Customers' Perceptual Analysis of Cellular Operators in Northern India
Sharma, Alka, Singh, Mandeep, Journal of Services Research
Services constitute the tertiary sector in an economy, including all activities that are neither related to agriculture nor manufacturing. The emergence of services sector can be traced back to post World War-II era when it started assuming greater significance in rebuilding the world economies that were devastated due to the collapse of the manufacturing sector. Eventually, this phenomenon led to a change in their basic structure with services becoming the dominant component. However, with the passage of time, newer services were developed leading to their simultaneous commercialization and professionalization. As a result, the services sector became the back-bone of every economy. According to the Indian Economic Survey 2010-11(Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India, 2011), the services sector with an overall share of 64.2 percent in world GDP in 2009, has been playing a dominant role in the world order, especially in high-income countries which have transited to services-led growth.
In response to this, corporate sector has been developing multi-faceted services to deliver the best to the society leading to a phenomenal growth of service sector. This fact holds truth in Indian context also, where GDP of Rs.7,87,7947 crores (at current market prices, 2010-11) with a growth rate of 8.6%, gets a contribution of around 55.2% from a very dynamic and substantial services sector, that had an expected growth rate of around 10% for the year 2010-11 (Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India, 2011). Further analyzing the services sector, it has been seen that globally, the focus is shifting towards the telecom sector, especially in recent years, because of the enormous growth of Information Technology and its significant impact on the rest of the economy.
Globally, the telecommunications industry was estimated to be about US$4 trillion sector in 2010. It is one of the major employment providers in the world, with nearly 1 million employees in the United States of America alone (Plunkett, 2010). The cellular industry has impacted the world economies at both structural as well as economic level. It has emerged as the complex new industry with advanced technologies and organizational and human capabilities to deliver the services to the final user the industry also experiences a multiplier effect in terms of investments, income and employment. Many aspects of production and distribution systems have also changed since the advent of mobiles, contributing towards enhanced productivity. It has shrunk the boundaries of the world. Moreover, roaming the world with an access to information and communication has been possible due to the mobile telephony, developments in its technology and the global standards. Various agencies have estimated the global wireless subscriber base in 2010 to be around 5.3 billion users (The World Fact Book, 2011). Without such developments, globalization, as a phenomenon, would not have taken place as fast as it has over the recent years. From the above, it can be inferred that the mobile telephony has been a key factor for economic growth and social change.
Hence, it can be said that in the present scenario where every economy depends heavily upon communication technologies and the internet based industries, telecommunication has emerged as one of the important services. A similar trend has been observed in Indian services sector, where telecommunication services have recorded a phenomenal growth, which is evident from the fact that the Indian telecom sector has grown from a level of 22.8 million telephone subscribers in 1999 to 54.6 million in 2003 and 764.77 million at the end of November 2010. Wireless telephone connections have been a major contributor to this growth as the number of wireless connections rose from 3.57 million in March 2001 to 729.58 mil lion by the end of November 2010. Further, this sector has attracted FDI inflows of around Rs.46, 727 crores during April 2000 to December 2010, which accounted for 8% of total inflows during the same period (Ministry of Finance, Govt. …