Future Group in JV with UAE-based Axiom for mobile retailing

New Delhi (PTI): Kishore Biyani promoted Future Group on Monday said it has entered into a joint venture with UAE-based mobile retail company Axiom Telecom and plans to set up more than 1,500 outlets across India by 2009, entailing an investment of 40 million dollars.

The new JV, Future Axiom Telecom Ltd, would take charge of the 500 odd Mobile Bazaar and Mport stores in 58 cities operated by Future Group under the name of ConvergeM since the company ventured into mobile retailing in 2006, Future group said in a statement.

“The 50:50 JV involves an initial investment of about 40 million dollar. It will retail and distribute mobile handsets and accessories and set up service centres in India,” the company said.

Axiom Telecom  has 500 odd outlets in various countries including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Egypt and UK.

“While Future Group was on the lookout for a partner with expertise in the retailing of communication products, Axiom Telecom was keen to enter the Indian market and being a part of the Indian growth story.

“Future Axiom is all set to venture in the Rs 50,000 crore mobile retail industry and set new benchmarks,” Future Axiom Telecom Ltd Chief Executive Officer Ashy Sehgal said.

He said the JV would start with the 500 stores and touch points in 58 cities under the brand names of Mobile Bazaar and Mport.

Elaborating Axioms scope in the Indian market, Faisal Al Bannai, founder, Axiom Telecom, said, “We recognised India as the land of opportunities and are delighted to become a partner with the Future Group for operations in India. This partnership will help our expertise in the mobile retail space grow and set new benchmarks with Future Group’s reach and understanding of the Indian consumer.”

It is also planning to undertake a major rebranding exercise of the existing Mobile Bazaar and Mport stores, it added.

“There are major expansion plans on the anvil and we plan to be a 1,500 outlet organisation by the end of December 2009,” Sehgal added.

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