The city of Chennai in South India was devastated in early December 2015 with rain fury. Large parts of the city, including the Industrial Corridor were inundated and rescue operations had to be conducted using boats and helicopters. In past relief efforts, we had seen companies in the business of foods, clothing, medicine and beverages getting into the act. This time, as the story unfolded, large telecom operators came out with a unique offer of “free calls.”
We need to see this in the context of the Indian 3G/mobile landscape, where almost 90% of the connections are on pre-paid format, with consumers recharging their mobile phones every week, if not every day. This unique offer from several mobile operators of “automatic recharge” caught the attention of national media as well. Relief efforts are on in full swing now.
Numerous national and international brands have jumped in. But the mobile operators who did this when the water level was high deserve a special round of applause. Brands need to be aware of how they can be of help to their customers in their hour of need. And if they demonstrate true commitment to consumers, they can expect to reap rich rewards through undying loyalty.