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Blueprint to swell mobile club ready

Calcutta, May 27: The Indian Cellular Association (ICA) has crafted a strategy that aims to raise mobile penetration from 1.3 per cent to 10 per cent in three years.

It has launched initiatives to reach out to consumers and increase awareness about the use of handsets purchased through legitimate channels, after paying duties. The grey market has shrivelled significantly — from 90 per cent of all handsets sold to 55 per cent now.

The association expects around 4 million handsets to be sold by 2003, a sharp increase from 1.1 million in 2002. A strong retail network, prompt after-sales service and customer security are the key elements of growth.

“We have started a training-based incubating programme for retailers to instil professionalism. A fund has been set up to pay for training expenses. We will begin with Delhi and Chandigarh, and move on to other cities later,” ICA president Pankaj Mohindroo said.

A mobile exhibition planned in November will be used to send ICA’s message that handsets are more than a talking device.

“The exhibition will highlight technologies incorporated into handsets, making them a complete convergence tool,” Mohindroo said.

“Handsets can now be used as a PDA, digital camera, messaging device and a mobile phone. The idea is to persuade the consumer to give up the landline and go mobile.”

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