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Cable&Wireless: Delivering quality services to enterprise customers

June 01, 2012
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For the past two years, Cable&Wireless Plc. has been facing turbulent times. In an attempt to revive its finances, the company split its consumer and business telecom functions into Cable and Wireless Communications, and Cable and Wireless Worldwide (CWW), respectively.

Despite several internal revamping exercises, CWW could not hold its own due to stiff competition from players like BT, and its market value declined steadily over the past year. In March 2012, the company decided to auction off its majority stake.

A fierce bidding war ensued between the Vodafone Group and Tata Communications over the stake acquisition. The latter eventually withdrew from the race on the ground, that it could not negotiate a final offer price with CWW, leaving the field open for Vodafone. In April 2012, Vodafone acquired CWW in a $1.68 billion deal and offered CWW’s shareholders 38 pence per share in cash.

While it will take at least a year to iron out the final details of the deal, CWW India is continuing with its business operations – rolling out new products and services, forming partnerships and expanding its customer base.

Background

CWW India traces its origins to the Eastern Telegraph Company, which entered India in 1872 as one of the first undersea cable companies of the world. Since 1995, the company has been providing enterprise and carrier telecom solutions including dedicated services, managed security services and hosting platforms in the country.

The company has five offices in India and has made significant investments across the Asia-Pacific region, especially in India, over the past year. While the company’s international operations have been slowing down, its infrastructure and capabilities in India have grown considerably.

The company has invested in initiatives such as the Europe India Gateway (EIG) consortium. The EIG cable system is designed to meet the needs of modern telecom companies and will be the first direct high bandwidth optic fibre submarine cable system connecting India to the UK.

CWW India’s clients comprise companies in the banking, financial and insurance sectors as well as the IT/IT-enabled services (ITeS), media, entertainment, and manufacturing verticals – the biggest spenders on telecom infrastructure. Its major clients include Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank and HSBC.

CWW provides a host of managed network services for its clients. Its portfolio includes network design and integration services, call centre consultancy, design and integration as well as offshore support to Cable&Wireless UK, and to global enterprise customers from India.

Recent initiatives

According to Shali Thilakan, managing director, CWW, India and South Asia, this region has made a valuable contribution to the group’s overall performance during the past 12 months. “Our long-standing presence in India gives us an exceptional understanding of the market dynamics and growth opportunities in the region. We are making good progress in expanding our footprint in the country and have an excellent blue-chip client base today,” he says.

For CWW, the better part of 2011 was spent in expanding its enterprise client base in India. The company signed several new enterprise deals and today services more than 150 enterprise customers.

Further, CWW extended its reach and capability in the country by establishing a Global Markets Solutions Centre in Bengaluru and a Centre of Excellence in Chennai. At present, these centres manage and support the communication networks of over 6,500 enterprise and carrier customers across Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas. The company also rolled out two new Ethernet services that added to its suite of global networking services for businesses and carrier customers.

Managed telecom services are also an important focus area for the company and to that end, it has invested in next-generation multi-service platform capability in India to drive growth.

Industry opinion

According to industry analysts, CWW has used its global experience to win customers in India. Given the company’s strong presence, particularly in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and with Indian IT/ITeS companies looking to set up shop overseas, CWW is well placed to meet the communication needs of its Indian clients in the domestic as well as overseas market.

With regard to the acquisition, analysts say that CWW’s non-wireless business may witness a degree of rationalisation in certain markets, while its wireless business will be enhanced with the addition of Vodafone’s assets. Further, they believe that the acquisition of CWW will help Vodafone’s enterprise business build market share in the MNC segment in India, where it is already strong, as well as in the small and medium enterprise segment, where it is still new. Overall, no serious issues are expected to come up during the acquisition process.

The way ahead

India continues to be an important market for CWW. According to company officials, CWW is focused on delivering high quality services to enterprise customers through an enhanced national network.

 
 
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