India’s Razorpay joins Unicorn club with fresh funding, eyes expansion

by | Oct 13, 2020 | Industry News

The company foresees enormous potential in the Indian payment gateway space due to the growing demand from organizations to build their e-commerce presence amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
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One of the few successful Indian fintech startups, Bangalore-based Razorpay, joins the Unicorn club, as it has secured $100M in a new funding round. With this cycle of financing, the payment startup has also become the first Indian payment-gateway to achieve US$ 1bn valuation.

“Razorpay secures $100 million in Series D funding led by GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, along with Sequoia & our existing investors Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, Y-Combinator and Matrix Partners. The funding also comes with a significant milestone of Razorpay becoming the newest unicorn in India, informs Shashank Kumar, Co-founder, Razorpay, through the company’s official blog.

Set-up in 2013 by Shashank Kumar and Harshil Mathur, Razorpay had raised $75 million in Series C funding last year. 

Razorpay’s ambitions after joining Unicorn Club

Razorpay offers social media sellers and SMEs a convenient mechanism to take payments online without a website or a payment gateway integration.  The company plans to employ the fresh capital to scale up its solutions such as RazorpayX, a neo-banking platform, and Razorpay Capital, a quick business loan platform. It also plans to hire about 500 employees this fiscal year.

Razorpay also provides cash advance service to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME), through collaboration with banks. As Razorpay secures $100 million funding, this will enable it to expand its lending solution capabilities. The company says that over 50% of Indian SMEs still don’t have access to digital financial tools, and it is determined to help these businesses in the best possible manner.

“We strongly believe that RazorpayX will charter our next growth chapter – driving the mobile-first, technology-first transformation of business banking, suited to the digital needs of businesses today and helping them make better decisions,” adds Kumar.

Market onlookers view this development as spectacular since it demonstrates investors’ growing confidence in the Indian startup ecosystem despite the uncertain economic environment. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital technology’s acceptance, forcing people to alter their behavioral buying patterns and move to online channels.

Razorpay’s list of clients includes Facebook, Google, Jio, Hotstar, Wikipedia, Meesho, among many other independent contractors and SME’s.

Digital transactions gain steam during the pandemic

Led by the Indian government’s increased impetus and growing digitization, the country’s digital payments ecosystem is ready to see a monumental rise. According to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), India saw digital transaction uptake of about 55% in 2018 compared to 11.4% in Brazil, 35% in Russia, and 23% in Indonesia.

With a mushrooming work-from-home and cautious approach due to COVID-19, the country is expected to see rapid growth in the digital transformation across all sectors and industries. Additionally, from a demographic perspective, more than 60% of India’s population is under 35 years, mostly extremely tech-savvy. This young population is equipped with high disposable income, inexpensive smartphones, and 24*7 data connectivity. It makes them prime potential customers of non-bank digital players.

Additionally, events such as demonetization and COVID-19 have also fast-tracked the digital payment ecosystem’s overall growth.

Companies like Razorpay seems to be cashing in on these exceptional attributes and expanding their solution capabilities. There is also a tremendous interest among many fintech companies and investors to set their shop locally and be a part of India’s growth story.

Besides Razorpay, other prominent digital payment gateway players battling for India’s market share include PayMate, Paytm, CC Avenue, PayU, Paytm, and Mobikwik.


AI-driven analytics is CIOs’ mantra in the new normal

AI-driven analytics is CIOs’ mantra in the new normal

Early this year, many enterprises witnessed an unprecedented disruption to their business operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Suresh A Shan

“By leveraging insights from business intelligence tools, we are able to forecast business demand, investment opportunities, client requirements, and even keep a tab on the stress levels of the distributed workforce.”

Dr. Suresh A Shan, Head, Innovation, and Future Technologies BITS, MMFSL

Sunit Vakharia, U GRO Capital

“Through AI-driven models, we assess our customers’ business requirements and offer the best product for their long-term growth. We have incorporated machine learning and analytics capabilities in our assessment solutions to drive exceptional customer experience.”

Sunit Vakharia, Chief Technology Officer, U GRO Capital

Greesh Jairath, ITC Infotech

“Organizations have witnessed the tremendous value of data and analytics during the ongoing crisis and leveraged them to generate more profound business and operational insights for better and faster decision-making.”

Greesh Jairath, Global IT Head, ITC Infotech

It was soon evident that embracing digital technologies and using AI-driven analytics was the only way to remain buoyant and navigate the disruptions. Several companies worldwide have already transitioned to the work-from-home concept and have adapted to the modern distributed work ecosystem (See: How is digital transformation shaping the new future?).

For CIOs, realigning priorities and accelerating enterprise innovations continue to be a roller-coaster experience amidst these unprecedented times. More and more enterprises are now leaning on data science and analytics to optimize business performance and drive growth.

With virtual communication taking the center stage, there is a growing emphasis on implementing AI-based workforce analytics and business intelligence solutions to fast-track digital transformation and generate deeper operational insights to respond faster and steer the volatile economic landscape.

Need for enterprises to deploy data-driven culture

In a chaos like like, businesses continuously need to embed intelligence in their culture and rethink their business models to compete well while keeping their stakeholders happy and shine.

“Data and business analytics experience a transformational value not merely during the pandemic, but also post the crisis. The analysis it provides can help businesses induce a culture of innovation and developing service offerings quickly. For systems that are affected by the COVID-19 crisis, analytics led insights are becoming a phenomenal game-changer. By leveraging insights from intelligence tools, we can forecast business demand, investment opportunities, and even monitor the stress levels of our distributed workforce,” says Dr. Suresh A Shan, Head, Innovation, and Future Technologies Business Information Technology Solutions (BITS), Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Limited (MMFSL).

Across all sectors, retail, banking, e-commerce, and IT/ICT companies are the most aggressive to deploy AI-driven analytics solutions for real-time problem-solving. Retailers get concrete insights to produce their specific supply chain pipelines to fill the consumer need.  For e-commerce companies, armed with powerful data and insights, business analytics solutions can help examine the product pricing of different competitions and target segments that need to be focused on specific products.

“At U GRO Capital, we’ve utilized the current situation as an opportunity to scale our business digitally. U GRO Capital provides loans to small and medium-sized companies. We extensively focus on technology and analytics as enablers to onboard our customers and disburse money as and when required by them. Through AI-driven models, we assess our customers’ business requirements and offer the best product for their long-term growth. We have incorporated machine learning and analytics capabilities in our assessment solutions to drive exceptional customer experience,” says Sunit Vakharia, Chief Technology Officer, U GRO Capital (See: Sunit Vakharia, Chief Technology Officer, U GRO Capital).

Such a massive shift will also intensify the demand for data science and analytics specialists, who can comprehend complex values’ quality insights and drive resiliency and transformation-led investments.

“Analytics led solutions have been a critical enabler of redefining and realigning business processes.  Organizations have witnessed the tremendous value of data and analytics during the ongoing crisis and leveraged them to generate more profound business and operational insights for better and faster decision-making. In the future, successful deployment of analytics led solutions will also pave the way for futuristic technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA) and drone delivery systems,” says Greesh Jairath, Global IT Head, ITC Infotech.

Tech-majors gearing up for the analytics market

During the pandemic, analytics has been one of the few areas which recorded a higher growth rate. AI-driven analytics and insights have been used consistently by organizations to provide deep visibility around existing resource capacity, monitor any insufficiency, and help businesses regularly conduct impact and risk analysis. (See: CIOs to focus on network transformation for business continuity)

From effectively implementing processes such as employee onboarding and offboarding remotely, building market-relevant solutions, and fitting network efficiency in diverse locations, analytics-based solutions can provide greater visibility to the decision-makers.

Technology biggies are looking to leverage the rising enterprise interest in analytics and business intelligence solutions by launching new products or expanding their capabilities to identify fresh opportunities. Some of the top players dominating the analytics market include SAP, Oracle, Accenture, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Infosys, and TCS (See: Accenture fortifies AI know-how with Byte Prophecy buy).

Recently, Tata Consultancy Services launched the TCS Workforce Analytics, an AI-focused engagement intelligence solution for companies looking at enhancing their employees’ productivity and workforce experience.  Another Indian IT Services giant, Infosys, has acquired US-based data analytics company Blue Acorn for $125 million to beef up its analytics portfolio.

IBM as well introduced a new risk-based service designed to help enterprises identify new risk-based exposure from areas such as cloud, M&A, and remote work. Other players are also strengthening their capabilities to meet the growing demand for analytics led services.

Micromax’s comeback efforts are too little, too late

Micromax’s comeback efforts are too little, too late

One of the most celebrated smartphone manufacturers in the Indian telecom market’s history, Micromax, has announced its plans to make a comeback with a new range of “In” (India) series smartphones.

Micromax said that it has been preparing extensively for the new range launch, focusing on the budget and mid-range section. However, a first glance at the announcement has made it clear that India’s homegrown smartphone maker hasn’t learned anything from its slip-ups in the past.

In a two-minute emotional advertising promo unveiled on Twitter recently, Micromax’s co-founder Rahul Sharma exhibits emotions full of bizarre and formula-based clichés, largely revolved around Micromax’s humble beginnings and anti-China sentiments. Sharma further attempts to cash in the sentiments stirred by increasing sanctions of China-based companies and the Indian government’s ‘Self-reliant-India’ campaign. The announcement seems to be woven with typecasts to connect with the aspiring and young middle class.

The most disappointing aspect was that the company did not share any new corporate vision or active strategy that would help Micromax smartphones deliver the punch in a new incarnation.

“I wasn’t conquered then, but I was rather satisfied with everything that I had accomplished. But what happened at the border (India-China) wasn’t right. And when our Prime Minister gave the clarion call for an Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India), we gave much thought to it. Hence, Micromax India is coming back with a new smartphone called ‘In,’ said Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma in a Twitter video.

Several media outlets have reported that the Micromax plans for a comeback by beefing up its manufacturing capability and planning to invest around Rs. 500 crores for expansion, which is not a very substantial amount given the Indian market dynamics.

Why Micromax failed its winning ground?

Incorporated in the year 2000, Micromax started selling mobile phones in 2008. Since its inception, the company has focused on affordably delivering feature-rich phones to Indian buyers.

In its first run, Micromax created a strong impact because Indian mobile consumers were relatively new to mobile phones’ high-end features. Most of the global players were selling smartphones at an exorbitant price for the Indian middle class. By outsourcing the entire production process to China, Micromax had managed to launch several exciting devices at a price-point that was unheard of in India. 

Looking back in history, Micromax’s marketing strategy and an extensive focus on budget buyers helped it become one of India’s most significant domestic handset companies by 2010. Its feature phones and Canvas series had become a household name during that era.

In 2014, Micromax even outclassed global smartphone leader Samsung in India’s total smartphone shipments, becoming one of the world’s top 10 smartphone vendors.

Micromax also roped in leading Hollywood celebrity Hugh Jackman as its brand ambassador, becoming the first Indian smartphone company to get an international celebrity on-board for domestic brand promotions.

In the later years of this decade, the company, however, started losing market share because of its inability to compete with China-based handset manufacturers such as Vivo, Xiaomi, and Oppo. Also, Samsung beefed up its device portfolio and started catering to the budget market with aggressive sub 10k smartphone launches.

Another factor that made a steep dent in Micromax’s share was its poor distribution and service center network. It did not pay enough attention to develop its channel partners and distributors across the country. Micromax’s brand value suffered a massive blow as many of its devices were labeled as substandard by consumers, with limited after-sales support.

Many of Micromax loyal consumers started complaining about the marathon time company’s service centers would take to repair smartphones and the absence of replacement parts of Micromax devices.

The final nail in the coffin was the launch of 4G technology in India. Micromax failed to predict the transition and could not launch 4G based smartphones range promptly.

Slowly, the brand that showed much potential and once flaunted as India’s answer to global biggies such as Nokia and Samsung faded away from smartphone buyers’ memory.

Micromax comeback, a difficult road ahead

Despite growing sentiments against China-based products and services, it won’t be an easy task for Micromax to make a comeback with its launch of new “In” (India) series smartphones. Micromax needs to realize that the times have changed, and it can not survive or make any progress by solely focusing on old marketing gimmicks.

Today, the company has less than 1 percent market share in the Indian smartphone market and way behind the established players such as Samsung. Global players such as Blackberry, Apple, and Nokia are also firming up their plans for expansion in India. (See: Will Apple bite India’s manufacturing bait?)

In such a scenario, Micromax needs to make substantial efforts to improve its brand image and invest aggressively to strengthen its offline network.

Given the experience, Micromax can still give a tough fight in the lower end smartphone segment. However, to compete in the mid to higher range market, Micromax should be ready for deep-dive boardroom discussions and significant investments. It cannot stay afloat in the world’s most competitive telecom market by just making a patriotic marketing appeal. The company had also launched thirteen smartphones in 2019, most of which miserably failed and could not endure the competition.

With 5G technology launch at the threshold, Micromax would need to focus extensively on improving its research and development efforts and bring budget-friendly 5G devices into the Indian telecom ecosystem. It can also look at partnership models with Jio or other carriers to launch affordable mobile devices for the first time smartphone users.

The yesteryear’s most beloved smartphone brand will need a massive overhaul and performance packed strategy to prove its mettle and recreate the magic. At this moment, it lacks the necessary ammunition in the arsenal to beat the odds.  


Vishant Vora quits as CTO of Vodafone Idea

Vishant Vora, the Chief Technology Officer of Vodafone Idea (VI), has resigned from his position. According to media reports, his last day at the office will be 31 October 2020.

Vishant took over this role on 31 August 2018 and played a crucial role in leading networks, IT operations, and the overall technology strategy of VI. Vishant has been associated with the Vodafone group since December 2019 and has led several transformational initiatives across three continents – USA, Europe, and Asia.

Under Vishant’s leadership, Vodafone Idea recently completed the first phase of the deployment of Nokia’s Dynamic Spectrum Refarming (DSR) in India. He also led VI’s deployment of 12,000 multiple-input and multiple outputs (ma-MiMos) that helped VI to manage the data surge on its network during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The development has come just after the formal completion of Vodafone-Idea’s network integration. Vodafone Idea had recently unveiled a new brand identity ‘Vi’ as part of its consolidation efforts to integrate the two brands: Vodafone and Idea formally.

Vodafone’s Indian arm and Idea Cellular had amalgamated their operations in August 2018 to survive in the highly competitive Indian telecommunication market.

Industry onlookers believe that Vishant’s exit can hurt VI’s efforts to make a comeback in the Indian market and its 5G rollout plans since it would be difficult to substitute the technical-knowledge of Vishant.

Vodafone and Idea together had over 400 million customers when their merger was announced. The combined subscriber base of VIL had shrunk to around 300 million by April 2020.

Top enterprise cybersecurity trends of 2020

Top enterprise cybersecurity trends of 2020

The world and enterprises panicked due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic’s surge at the beginning of 2020. The ambiguity around the crisis and the sudden rush for setting-up work-from-home for all employees magnified the concerns related to cybersecurity and impacted the most elementary IT business operations.

One of the critical concerns that most IT leaders confronted was to develop a robust business continuity plan in remote work environments and augment their IT frameworks to manage growing cybersecurity threats. 

Based on our interactions with top cybersecurity leaders, we’ve identified some of the top cybersecurity trends of 2020. Let’s look at them and understand how they will evolve in 2021.

Businesses are adapting to the new normal

The majority of the enterprises are fast-tracking their digital transformation goals and modernizing their IT infrastructure to ensure their distributed organizational resources get secure access to the network (See: Combating cyber threats in the new normal).

The initial focus of organizations was to enable work-from-home in the quickest manner possible. As the businesses are getting settled in the new normal, enterprises are now focusing on protecting their people, devices, and data from cybersecurity threats.

Across organizations, there has been a greater emphasis on real-time security assessment across various endpoints, irrespective of employees’ location or network.

Zero Trust model gaining acceptance

Enterprises have been making efforts to deploy solutions that can immediately detect and halt anomalies and suspicious behaviors. One such approach that is now gaining mainstream acceptance is Zero Trust. It has become a key cybersecurity trend in 2020.

With the Zero Trust model, organizations can evaluate a remote-users’ behavior and bring up a timely alert to prevent any unscrupulous activity. Many tech-leaders believe that this methodology can circumvent over 90% of modern-day cyberattacks attempts.

Backed by real-time intelligence, the Zero Trust methodology verifies a user’s credentials through secure VPNs and monitors suspicious activity. It works on the concept of ‘never trust; constantly verify.’

The Zero Trust approach is different from the trust-based perimeter defense approach. In Zero Trust, users and their job requirements get adequately demarcated. It provides employees with adequate network permissions to access applications and tools relevant to perform their job virtually while withholding the rest of the corporate data visibility (See: Covid-19: Reimagining work with a zero-trust lens).

Focus on Dark Web monitoring for business 

Another cybersecurity trend in 2020 is the Dark Web monitoring for business. The Dark Web is that segment of the Internet that cannot be accessed via conventional search engines such as Google or Yahoo. Over the past twelve months, it has swiftly turned into a booming black market place where cybercriminals collaborate and deliberate nefarious ways to launch sophisticated cyber-attacks on various systems. It is a treasure trove for unscrupulous types who can find several tools and resources to execute their unlawful web activities.

Throughout the year 2020, several cyber breach incidents were reported globally where many companies’ data were stolen and put up for sale on the Dark Web.  Early this year, a global cyber risk intelligence firm Cyble, noted that the cybercriminals exposed personal details of around three crore Indian job seekers in one of the hacking forums.

These rising cases compelled many global organizations to set-up their intelligence units under their cybersecurity practices wing to monitor Dark Web. The trend is likely to pick-up further in 2021. CISOs are expected to keep a firm eye on the Dark Web to monitor various malicious and unethical activities to alert their security teams well in advance.

Emphasis on automation to control AI-based threats

While artificial intelligence (AI) is a great technology that can be leveraged to develop many modern-day IT security tools and resources, it is equally valid that cybercriminals can exploit the engineering for launching too sophisticated malware. During the year, many businesses saw the possibility of cybercriminals bypassing AI-driven security solutions by masking their activities and posing as real users.

In 2021, with 5G technology expected to be launched and IoT-based solutions to get mainstream, CISOs would be profoundly concentrating on protecting their AI-enabled digital systems and new process automation techniques to control AI-based threats.

Attention on closing the cybersecurity skills gap

The shortage of skilled security practitioners has become a growing pain for organizations across all sectors and getting wider.

According to a recent survey conducted by Cybrary, a cybersecurity and IT workforce development platform, growing skill gaps among IT and security professionals is seen as a significant factor that is negatively impacting the security team’s effectiveness. About 65% of surveyed IT Managers mentioned that skill gaps hurt efficiency. 

The study also indicates that organizations lack the vision or enthusiasm to conduct training and skill-development programs in the cyber-security space.

Similar sentiments were echoed by a DSCI-PwC study, according to which the cases of cyberattacks on Indian organizations increased by 117 percent in 2019 compared to 2018. However, due to inadequate funding and paucity of skillful professionals, cyber-security professionals’ job roles remained unfilled.

In 2021, many CISOs are expected to focus on this area and develop requisite solutions to address the cybersecurity skills-gap challenge.



IBM to split into two companies for better cloud opportunity

IBM to split into two companies for better cloud opportunity

Global tech major International Business Machines Corporation has surprised everyone by splitting itself into two companies by the end of 2021. The decision has been taken by IBM to focus on the high-margin cloud computing business and enterprise digital transformation efforts.

IBM mentioned that it would split into two companies by untying the managed infrastructure services unit of its Global Technology Services division. The new company would exclusively focus on legacy infrastructure business and gets its leadership structure in place soon. According to IBM, the unit presently serves around 4600 clients with an order backlog of $60 billion.

“We are focused on accelerating our growth strategy and seizing the $1 trillion hybrid-cloud opportunities. Today, hybrid cloud and AI are swiftly becoming the locus of commerce, transactions, and over time, of computing itself. This shift is driven by the changing needs of our clients, who find that choosing an open hybrid cloud approach is 2.5 times more valuable than relying on public cloud alone,” stated Arvind Krishna, IBM Chief Executive Officer, in a blog post.

The foundation stone of this spin-off was laid by IBM’s $34 bn acquisition of Red Hat. The Red Hat buy helped IBM to gain capabilities to build an exceptional-quality hybrid cloud. IBM believes that Red Hat’s open-source, hybrid cloud platform will form the basis for developing and market higher-end AI-enabled software applications and solutions in the future.

“With Red Hat in our portfolio, we have since launched our Cloud Paks and strengthened our systems portfolio. We built an industry-specific cloud designed to tackle the most stringent needs of the financial services industry. And we beefed up our hybrid cloud and AI capabilities by acquiring two companies, Spanugo and WDG Automation,” Krishna elucidates.

An intelligent move

This announcement of IBM to split into companies is an exciting development as it will enable the corporation to fortify its focus on a profitable business line, i.e., cloud. In the post-COVID-19 world, enterprises are expected to inspire their business models and infrastructure modernization with robust digital transformation initiatives (See: Technology trends for businesses in 2020).

The rising adoption of remote-work is accelerating the adoption of cloud solutions. Shortly, technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, automation, and augmented reality will be implemented hugely by organizations. As such, IBM would want to capture a bigger pie of the high-value cloud software and solutions. The move will also help IBM become more agile by simplifying and optimizing its operating model.

Due to the low demand for its software and mainframe servers, the company has been aggressively expanding its cloud portfolio in recent times. IBM has been making several rounds of reshuffle and readjustments in its business strategy over the last couple of years.

IBM has been facing significant challenges to improve its top line due to the strained services business. It has also announced massive job-cuts recently in a bid to restructure its business operations. It looks like this new spin-off may be a turning point in the company’s 109 years history and help it deliver more remarkable results in the times to come.

IBM currently has over 350,000 employees and expects to spend about $5 billion in expenses related to the division’s operational and other aspects. Immediately after the announcement, the company’s shares saw a jump of 6% on NYSE.



India’s 2020 4G Spectrum auction set for further delay

India’s 2020 4G Spectrum auction set for further delay

The next phase of the 4G spectrum auction in India seems to be heading for another delay due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The auction, which was scheduled for this month, yet to see any government’s cabinet note. The cabinet note is mandatory for the commendation of the spectrum base price and quantity that requires to be put below the mallet.

One needs to note that before any spectrum auction in India, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) issues a formal Notice Inviting Applications (NIA), inviting interested service providers to bid for the mobile services spectrum. The total procedure typically needs around 45 days to fill out before the actual auction starts.

This would be the second consecutive deferment of India’s 4G spectrum auctions, which includes seven bands in 22 circles. The radio waves for grabs include 700Mhz, 800Mhz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, and 2500 MHz bands. Earlier, the government intended to schedule the auction in March this year, but due to COVID-19 related restrictions, it had to postpone it to October.

The government has already pushed the auction of 5G spectrum in the 3300-3600 MHz band to 2021 due to telecom operators’ tight budgets and inability to meet the high reserve prices earmarked by India’s telecom sector regulator, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

India is expecting to earn over INR 4 lakh crores from the auction.

Reliance Jio pushes for early 4G spectrum auction

India’s largest telecom operator, Reliance Jio, seems to be the only telecom operator who wants to speed up the 4G spectrum auction sale. Other telcos, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi), are in no rush and have indicated that they would be happy if the auction is delayed.

“We are unable to find any reasonable rationale behind this sudden pause in a successful and fruitful policy of auctioning all available spectrum every year, since the Supreme Court decision in 2012,” stated Reliance Jio in a letter addressed to DoT Secretary, last month.

The Mukesh Ambani led Jio to expand its infrastructure in India and has a big concern over the 4G spectrum auction delay in India because its airwaves license in the 800 MHz bands is expiring next year. The company, which uses the 800 MHz band of Anil Ambani’s insolvent company Reliance Communications, has recently raised over 1.50 lakh crores funding from Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Silver Lake. (See: Jio driving digital shifts in the economy)

Jio is also adding a significant number of subscribers every month, and need more spectrum to provide quality 4G services throughout the nation. Its mobile-first approach has helped it gain a substantial footing in the market, and improved data adoption in India enormously. (See: The Jio ecosystem has begun to unfold)

In contrast, Airtel and VI are financially stressed and witnessing a big challenge in improving their market share. Though their spectrum license in the 1800 MHz band is also due for renewal in 2021, it is less expensive. Both the operators also have backup airwaves to support their subscribers, hence keen to streamline their financial budgets before participating in the 4G spectrum auction in India.



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