currently we have 48,000. We are also planning to open 20 new exclusive Uninor outlets," he said.