UniverCell targets Rs.1,400 crore from 550 stores

Chennai, Oct 10 (IANS) Mobile phone retail chain UniverCell Telecommunications India plans to increase its number of outlets by 100 to 550 stores this fiscal, and targets a turnover of Rs.1,400 crore, a top company official said Thursday.

Of the 100 new stores, 30 will be opened this month.

The company will open its UniverCell brand outlets in markets like Mumbai and Pune, the official said.

"We are planning to open 100 new stores this financial year and all of them will be company-owned. Apart from increasing our strong presence in Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, we are now entering into new markets like Mumbai and Pune this festive season," D. Sathish Babu, founder of the chain of stores, told IANS.

He said as a part of the overall expansion plans, the company will be setting up 10 stores in Mumbai and Pune, to start with.

Presently the Rs.1,060 crore turnover company has 450 outlets spread across Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, of which 25 outlets are franchisee-owned.

Incidentally, the company will be opening 30 outlets this month to capitalise on the festive season - Diwali and Pongal - sales, and 20 stores will be in Bangalore, considered the technology city.

"The city is receptive to new technology and innovation. The trend that we caught on was, people change their smart phone phones quite often," Babu said.

Speaking about the sales trend in the mobile phone market, he said for the past few months consumers across sections are moving towards smart phone instruments, particularly youngsters.

"The smart phone category priced above Rs.25,000 is growing significantly, while tablets and phablets are not far behind. Tablet is also one segment that is growing at a high speed in the Indian market. Today we see good tablets in the price range of Rs.10,000-15,000 that are successful in the market. Mass market mobile phones priced around Rs.10,000 is also growing steadily," Babu said.

He said the company is hoping to close the current fiscal with a turnover of Rs.1,400 crore.

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