Bombay Gas is essentially a holding company and has two main subsidiaries—Bombay Gas Holdings and Investment Pvt. Ltd, which owns the entire 400-km pipeline network, and Excel Telesonic India Pvt. Ltd, which has a licence from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to lay fibre optic cables.
The resurgence of Bombay Gas. The holding company is in the process of merging Bombay Gas Holdings with Excel to put a simpler business model in place.
After starting operations in 1862 as a British government-owned company, the ownership changed hands in 1947 when businessman K.D. Jalan, who was a part of Soorajmull Nagarmull Co. that managed businesses including jute, tea and engineering, bought out Bombay Gas and The Calcutta Gas Co.
The Jalan family continued active operations of Bombay Gas till 1981; Calcutta Gas was nationalized by the government.
In 1981, Bombay Gas’s licence was cancelled by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) because natural gas was becoming the fuel of choice.
Bombay Gas Co. Ltd was formed in 1862 to provide street lighting and supply gas to households in the island city then known as Bombay.
The company is using its pipeline network that can offer seamless connectivity and broadband coverage to customers of telecom companies. It laid a 400-km pipeline network and distributed coal gas through it. The company faded into oblivion during the city’s transition from Bombay to Mumbai, after 120 years of active operations.
Now, thanks to the Internet and telecom revolution, the company is roaring to back to life, using its pipeline network to lay fibre optic cables that can offer seamless connectivity and broadband coverage to customers of telecom companies. The process started in 2012-13, with India’s third largest telco Idea Cellular Ltd taking on lease fibre capacity in Bombay Gas’s network. And now the company counts the top three telecom firms of India—Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone India Ltd and Idea—among its customers.
It plans to deploy the most dense fibre network in South Mumbai and leverage that to build India’s first full stack carrier’s carrier. The company’s management says it is just the beginning of the resurgence of Bombay Gas and a long road lies ahead.
Bombay Gas’s management, now headed by chairman and managing director Sushil Kumar Jalan, son of K.D. Jalan, is banking on an expected surge in high-speed Internet usage and data consumption that will require huge capacities of fibre optic network. Sterlite Technologies is the biggest supplier of fibre optic cables to the company.
Bombay Gas has an interesting model that can be scaled up from providing simple fibre capacity, called dark fibre, to offering value-added services such as data transfer.
CloudExtel (A Bombay Gas Venture) is an established company providing Fibre Network services for telecom operators in South Mumbai. The parent company has been in existence for decades and has now invested heavily in transitioning their business to the telecom and technology space. Clients & partners include the top telecom operators and equipment vendors in the country.
CloudExtel is building advanced infrastructure as a service solutions like managed backhaul, Small Cell and Shared Microsites, and other initiatives while simultaneously continuing to expand their network to achieve the most dense fibre deployment in the city. These projects are deployed leveraging our unique fiber footprint connected to multiple nodes within urban environments in support of wireless carriers’ aggressive growth requirements.
The company is creating the next generation of shared & modular data delivery for 3G and 4G LTE infrastructure technology, as well as upcoming Carrier WiFi and FTTH offerings from operators. The company management includes well known leaders from the telecom domain with experience across top tier operators, advisory firms and high growth start-ups.