Government promoted co-operative society Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited (Kribhco), has formed a joint venture with Reliance Communications for retailing customised telecom products and farmer specific value added services in rural India. The joint venture company is called Kribhco Reliance Kisan Ltd, according to the co-operatives 2008-2009 highlights report. Business Standard adds that Kribhco will hold 60 percent in the company, while Reliance ADA Group will hold 40 percent.
While services will initially focus on RCOM, but could be expanded to include other Reliance ADA group companies like Reliance Capital, Reliance Entertainment and BIG TV, RCOM President (Wireless) S.P. Shukla told Business Standard.
Kribhco manufactures fertilizer, and has a large distribution channel for retailing telecom services. The urban centres – metros, B & C class towns are fast becoming saturated, and telecom operators are looking for ways and means of providing telecom services to rural markets in India, which remain largely underpenetrated. Kribhco will provide RCOm with a distribution channel of around 25,000 co-operatives.
This deal mirrors another rural joint venture formed between Bharti Airtel and IFFCO for rural services. In case of the Airtel-IFFCO joint venture, IFFCO also retained a majority stake at 50 percent, while Bharti Airtel and Star Global kept 25 percent each. Services they offered include voice updates on mandi prices, farming techniques, weather forecasts, as well as the marketing of IFFCO fertilizer availability to the farmers,
— Reuters Market Light Goes To Himachal; Pan-India With Nokia; Txt vs GPRS vs Voice
— BSNL Revises Rural Kiosk Roll Out; First Kiosk Operational
— SREI Sahaj To Invest Rs 10 Billion On Kiosks; Rural Job Portal Chaakri; Mobile CSCs?