Suvidhaa Infoserve, a “Services Commerce” company has received funding from Reliance Technology Ventures (RTVL) and Norwest Venture Partners India. Suvidhaa is promoted by Paresh Rajde, with funding from billionaire Shapoor Pallonji Mistry.
Suvidhaa will use the money for marketing their services, and also to expand their service offering to railway ticketing, mobile recharge, air ticketing, insurance payment, bill payment, bus ticketing, loans lead generation, movie ticketing and others. They use a proprietary technology platform for the service.
I think the key push for them will come in expanding the distribution network – they’re targetiong 20,000 franchisee outlets across the country by 2009. At present, Suvidhaa powers 4000 kirana (small format retail) stores in 15 states, according to the release.
Client Base: IRCTC for railway ticketing, all major airline companies such as Jet Airways, Kingfisher, Air India, SpiceJet, GoAir and IndiGo, telecom services such as Vodafone, Airtel, BSNL, Reliance, Idea, Tata and MTNL, more than 350 bus operators covering 5000+ routes, multiplexes such as AdLabs and Fun Cinema, leading financial services and insurance players such as LIC, ICICI Prudential, Reliance MF, UTI MF, Reliance Money, Kotak MF, LIC MF, SBI MF.
Suvidhaa appears to be using PCs at the point of sales., though there’s no clear indication of whether they’re using mobile or not. If they’re only using PCs, then a challenge will be for them to reach out to even smaller retailers in small towns, who may not be comfortable with computers, and perhaps more comfortable with mobile phone. Note that telecom operators already have a fairly large network of over 900,000 retail outlets. A mobile services company could tie up with operators to leverage that base – like they did with mobile recharges. Suvidhaa should have a mobile plan.
At the same time, Reliance could integrate these sevices into their R-World cybercafe business in order to drive footfalls.
The Key Issue
But the key issue for a company like Suvidhaa is around the quality of service and handling customer complaints. That is perhaps what prevents mobile operators from expanding their service base – the larger your distribution network, and the scale of operations, the more the complexity of managing the retailer and customer network. By the looks of it, quality of the service might be an issue for them to deal with – check out the comments here., both in favour and against the service. (Note: both could be planted comments)