Idea and HDFC Bank in an exclusive tie-up to offer co- branded products

23rd August, 2005

In an exclusive nationwide marketing alliance, India's leading cellular operator Idea Cellular Ltd. and HDFC Bank, one of India's leading private sector banks, today launched a range of co-branded products. An HDFC Bank-Idea co-branded Visa credit card for subscribers of Idea cellular and an Idea-HDFC Bank co-branded postpaid connection for credit card customers of HDFC Bank. The co-branded products were unveiled today by Mr. Vikram Mehmi, CEO, Idea Cellular Ltd. and Mr. Aditya Puri, Managing Director, HDFC Bank Ltd. The alliance targets at bringing best-in-class products to customers of both Idea Cellular and HDFC Bank.

The HDFC Bank-Idea co-branded Visa credit card is available in gold and silver variants and will be available at Rs. 2000 and Rs. 700 respectively.

Some unique benefits of the HDFC Bank-Idea co-branded Visa credit card:

  • Up to 8 per cent back on Idea postpaid bill payment through standing instructions. *
  • Three reward points on supermarket, grocery and petrol expenditure.
  • Redemption of all reward points against equivalent Idea talk-time on the Idea postpaid bill. *
  • Attractive value added services up to Rs.1500 p.a.
  • Mobile handset insurance worth Rs.10, 000.
  • Special EMI plan for purchase of mobile phone.
  • Petrol surcharge waiver at any petrol pump.
  • Smart Pay standing instruction facility, Secure Plus Insurance discounts for Idea customers.
  • Available in 60 cities across the country.
  • Usable at over 21 million Visa outlets across the world.

The Idea-HDFC Bank co-branded connection will offer special calling rate benefits between the new co-branded connection availed of by the HDFC Bank credit card holder and his existing mobile or landline thereby facilitating telephony within the customers often-called numbers.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi today, Mr. Vikram Mehmi, CEO, Idea Cellular Ltd. said, "We are very happy to be associated with HDFC Bank. Our common values of customer delight have created these products which we are sure will redefine all paradigms of value addition a service provider can offer to its customers. Further, telecom and credit card markets are both growing at a scorching pace in India today. We believe that Idea-HDFC Bank alliance will provide extra value for the existing customers and add impetus to new customer acquisitions for both the companies."

Mr. Aditya Puri, Managing Director, HDFC Bank Ltd. said, "The launch of the HDFC Bank-Idea Visa credit card will offer multiple benefits to HDFC Bank customers as well as Idea subscribers. This alliance of two leading players in their respective industries is in line with our endeavour to reward the patronage and loyalty of our customers through innovative product offerings."

Mr. Santanu Mukherjee, Country Manager - South Asia, Visa International said, "We are delighted to partner with HDFC Bank and Idea Cellular to provide cardholders and mobile customers with the benefits of electronic payments. From a payment card perspective, telecom co-brand relationships are one of the most successful in the world. They provide superior value to cardholders who are telecom customers; they are a robust channel for the operators to build customer loyalty and a great business opportunity for the bank. We are confident that this is a winning partnership. Idea Cellular is India's leading cellular operator, HDFC Bank has always developed unique products for customers and the relationship is underlined by the Visa global system, the world's most robust electronic payment network that links a billion cardholders and 21 million merchants around the world."

* This facility is available only on post-paid connections

About Idea Cellular:
As India's leading GSM mobile services operator, Idea Cellular has licenses to operate in 11 circles. With a customer base of over 5 million, Idea Cellular has operations in New Delhi, Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Uttaranchal, Haryana, UP-West and Kerala. Idea Cellular's footprint currently covers approximately 45 per cent of India's population and over 50 per cent of the potential telecom market.

Customer service and innovation are the drivers of this cellular brand. With GPRS currently available on all its networks, for both pre and post paid customers, Idea Cellular is the first company to commercially launch next generation EDGE technology (a 3G technology) for its Delhi circle.

As a leader in value-added services, innovation is central to Idea's VAS factory. It is the first cellular company to launch music messaging with cellular jockey, global SMS in over 540 networks across all technology platforms and a voice portal with Say Idea. A frontrunner in introducing revolutionary tariff plans, offering maximum savings to its customers, Idea Cellular has the distinction of offering the most customer-friendly and competitive prepaid offerings for the first time in India, with Eco Talk, Flexi-charge and other segmented offerings. The most recent offering - Lifetime Idea - is the first and only loyalty program, for prepaid customers, introduced by a cellular brand and Pay Easy which is bill payment through the effective use of the prepaid channel. Idea is the only operator in the world to launch this service.

Idea has many milestones to its credit. These include scoring the highest percentage in metros and circle B and C in customer satisfaction and the highest percentage in value-added service and overall sales satisfaction as per the Voice and Data - Customer Satisfaction Survey in December 2004. It was also a part of the largest M&A deal in India Inc, through its acquisition of Escotel in 2004 and was involved in a Rs. 5000 crore financial closure. Both were the largest ever in the history of Indian telecom.

Idea Cellular Ltd. is headquartered in Pune.

About HDFC Bank:
HDFC Bank was promoted in 1995 by HDFC, India's premier housing finance company. Since then, HDFC Bank has grown manifold to emerge as one of India's leading private sector banks. In a short time, the bank has provided its customers with a complete range of accounts and services such as net banking, bill pay facility through phone banking, ATM, access to banking and financial transactions over the cell phone through 24-hour mobile banking, phone banking, net based instant car loans, personal loans, loans against securities, inter-branch banking, sweep-in facility from FDs, cluster deposits, the international debit card, international credit card, advisory services and NRI banking services across the country, among others.

HDFC Bank has received recognition for its business, from various leading publications, both national and international. It was named best bank in India for two consecutive years, 2004 and 2003 by leading Indian magazine Business Today and best domestic bank in India for 2004 and 2003 by Hong Kong-based The Asset magazine. Asiamoney magazine has named the bank best domestic commercial bank for 2005. In 2004, Asiamoney named it best local cash management bank in India in three categories, best overall domestic trade finance services in India and most improved company for best management practices in India.

Recently, HDFC Bank was selected by Business World as one of India's most respected companies as part of the Business World most respected company awards 2004. The bank was named by Forbes Global in its listing of 100 of the best smaller size enterprises in Asia/Pacific and Europe in 2004. The bank also received the Asian Banker excellence in retail banking risk management award in India for 2004.

Today, HDFC Bank has a network of 499 branches and over 1200 ATMs across 219 cities, making it convenient for customers to operate their accounts from anywhere, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

In the first quarter ended 30 June 2005, HDFC Bank reported a 31.1 per cent jump in net profit to Rs 183.5 crore and 22.1 per cent rise in deposit base to Rs 38,354 crore. Its total balance sheet size is Rs 53,986 crore. For more information on HDFC Bank, please log onto

About Visa
Visa connects cardholders, merchants and financial institutions through the world's largest electronic payments network. Visa products allow buyers and sellers to conduct commerce with ease and confidence in both the physical and virtual worlds. As an association owned by 21,000 member financial institutions, Visa is committed to the sustained growth of electronic payment systems to support the needs of all stakeholders and to drive economic growth. For more information, visit

Visa Asia Pacific
In Asia Pacific, Visa has a greater market share than all other payment card brands combined, with 62 per cent of all card purchases at the point of sale being made using Visa cards. There are currently 238 million Visa-branded cards in the region. In 2004, US $475 billion was spent at point of sale or withdrawn from ATMs in Asia Pacific using Visa cards. Visa Asia Pacific's internet address is

For more information on this press release, please contact: Sangeeta Kuriakos,
Clea Public Relations,
Tel: 98915 97468
Yusuf Uz Zaman,
Clea Public Relations,
Tel : 9891653547
Rajat Chandoke,
Sampark Public Relations;
Tel: 9810175728
Rajesh Joshi,
HDFC Bank,
Tel: 9324698454.
Carson Dalton,
Idea Cellular Ltd.,
Tel: 98220 03011