More and more companies have realised that Innovation is the only thing that can distinguish any player in this ever increasing competitive environment. Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic fame, has always been a forerunner in this aspect. He was on news for two reasons in the recent past. The first one for his unique experiment of flying his jet liner -for the first time-on bio fuels. This has raised many an eyebrow. Purists in the business argue, that there is nothing remarkable as far as that experiment goes, and that it was just another typical Branson trick to attract media attention. Well! that he certainly attracted. His eccentric, out of the box image has surely gone well with the media so far!
The second reason was his message on the launch of Virgin Mobile in India. Virgin announced a jaw dropping, 10 paise return back to the consumer for every 60 seconds of incoming call entertained. A unique idea atleast for the vast Indian consumer base.
The idea is clear enough. An innovative move to attract users to encourage more incoming calls to have a limit on their bill, and hence encourage more callers to subsribe to Virgin! Neat idea I must say . But before you jump over to change to Virgin connection a small analysis of your scheme would do no harm!
The service expected to be available any time this year, is expected to target the ever increasing youth consumer base (which is an estimated 400 million in India, six times the number in the US!) , and will be purely prepaid in nature. They plan to use TATAs CDMA network infrastructure .
Now for the catch. They plan to charge every subsriber 50 paise per minute for every outgoing call pulse of 60 seconds. So for every 60 seconds of call made on a Virgin -Virgin pair, Virgin stands to make 40 paise per minute, which is actually still higher than some prepaid schemes of Airtel or Vodafone, which make only 30 paise per minute! In both cases (Virgin or Airtel) the idea is to attract a larger volume of customers at the cost of lowering a revenue. But Virgin goes one step furthur by sharing that revenue with the consumer , by encouraging him to entertain an incoming call, thereby attracting a larger subscriber base, and still managing to make 10 paise per minute more than its rivals!
I remember way back in 2001 (When Mobile phones were still the gadgets of the rich!!) people carrying huge brick like phones , and paying heavily through their nose for both incoming and outgoing calls. Barely 7 years later, we are to see people actually being paid for using their phones. Now thats what I call a 'Virgin' concept!