Anupam Srivastava, the then CMD of BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited), was very upset.
Challenging condition of the banking sector under the burden of millions of millions of rupees in debt burden, BSNL was struggling to raise funds for the 1.7 lakh employees’ salary due to lack of cash due to “external and internal challenges”.
In February, there was a huge headlines in the media for a 15-day delay in the salary of the employees.
Anupam Srivastava knew that if these headlines lasted long, it would be difficult to get loans from the banks.
Anupam Srivastava, retired in June, explains, “The challenge was how to collect money, how to deal with the situation of a temporary cash flow.”
After arranging the money, the company paid the salaries of its employees in March.
In October 2002, BSNL has a debt of about 20 thousand crores on BSNL, which became the number one mobile service in India for just 1.5 years of launch of the mobile service.
Officials are reminded that it was BSNL whose free incoming calls, facilities like free roaming had a huge drop in prices.
Although BSNL officials do not tire of claiming that the debt on BSNL is “like a chiller” against private telecom operators.
Some people are saying that BSNL should be closed. Some are pushing for its privatization.
Such pictures emerge in the interaction with the former BSNL officials, it seems that the company is in such a situation due to the internal challenges of BSNL and the government’s tight grip on government and alleged government interference in the work.
The average age of about 1.7 lakh employees in the company is 55 years and according to a senior official, “80 percent of these are burdensome on BSNL because they are technically illiterate who do not want to learn new technology and the impact on young employees’ morale is.”
BSNL employee union denies these allegations.
Where BSNL spends 70 per cent of its earnings on the wages, the figure in private operators is 3-5 per cent.
According to an official, where the ARPU of the private operators, which is about 60 rupees per customer, is Rs. 30 in BSNL, because most customers of BSNL are less earning.
Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said in the Rajya Sabha an economic package for BSNL, but the speculation is still on the company’s future.
But the big question is how did one-time number one company BSNL reach the spot?
On October 19, 2002, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee started BSNL Mobile service from Lucknow.
The next day BSNL started service in Jodhpur, where Anupam Srivastava was in the position of General Manager of BSNL.
Anupam Srivastava explains, “When we got BSNL SIM card, we had to tell the police, senior officials of the administration to give security as the threat of chaos was created. There were days when for BSNL Sims Three to four kilometers long lines were used. ”
This was the time when private operators had started mobile services months before the launch of BSNL but BSNL’s services became so popular that the demands of BSNL’s ‘Selvan’ brand grew tremendously.
BSNL was born in October 2000 from the Department of Telecom (DOT). It had 100 percent stake in the Indian government.
BSNL is in the hands of Door DOT which is part of the Ministry of Communications of the Government of India.
MTNL operated in Mumbai and Delhi whereas BSNL’s presence in the rest of the country.
After the establishment in 2000, BSNL officials wanted to start mobile services at the earliest so that they could challenge the private operators, but according to senior officials, they were not getting necessary government consent.
Vimal Vakhru was senior in the BSNL at that time.
At that time, the doctor DPS Seth was the first head of BSNL. He does not want to talk too much on his relationship with the government but says that the freedom that took the decision in the beginning started to slow down gradually.
“When the services of BSNL started, private operators used to charge Rs 16 per minute for calls per minute and also for the incoming money of 8 rupees per minute, we made the incoming free and the cost of outgoing calls for one and a half rupees,” says Vimal Vakhlo. This caused the private operators to move. ”
BSNL staff told this golden time of BSLL 2002-2005 when everyone wanted BSNL’s SIM and the company had a cash reserve of up to 35 thousand crores, while making an affirmation for the well-known BSNL SIM.
BSNL employees and officers add directly to the status of today’s BSNL at the time of 2006-12.
It was at that time that there was tremendous surge in the mobile segment, but BSNL was trapped in Lal Fateh Shahi.
To increase its capacity in the market, it was important for BSNL to take the decision quickly, buy new equipment.
Where private companies used to take such decisions immediately, due to being a government company, where the process of tender for BSNL took months to complete.
A former senior official told on condition of anonymity that he was the sixth phase of expansion of BSNL. At that time, the market share of BSNL in 22 million mobile connections in India was 22 percent.
was that between 2006-12 While there was a slight increase in the capacity of BSNL, the market share of the company declined, while the private operators went ahead. ”
People turned to BSNL leaving private companies due to network congestion and other problems.”
People were very angry with the service of BSNL.
At the same time, BSNL KP Abhimanyu visited Ahmedabad. In the evening, his health was disturbed and he was taken to the doctor.
BSNL Employees Union’s Secretary-General P Abhimanyu says, “The doctor told me, if you help me first, then I will help you. I have BSNL Mobile. I have to go on the road to listen to the call, I have to scream You solve my problem first. ”
Experts say that it was also time for the ministry to get the consent in this period too.
According to Professor Surya Mahadevan of Telecom Sector Affairs, the situation was so worrisome that in the market there was also some thought that some people in the ministry allegedly wanted BSNL’s market share to fall so that private operators would be benefitted.
Dayanidhi Maran was the communications minister of the year 2004-2007 while A Raja after 2007-10
A. On bad condition of BSNL Raja was unable to get in touch, but Dayanidhi Maran, communications minister, says, “In my time, BSNL was booming.” BSNL board had all the right to make any decision, that BSNL was the best time and it was expanding I do not have a single tender cancel in my time. Do anyone have a single paper to prove it? In my time a private operator wanted to take over the BSNL Mane was fined. ”
Maran contradicts these allegations that the government was working under the influence of private operators.
Dayanidhi Maran said, ‘During my time, BSNL was aggressive and the private operators were running.’
There are allegations of illegal abuse of BSNL lines at his home in Chennai, but Dayanidhi Maran calls him ‘politically motivated, where he tried to defame him.’
The matter is in the court.
3G auction of 2010
In 2010, the 3G spectrum auction took place in which BSNL did not participate due to being a government company.
BSNL could get spectrum for the entire country but at the price at which private companies had bought spectrum in the auction, BSNL was told that they should pay the same price.
At the same time, BSNL had to pay huge amount for Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum based on WiMAX technology.
The impact was on the financial condition of MATNL and BSNL.
According to a former senior official, due to this, BSNL had spent 17,000 to 18,000 crore in this auction, which left its treasury empty whereas MTNL had to borrow a loan which had to pay Rs 100 crore per month to repay it.
According to pre-officials, there was a little hope for BSNL from 2014 to 2017 when BSNL earned “operating profit” and Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned BSNL’s “operating profit” with the ramparts of the Red Fort.
According to Anupam Srivastava, former chief of BSNL, “BSNL’s operating profit was Rs 67 crore in 2014-15, Rs 2,000 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 2,500 crore in 2016-17, as well as on August 15, 2016, Prime Minister Modi When mentioning the success of BSNL from the ramparts of the Red Fort, it was an indication of the advent of BSNL’s better days. ”
Apart from this, BSNL and MTNL surrendered the BWA spectrum, which gave them money from the government and its deteriorating economic situation would be slightly better.
Otherwise, it is a joke to talk about the operating profit of former BSNL official Vimal Vakhru as the depreciation or depreciation of the equipment was not taken into consideration when reaching this figure.
Anupam Srivastava disagrees, and says that the idea of deprecation was thought when taking operating profit. According to him, the accounting process of BSNL is of high quality.
The arrival of geo
The presence of Reliance Jio in the market was a game changer, affecting all the telecom companies in the market.
Where a section of BSNL blames Geo for its condition, a second class disagrees with it.
P Abhimanyu of BSNL Employees Union blames Joe’s pricing strategy for the financial position of BSNL and the company’s alleged influence on the investors, due to which the medium or small telecom companies like Aircel, Tata Teleservices, Reliance Infocomm, Telenor have been closed.
According to former BSNL official Vimal Vakhlo, “BSNL and MTNL did not get any challenge from Geo. When Geo started its services, their condition was already poor. Many people use Geo as a pretext.”
According to a former BSNL official, if Geo has invested huge amounts to start its services, then who has stopped other companies from such a big investment.
4G spectrum auction
Surprisingly, when the world is moving towards the 5G spectrum, BSNL does not have a 4G spectrum.
According to officials, when the auction of 4G spectrum in 2016, then BSNL was excluded.
According to an official, BSNL management wrote 17 letters to draw attention of the government, but things did not change.
There may be many reasons for why the file did not go ahead.”
According to Dayanidhi Maran, the condition of BSNL’s condition is bad that it has not been given 4G spectrum. The government does not want BSNL to compete with private operators. The government wants to strangle her.
While writing this story Manoj Sinha, then a telecom minister, could not be reached. If they can talk to us, then we will update it.
One thought is that BSNL should now think directly about 5G, but according to the official, the path of 5G goes through 4G so that the system’s network and equipment can be prepared for 5G.
Future of BSNL
A former officer, on condition of anonymity, points out that there is no freedom to work in BSNL and he feels himself tied, as the proposal for expenditure on expansion of BSNL and the government has long pending without any decision Live
Therefore, it is necessary to improve the way of work.
From BSNL’s first Chief Doctor DPS Seth to today’s officials, BSNL feels government help is needed, atleast a few months.
According to the BSNL officials, BSNL has land at different places in the country whose prices are around Rs 1 lakh crore in the market, Rs 20,000 crore towers and Rs 64,000 crore optical fibers with a length of about eight lakh kilometers. And, if needed, money can be made.
Anupam Srivastava says, “In a country like India there is a need for a public sector operator so that the presence and balance of a government institution in the market.”
Meanwhile, Professor Sun Mahadevan is in favor of privatization of BSNL.
He says, the longer you run BSNL, the loss will be. There is no accountability in BSNL. Nobody gets reward for good work or punished for bad work. Many of our governmental organizations work only when they are saved, they should be kept out of competition, and there is no challenge before them. ”
Dayanidhi Maran says that he is not in favor of privatization but BSNL should be given such an environment so that he can compete with private companies.
A senior BSNL management executive said that the government is working on “Survival Plan” to save the company and can not say anything more than that.