UK-based Vodafone Group has unveiled plans to invest INR130 billion (USD1.97 billion) in its Indian operations, the Economic Times reports. No timeline was given for the investment programme, however, which will feature spending of INR80 billion to upgrade and expand Vodafone India’s network coverage. Of the remainder, Vodafone plans to put INR40 billion towards the ‘Make in India for the World’ project, with the operator set to upgrade its technology centre as well as its IT and customer experience centres in Pune and Ahmedabad, alongside the construction of a new ‘tier 4’ data centre.
Finally, the last INR10 billion will go towards Vodafone’s payment bank business. Vodafone was one of eleven companies to receive a new payment bank licence in August this year. The new concessions are designed to boost financial inclusion by enabling firms to provide basic services – such as transferring funds and taking deposits of up to INR100,000 – to customers, predominantly via mobile phones. The Financial Times quoted CEO of Vodafone India Sunil Sood as saying at the time: ‘The payment bank licence will enable us to offer a more comprehensive portfolio of banking and financial products and services, accelerating India’s journey into a cashless economy.’