The slide in Sify Technologies‘ consumer business continued, as the company reported a 42% year on year decline in its broadband consumer base, and a 66% decline in active subscribers for its e-Ports (cybercafe / kiosk) business. Sify now has around 79,000 broadband subscribers, compared with around 137,000, and 104,000 active e-port subscribers, compared with almost thrice as many at the end of September 2009. The number of CTO’s (Cable operators), is down 17.9% year on year to 1645.
Update: according to a clarification we’ve received from Sify, there was a typo in their earnings announcement: Broadband ARPU is up 12% QoQ, and flat year on year at Rs. 306 (and not Rs. 36). We’ve corrected the table below.
But its consumer business is dying, even as its enterprise business is strengthening. Revenues for the consumer business declined 42.18% year on year to $3.03 million, and 5.31% quarter on quarter. MP Vijay Kumar, CFO at Sify, said on the earnings conference call that margins have gone down in the consumer business, pulling overall results down, despite improvements in margins on the enteprise business front. Sify has $7.9 million cash on hand, which explains its promoter plans to invest $86 million in the company.
Merges Portals & Access Business Teams
CVS Suri, COO at Sify, said on the call that they’re now viewing the consumer business play as an added service on top of the enterprise infrastructure. Suri said that even as the company has delinked VAS services from connectivity (access), it has merged its portals and access service business teams. They’re recasting their current travel portfolio as associating costs.
SMB Focus: Wireless Broadband With VoIP
Interestingly, Sify says that it will now look to offer wireless broadband services to consumers, following its pilot of the same in Chennai. Sify is trying to approach businesses for its broadband outreach now – they say they’ve tried to connect with SOHO and mini-business segments, with wireless broadband service, and 300 customers have signed on. This offers speeds of up to 2mbps, with a voice over internet protocol product Sify Talk, for international calling. Sify Talk offers plans between Rs. 50 to Rs. 4000.
The company also launched consumer focused cloud services Sify MyLife, focused on providing services such as bill payment, and, according to the company, allows application developers to build and host solutions for those accessing the Internet. Sify says that over 500 cybercafes have signed up for MyLife.
Broadband to SMB/ SOHO crosses the 300 mark – To capitalize on the large SMB (Small & Medium Businesses) population in India, Sify recently launched wireless broadband for the SMB/ SOHO segment under the name Platinum. With uninterrupted connectivity, dedicated speeds up to 2 Mbps, value added features and a dedicated helpline, the product provides a superior Internet connectivity to the SMB customer. Along with superior Internet connectivity, SMB customers get a superior voice product – Sify Talk.
Enterprise Business Drive Growth
Sify reported revenues of $38.16 million and net loss of $ 3.38 million for the quarter, comparable with revenues of $38.69 million and net loss of US$ 2.62 million last year, and revenues of $38.46 million and a loss of $3.33 million for the previous quarter. The company also mentions an entry into the software development space: Sify Software Ltd. (SSL) will offer in-house products developed over open-source to Enterprise customers. Sify launched its Cloud Services for Data Storage and Computing in a tie-up with Hitachi and HP in fourth quarter of fiscal 2009-10. Sify’s international business is now contributing to 10% of the Company’s revenue,” Sify COO CVS Suri said in the press release.