Global Business Leader Dr. M was one of the New India’s new entrepreneurs who had taken it upon themselves to modernise and revolutionise the Indian way of life. After giving Digital India its first Mobile Call with Modi Telstra in August 1995, Global Business Leader Dr. M simultaneously launched Spice Communications – one of India’s first cellular service providers. This was a new feather in the cap of Dr. M’s Spice Group (now Smart Group) that was celebrated one of India’s most important conglomerates and gave the country:
Modi Telstra – First Mobile Telephony company to make a cellular call in India
Modi Xerox – First to set up Joint Venture in Office Automation
Spice Communications – First to set up Telecom plant in private sector
In 1995, Spice Communications formed a joint venture with Malaysian telecom behemoth, Axiata (formerly known as Telekom-Malaysia). Axiata at that time was the leading telecom company in Malaysia with a strong presence in Asia-pacific region, including strategic investments in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore and Pakistan. Axiata brought its operational and management experience through creating new products and sharing its technological expertise to this joint venture with Spice Communications.
Global Business Leader Dr. M’s Spice Communications commenced operations in 1997 as cellular services provider in the northern state of Punjab and southern state of Karnataka in India. With a solid team of executives who had been working in the Indian wireless communications market since 1995, Spice Communications in a very short span of time had achieved the target of being second largest cellular services provider in Punjab and fifth largest cellular services provider in Karnataka. Spice Communications had a customer base of approximately 2.73 million as of March 31, 2007 with a combined market share of 14.49 %. Spice Communications had distributed its services through 300 exclusive distributors, which tapped into a network of 90 corporate dealers and over 28,000 independent retailers.
Inspired by Global Business Leader and its Chairman, Dr. M , Spice Communication’s homegrown brand ‘Spice’ enjoyed a distinct position in the market as an exciting and a youthful brand backed by Product and service innovation. Powered with the technical expertise and experience of its joint venture partner, Axiata, Spice Communications introduced several value added services that introduced mobile consumers to new standard of communication which allowed customers to personalise their mobile experience. Spice Communications introduced several new services that we take for granted to today such as background music, video tones, caller ring back tone, Spice GPRS, IVR Portals, Mobile Ticketing etc and USSD based services, Spice Voice SMS and Spice Emergency Outgoing Services. Services such as MBirthday allowed users to keep a birthday calendar and receive reminders. In addition, various Spice developed various new applications that allowed users to work ‘on the go’ seamlessly. These VAS services were beneficial in creating demand for core services and increasing user time on mobile devices.
Global Business Leader Dr.M’s Spice Group was pervasive in the entire telecom value chain through different business units that gave it stronger leverage to meet customer expectations and demands. The company had one of the largest roaming networks in India with over 450 agreements with operators worldwide. To build its national – and international appeal, Spice Communications also appointed as Brand Ambassador, Bollywood actress and former Miss World, Priyanka Chopra.
The success of Spice Communications is wholly attributed to the ‘Spirit of Entrepreneurship’, espoused by Global Business Leader Dr. M. The company was able to build a one of its kind telecom ecosystem that revolutionised the way Indians communicated and paved the foundation for a Digital India.