In 2015, Sivakumar Kuppusamy had a plan. Zurich-based entrepreneur Kuppusamy and his team would take on a crumbling telecom industry and become the first to sell to the 500 million Indians who were yet to come online. To do this, he set up India’s first ever consumer-facing mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) called Aerovoyce.

The idea was simple—get Indian telecom regulator Trai’s (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) attention. To this end, Kuppusamy set up Adpay Mobile Payment India Pvt. Ltd in Chennai, a mobile payments company and the parent company of Aerovoyce. He knew that Trai was reconsidering MVNO licensing in India after its failed effort to push the communications service in 2008.


Salman SH

Salman has around four years of experience reporting primarily on consumer internet, startups, and the telecom sector. Previously, he worked with the financial newspaper Mint, reporting on startups and consumer internet trends. Prior to this, he worked with MediaNama and NextBigWhat. At The Ken, Salman will look at startups, technology trends, and the government policies shaping up around them. Loud metal, moshpits, and local gigs are he what he lives for.

View Full Profile

Sign up to our India edition to read this story instantly

To sign up, you’ll create an account that will give you access to a new free story published once a week and archive of 214+ previously published free stories from our India edition. You’ll also receive one email every morning from us introducing the day’s story.

If you’ve already signed up, just enter your email below or login using Facebook or Google.