For over a year now, Reliance Jio has been a name associated with a true disruption in the Indian telecom industry. But it looks like the new telco is passing the baton to another newbie that has no connection with the telecommunications industry, Patanjali.
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev's Patanjali brand, rated India's most trusted in Fast Moving Consumer Goods category, announced its foray into the Indian telco sector on Sunday. In association with state-run telco, BSNL, Baba Ramdev launched Patanjali Swadeshi-Samradhi SIM cards with full services of a standard telco.
The new entry shouldn't be taken lightly by incumbents. While details about the tariffs and services are scarce at the moment, the launch of Patanjali Swadeshi-Samradhi highlighted Rs 144 recharge pack that would give unlimited voice calls across India, 2GB data and 100 SMSes, ET Telecom reported. Speaking about the plan, BSNL believes the Patanjali plan is BSNL's best tariff plan till date.
But that's just the tip of an iceberg. In addition to these telecommunication benefits, Patanjali SIM cards will also offer health, accidental and life insurances to the customers. The medical insurance is pegged at Rs 2.5 lakh and life insurance provides Rs 5 lakh cover - certainly a first of its kind offer in the telco industry.
Patanjali SIM card owners will also benefit from fetching 10 percent discount on Patanjali products. According to Baba Ramdev, the purpose of launching these SIM cards is "prosperity for charity".
But there are several missing pieces to the puzzle. The new Rs 144 plan does not mention its validity, which by normal industry standards could be 28 days or a month. The commercial availability of the Patanjali SIM cards is still not definitive, but reports suggest it should happen in the next few months.
The Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM cards will be available to the employees and office bearers of Patanjali and BSNL before making them publicly available. Baba Ramdev said that the SIM cards will be available across five lakh BSNL counters following the fully-fledged launch of Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM services.