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LETTER TO SHAREOWNERS:
My dear fellow Shareowners,
It gives me great pleasure that Reliance Communications (RCOM) has reported another year of steady performance, despite challenging macro–economic environment in India and globally. The telecom industry has witnessed positive structural changes in terms of a reduction in the number of players, resulting in a move towards more rational tariffs, data services gaining traction, and improvement in the 3G ecosystem allowing affordable adoption and meaningful consumption of services. During the year under review, the Government of India came out with a progressive and forward looking "New Telecom Policy". The policy envisions providing secure, reliable, affordable and high quality converged telecommunication services anytime, anywhere for accelerated inclusive socio–economic development. The main thrust of the Policy is on the multiplier effect and transformational impact of telecommunication services on the overall economy.
The first phase of exponential growth in the telecom industry was led by voice. The next big opportunity will be led by data and broadband services. India has voice penetration of over 70 per cent, whereas broadband penetration is less than 1 per cent. Till a few months back, there were few wireless networks capable of offering broadband services, the smart–phone prices were too steep and usage charges also acted as a deterrent for mass scale adaption. Now, the wireless broadband eco–system is improving fast. Most operators with 3G spectrum have rolled out networks, smart–phone suppliers have become more competitive resulting in device prices coming down, and applications and content are being generated to target specific user segments with significant increase in adaption. This positive change in the eco–system is creating huge opportunity in data and wireless broadband services. 3G services are finally starting to take–off, primarily for high speed mobile internet usage, and for a plethora of data applications like live mobile TV, video and music streaming, video calling and conferencing, among others.
RCOM is India's most integrated and fully converged telecommunications service provider. We operate across the full spectrum of wireless, wireline, voice, data, video, internet and IT infrastructure services and have an extensive international presence through the provision of long distance voice, data and internet services, and submarine cable network infrastructure. With a customer base of over 131 million (including 123 million wireless customers, 1.24 million wireline customers, 2.5 million overseas retail customers and 4.6 million Reliance Digital TV customers) as on March 31, 2013, our corporate clientele includes over 39,000 Indian and multinational corporations, including small and medium enterprises and over 830 global, regional and domestic carriers. The enterprise customer base of the Company includes 880 of the top 1,000 enterprises in India.
The key financial highlights for the year under review on a consolidated basis are:
a) Total revenues of Rs. 21,778 crore (US$ 4,012 million).
b) Net profit after tax Rs. 672 crore (US$ 124 million).
c) Total operating expenditure Rs. 14,619 crore (US$ 2,693 million).
d) Total assets of Rs. 90,182 crore (US$ 16,613 million).
e) Stakeholders equity was Rs. 33,850 crore (US$ 6,236 million), while net debt (excluding cash and cash equivalents) was Rs. 38,858 crore (US$ 7,158 million), giving a net debt to equity ratio of 1.15 times.
RCOM offers CDMA and GSM based wireless services on a nationwide basis. We are among the top telecom service providers of wireless communication services in the country, with a wireless subscriber base of 123 million as of March 31, 2013 representing a market share of 14.17 per cent.
RCOM is continuously working towards creating a healthy ecosystem for data services through 3G and High Speed Data networks, forging relationship with leading global brands for bundling of data products and services on both GSM and CDMA platforms, and entering into exclusive partnership with social media networks.
Our network is "Built for the Internet". Our 3G network has the capacity to provide speeds up to 28 Mbps. Our common packet core will deliver a seamless experience across 1x, 2G, HSD and 3G. We have deployed end–to–end IP enabled across our transport + access and backhaul including microwave i.e. "Ethernet Super Highway". RCOM continues to provide nationwide seamless Wireless Broadband experience on its own network, in over 1,300 top towns across the country. Coupled with our extensive 1X Data presence offering high quality internet connectivity in 20,000 towns, this has positioned RCOM extremely well to take advantage of the expected rapid increase in data consumption across the country.
2) Global Enterprise
RCOM offers the most comprehensive portfolio of Enterprise, IT infrastructure, National and International long distance voice, video and data network services on an integrated and highly scalable platform. Our business segments comprise Carrier, Enterprise and Consumer business units. We have the largest optic fibre network of 2,77,000 km and the largest internet data centre ("IDC") space of 4,50,000 sq ft. We provide long distance business services including wholesale voice, bandwidth and infrastructure services, national and international private leased circuits, broadband internet access, audio and video conferencing, MPLS–VPN, remote access VPN, Centrex, toll–free services voice services for offices, voice VPN for corporates and managed IDC services. We offer unique, value–added products and services to large, medium and small enterprises for their communications, networking, and IT infrastructure needs across the country. We have a product range of more than 38 products to suit the needs of all customer segments.
3) Telecom Infrastructure
Reliance Infratel Limited (RITL), a subsidiary of RCOM, has a portfolio of nearly 50,000 multi–tenancy towers, which are being utilised for both CDMA and GSM technology based services as a part of our strategy to provide dual services on a pan India basis. RITL towers have the capacity of over 2,00,000 slots, the most extensive in the country. We now own 1,90,000 route kilometres optical fibre network in India, providing a more economical and better quality linking for tenants compared to microwave.
RCOM offers Nationwide Direct–To–Home (DTH) service through its wholly owned subsidiary, Reliance Big TV Limited in over 8,350 towns across the country. Reliance Digital TV was the first Company to introduce High Definition DVR. Using the state–of–the art MPEG 4 technology, it offers close to 250 channels in HD like quality. It also offers 10 Radio channels and a host of Interactive services. A unique combination of High Definition content and digital voice/ picture quality deliver a vastly superior viewing experience to its subscribers.
RCOM has always maintained the highest governance standards and practices by adopting, as is the norm for all constituent companies of the Group, the "Reliance Group – Corporate Governance Policies and Code of Conduct". These Policies and Code prescribe a set of systems, processes and principles, which conform to the highest international standards and are reviewed periodically to ensure their continuing relevance, effectiveness and responsiveness to the needs of investors, both local and global, and all other stakeholders.
Embodied in the value system of the Reliance is a vision to give millions the power to shape their destiny, the means to realize their full potential and a commitment to being a socially responsible entity.
We as a corporate entity envisage to nourish and sustain the ecosystems in which we operate by aiming for growth through sustainable development. Our philosophy of corporate sustainability is founded on three pillars of our people, processes and products and services.
Despite the challenging macro–economic environment, we remain optimistic on growth prospects. We believe India's economic slowdown will soon reverse direction. The government's recent reform measures have improved sentiment. The Company's fundamentals remain strong and the opportunities at hand point to a strong growth path, supporting the positive outlook.
We intend to remain focussed on profitable growth and to improve operational efficiency. Our founder, the legendary Shri Dhirubhai Ambani, gave us a simple mantra: to aspire to the highest global standards of quality, efficiency, operational performance and customer care. We remain committed to upholding that vision and creating ever greater value for all our stakeholders.
Anil Dhirubhai Ambani