Russia's largest private sector consumer services company, Sistema, is eyeing India's booming telecommunication and real estate market besides planning to become a major player in a host of other sectors like infrastructure, technology and tourism.
Sistema, which recently bought 51 percent stake in Shyam Telelink, a CDMA-based operator in Rajasthan, has plans to become a pan-India player.
Speaking to the media, Sistema president Alexander Goncharuk said the company, which has already invested more than $600 million in India and has helped Shyam Telelink get pan-India license by paying about $420 million, will increase its stake to 74 percent over a period of time.
According to Goncharuk, Sistema will decide on whether to go for CDMA or GSM based services only after we know what frequencies (spectrum) we get.
Globally, we have expertise in providing both GSM and CDMA services. We can put a figure to our investment only after we know what frequencies will be allotted to us, Goncharuk said, adding that Sistema plans to offer a number of value added services including Mobile TV.
Goncharuk said Sistema was also on the lookout for partners in realty and infrastructure sectors in India.
We are looking at major investments in various sectors, including real estate, hotels, infrastructure and building highways. We are also the largest chip maker in Russia and would be looking at India, Goncharuk said.
Goncharuk is, however, aware that it will be difficult competing with the local players. Indian market is difficult but I am confident that we can be a large player. Russian companies are not present in India's high tech sector. Russian companies do not have much experience except military supplies in India. Sistema is the only Russian company that has invested substantial amount in Indian telecom sector, Goncharuk said.
We have more than 80 million subscribers in Russia and Europe. In India, we have very good relations with Shyam which has a lot of experience in providing services in one circle i.e. Rajasthan. Shyam also understands the technology very well as it is also into manufacturing of equipments. This will have major impact on our success in Indian market, he added.