What is the name of this blog again?
Sometimes when you are searching for something you can find something completely different that makes you wonder what people were thinking back then, and if they have ever bothered to acknowledge - "No, I had no bloody clue what I was talking about, and I am sorry!"
There were 4.5 million mobile users in January 2001 - the argument given was mobile users are richer than fixed line users. I don't want to give the low-down on the growth of the industry, it is fairly well documented and the same columnists are saying quite different things. But anyway, I will give some other interesting factoids - in January 2003 when Calling Party Pays (CPP) was introduced, (with everybody's favourite hipocrites the Communists arguing vehemently against it, calling the move 'anti-poor') India had 10.4 million mobile users. That was four years ago - in January 2007 we closed just short of 140 million mobile users. At the rate we are adding subscribers there is a good chance India will blow blast 200 million by the close of the year.
Essentially, something Ms Dalal did not realise. I mean 130 million users in 48 months since CPP was introduced - quite an achievement in my book!
I know six years is a long time, but CPP was the first major 'hockey stick' to the Indian Mobile industry - the secpond major one followed two years later and that was decidedly Indian innovation of 'flexi recharge', but I really don't have the time to get into telecom history, because I will babble away for hours. However, having a socialist mindset doesn't really help does it because mobile phones have empowered the lower classes and most of the growth in Indian telecom is happening from those classes.
If the telecom model was followed for other parts of Indian industry, where the government decided to untangle a highly regulated industry and free it, wonderful things can happen despite who is in charge. For gods sake, two of the most revolutionary telecom ministers were Sukh Ram and Pramod Mahajan.
You know, I sometimes wonder if some of our politicians actually follow a policy of 'enforced poverty' - keep people poor and uneducated so that they can hang on to power as long as possible by encouraging politics of reservation and appeasement. I mean, I'm not a loony right-wing guy, but the Sachar Committee report is insane! Education which will lead to economic empowerment is the governments responsibility which is why I don't really mind the 'Education Cess' on the taxes I pay, but any further increases will be pushing it. The economic empowerment which follows that education cannot be the government's responsibility, it has to flow from private industry. The telecom industry has provided employment for thousands of people - directly and indirectly and shows how things can work. Even if you have columnists who don't know jackshit!
Of course, you have even bigger idiots on TV, from ponytailed 'management clowns' to people in UndieTV who run 'NDTV Exclusive' for news that broke six months ago. According to someone I know who worked with air-headed bimbette she asked what the BSE was? And you are a 'corporate' reporter? CRR, CPP, RoCE, EBITDA I am willing to understand, but knowing what BSE stood for, at the age of 23? Wow, I guess tits really are everything!