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Greetings now beep through SMS

More than 225 million mobile phone subscribers greeted each other by more than 1 billion short messages using their handheld devices this New Year, reports Gaurav Choudhury.

business Updated: Jan 04, 2008 21:00 IST
Gaurav Choudhury
Gaurav Choudhury
Hindustan Times

Tele companies' revenue earnings in government and private sector through e-commerce flourished as the New Year arrived this time, with more than 225 million mobile phone subscribers greeting each other by more than 1 billion short messages using their handheld devices.

An Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) study showed that about Rs 175 crore of revenue were generated on New Year's eve as also the first day of calendar 2008 alone.

As per Assocham estimates, e-cards and e-shopping sale for New Year and on Diwali of 2007, registered a growth of 120 per cent on the New Year's eve. On the other hand, the Postal Department's revenue generation suffered for which estimates are between Rs 15 crore to 18 crore for New Year's eve. Similarly, courier companies' revenue losses are estimated within the range of Rs 16-17 crore on New Year's eve.

"As a result of the telecom revolution not only did postal and courier companies suffer but this pinch was almost equally felt by a large number of card printers whose new year sales dropped by nearly 35-40 per cent both during Diwali and New Year's Eve as well," the chamber said.

The emerging situation is not unique to India alone. In Spain, authorities had advised mobile phone users to send their greetings in advance or use e-mail instead to prevent clogged networks.

Industry analysts, however, felt that the conventional greeting card industry would survive despite exponential rise in e-greetings and SMSes.

An analyst said that the challenge lies in growing the size of this industry by making cards more relevant to consumers. Also regional markets would drive growth in the greeting card industry, he said.

The greeting card market is estimated at around Rs 400 crore in terms of consumer spend. The unorganised sector in the greeting card market would be close to 40 per cent. Besides, analysts feel the booming retail industry could prove to be the major driver for growth for the greeting card and stationery industry as footfalls increase in stores housed inside malls and shopping arcades.