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Telecom not just about connectivity but provides interface for a digital society to exist and grow: Avneesh Khosla of Vi

Avneesh Khosla, CMO, Vi, talks about their association with Hungama Digital and the brand’s digital-first approach

Avneesh Khosla

Telecom service provider Vi recently announced its partnership with Hungama Digital to give all its users access to more than 380 movie titles on a premium video-on-demand (PVOD) basis.

Speaking to about the tie-up, Avneesh Khosla, CMO, Vi, said as the pandemic resulted in more people staying at home, leading to a high growth in consumption of content, this was an opportunity to build deeper connections with customers.

“The pay-per-view model is a natural extension of our entertainment offerings and through our partnership with Hungama, Vi Movies & TV further strengthens its already large content library,” he said.

Khosla said the pay-per-view offering allows users of Vi Movies & TV to watch content at a specific price point. “The PVOD model will empower the segment that doesn’t wish to get into a monthly subscription plan but wants to watch popular content as a one-off. Through this partnership, Vi users get the opportunity to watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters within a few weeks of their theatrical release, in a pay-per-view model.”

Asked about completion in the market, as BookMyShow has also launched a similar service, Khosla said, “We are the only telecom operator to introduce PVOD model in India. We understand the importance of giving our customers a great content experience and have partnered with all the leading OTT players. Though the PVOD market in India is at a nascent stage, it holds a great promise to enable the users to watch any particular content for a specific price. The PVOD models are changing in the post-pandemic era as consumers are looking at alternative options of entertainment from the comfort of their homes. Therefore, in order to monetise our content offering in this hugely untapped market, we continue to drive the agenda to partner with top content providers to delight our customers with new propositions and cost-effective offerings.”

“Vi follows a partnership-based approach for growth across segments and will continue to look for associating with like-minded partners in the future to drive more value and bring delightful experiences for our users. This is an exciting space, and you will continue to see new models from our stable, which will be consumer need-focused and backed by emerging trends,” he added.

Asked if telecom operators are evolving from being just a primary connection offering due to the competition around, Khosla said the space is fast-evolving and Vi is looking at catering to the evolving needs.

“Telecom is no longer just about connectivity but provides an interface for a digital society to exist and grow.  With engagement and time spent on smartphones increasing exponentially, telecom providers like Vi help users discover and experience their passions and potential. With WFH, learn from home, health at home, entertainment from home, users are on the lookout for digital solutions from the safety of their homes. With our digital-first approach, Vi is focused on catering to the needs of the evolving needs of its consumers,” he said.

Khosla said one of the key business strategies for Vi is to drive partnerships and digital revenue streams, post-consolidation. He said their strategy is to grow through collaboration with partners across segments. “This is not just about growth opportunities for our business, but also more value for our consumers,” he explained.

Speaking about the brand’s recent rebranding, he said they have been successful in establishing high recall levels. “We successfully announced the world’s largest integration and unification of two iconic brands to give birth to the newest telecom brand in India — Vi. Since then, our effective brand communication has resulted in a smooth transition to establish our new brand. Our internal reads suggest that we have been able to create a very high level of brand recall and relevance in a very short span of time,” he said.

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