Cable TV

FY 2022-23 will be a transformational year for the company: Hathway Cable & Datacom MD Rajan Gupta

Digital innovation is the primary driver behind business transformation post-Covid.

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Mumbai: On building a profitable business, Hathway Cable and Datacom managing director Rajan Gupta stated that he believes FY 2022–23 will be a transformational year for the company.

The provider of Cable and Internet services in its annual report mentioned the annual gross revenue up by 4 per cent to Rs 1,793 crore in FY 2022 as compared to FY 2021. After this, Gupta seems confident in increasing the company's market share.

Gupta said that with the worst of the pandemic effect seemingly behind us, and sports & other live entertainment events fully back in action, the environment looks favourable for the revival of the cable TV business currently.

The company is confident that the efforts being made to prepare the platform for making deeper inroads into the market will significantly yield benefits in the increasing market share in the cable TV segment, going forward. It is focussed, committed and motivated to play a pivotal role in helping India’s media and entertainment industry bounce back, stronger than ever.

Simultaneously, he also mentioned that the company acknowledged the current business environment has changed dramatically in the post-Covid world. In this difficult year, the company invested in building organisational competencies to align them with the evolving market and consumer demands & aspirations. “We have focussed on developing our capabilities in crisis management, enterprise agility, cost management, workforce resilience and innovation, which we believe to be the pillars of our growth-centric business model. Initiatives are also underway to leverage digital platforms to enhance the competencies of our partners in the cable TV business, as more than 90 per cent of our consumers in this segment are being serviced through our local cable operators," Gupta added.

He further noted that with the pandemic catalysing a new surge in demand, the FTTH (fiber to the home) segment of the business saw a healthy 20 per cent growth in revenue earning customers in these challenging times. “However, our cable TV business health was challenged due to a multitude of extraneous consumer and environmental factors. Limited original content, financial stress experienced by consumers in the Covid world, and multiple lockdowns led to many of them moving from metros to their home towns in this period. This, in turn, caused the bottom of the pyramid consumers to shift to value offerings, thereby limiting our ability to monetise this business,” Gupta said.

Armed with in-depth industry knowledge and consumer understanding, Hathway responded to the situations with a powerful thrust on cable TV network expansion and transformation. Coupled with digital innovation, customer delight and workforce agility, the company is able to navigate successfully these unprecedented times.

In line with this strategy, the company rolled out more than 140 new towns and added more than 3,000 kms of fibre network during the year under the community antenna television (CATV) business. With innovative next-generation high-definition (HD), high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) and over the top media service (OTT) set-top boxes delighting customers, Hathway scaled its consumer proposition for millions of new TV consumers. “These boxes host many new exciting industry-first features, such as time-shift - enabling users to watch a programme on one channel while recording a programme on another, radio channels, among others. We have also initiated a cable TV network transformation project, aimed at ensuring that our network is benchmarked to telco standards in terms of uptime, redundancies, resiliency and proactive monitoring," he said.

In the annual report, the company said that at the heart of its strategic thrust on continuous innovation lies a strong ambition to empower customers. "We invest in modern technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) applications and tools, to stay connected with our customers at all times. This helps us foster meaningful interactions with our customers," he quoted.

Taking its local cable operators (LCO) partnerships to the next level, the company also noted that amid the challenges of the year, Hathway’s marketing team pushed its efforts to improve communication with its LCO partners and assist them in growing the business. As part of these efforts, it identified the pain points of its LCOs, devised exciting ideas to pique their interest, and launched initiatives to raise awareness of its products and services.

As part of these efforts, it identified the pain points of its LCOs, innovated exciting ideas to grab their attention, and took initiatives that helped create awareness about its products and services. According to the report, this triggered a new level of LCO activation and re-energisation of the stalled engagement.

On the content front, the company plans to launch Kflicks, a dedicated channel for Korean content with dubbing in Kannada and Telugu languages for Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana markets. There will be English subtitles for the rest of the markets.

The move is aimed at catering to the high demand from the new generation and the millennials. It also plans to launch an app, LCO LightHouse, to raise awareness about the LCO portal's underutilised features, provide the necessary information, promote new or existing schemes & increase engagement.

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