As the country has moved towards a new cable TV billing regime, TV operators have decided to manage their billing, collections, payments and other customer relationship management activities differently.
With the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) allowing people to choose their own bouquet of channels, it has become a difficult task for operators to keep track of multiple options made by customers, preparing personalised bills, and making the remittances.
“This is a huge task considering the deep penetration of cable TV in the country,” Nithin Reddy, Chief Executive Officer, ITP Software India, told BusinessLine.
ITP Software, a Hyderabad-based start-up, is powering the ₹65,000-crore cable TV industry to address the challenges that it is facing after the TRAI regulations.
“Our solutions EZYBill and EZYCableDigi for enterprise and local cable operators conform to the TRAI’s new order that gives flexibility to customers in choosing the channels. Both the solutions are offered on software-as-a-service (Saas) model,” said Nithin.
Nithin co-founded the start-up with Sandeep Vaddireddy eight years ago with just five employees to develop software solutions for billing, conforming to the conditional access system (CAS), which controls the transmission and distribution of TV programmes.
“It provides subscriber management system, billing and customer relationship management services to content providers such as direct- to-home (DTH), OTT (over-the-top) and Internet Protocol TV,” said Sandeep Vaddireddy, Managing Director and co-founder, ITC Software.
With a market share of 90 per cent in the South and 65 per cent across the country, the firm is planning to hire 50 more people to take the total to 150 this year. “We are also planning to acquire smaller players as we plan to increase our national market share to 80-85 per cent in the next one year,” said Nithin.
Nithin said the TRAI decision has forced the whole payment mechanism to be transparent. While big operators could afford to deploy IT solutions on their own, it’s not that easy for smaller players, MSOs and local cable TV operators.
The firm is eyeing the growing OTT market in the country.
“The number of players in the over-the-top (of the internet) is growing as the broadband offerings increase. They too need billing and authentication solutions to help their customers get seamless access to their services,” he said.
The boot-strapped company has no plans to raise funds for its expansion.
“We can raise funds internally for our expansion plans. We achieved break even in three years after its formation in 2011,” he said.