Indian firm to help boost Iranian telecoms ties

An Indian telecoms company, Mahindra Comviva, that provides value-added services for mobile operators, opened an office in Tehran on Monday.

The company has been providing solutions in consumer value management like campaign management, loyalty management and retailing solutions to MTN Irancell over last eight years.

Iran’s mobile telecoms solution market has been estimated to be worth $500 million, according to the Comviva’s officials, ICTNA reported.

The Indian company stated that it is aiming to earn a 15% share in the growing domestic market. Their local office, named “Center of Excellence”, is their first strategic step in this direction.

Comviva aims to increase its revenues from regional countries by 250%. It will do so by employing its services in research and market expansion in the areas of data analysis, digital services and mobile payment services.

“The company has been active in the Middle East and North Africa region for over 10 years,” Patrick Allainguillaume, the former head of the company’s Global Markets Unit, was quoted as saying on the company’s official website.

“Mahindra Comviva is serving over 55 telecoms operators across 21 countries and has deployed over 20 solutions in the MENA region that are enabling operators to differentiate their brand and to create and sustain new revenue streams.”

The mobile payments market in the region has grown rapidly over the last few years, primarily in the segments of retail purchases, bill payments and salary disbursement via mobile phone.

The company’s website also states, “Although we have seen an uptake in mobile payment services, the market is still in the early stages of development and there is plenty of opportunity for new and current players.”

According to the Indian officials present at the event, Iran is to play the role of a hub connecting Comviva to other regional countries.

The second largest mobile operator of Iran, Irancell, which has a 40% share of active mobile phone subscribers and is catering to the needs of over 30 million users, is to be the main partner of the Indian company.

Comviva is one of the main international players in the sector and its annual revenues have been estimated to be about $17.8 billion.

At the opening of the Tehran branch, Kaustubh Kashyap, Comviva’s vice president for MENA, said, “In order to expand their ties and with the aim of boosting Iran’s already growing ICT market, the two companies have established the ‘Center of Excellence’ jointly.”

Speaking at the same event, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Comviva Manoranjan Mohapatra said digital wallet, point of sale hardware and software are some of the services Comviva plans to offer to Iranian companies.

“With the lifting of sanctions, Irancell and Comviva hopefully would be able to boost Iran’s e-commerce and also provide related services to other sectors of Iran’s economy,” he said.

Since President Hassan Rouhani took office in August 2013, expansion of e-commerce has been on top of his administration’s agenda. The government has vastly invested in the information and communications technology sector and several projects have been launched.

Iran’s Telecoms Minister Mahmoud Vaezi recently visited South Korea, Sweden and Finland, and signed several deals with both private and public companies, including Nokia Corp. and Samsung. It seems that the nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed by Iran and major powers is finally yielding results in the ICT sector.

By Financial Tribune