NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, 2007/08/07 - Sugal & Damani, the leading operator of lotteries in India, today reaffirmed its plans for continued international expansion despite being declared the reserved bidder for the third license for UK National Lottery.
The National Lottery Commission recognised Sugal & Damani's bid as "strong" and that the company had met all seven demanding Required Standards identified in the bid process.
The company, which was the only challenging bidder to emerge against the incumbent operator, Camelot Group plc, said it was continuing to pursue lottery bids in various parts of the world including Africa and south Asia. Sugal & Damani intends to grow its presence in the UK in the gaming sector and it is likely to bid again for the National Lottery License after the next 10-year period.
Kamlesh Vijay, chief executive officer said: “Our bid for the UK National Lottery license is proof of the scale of our international ambitions. We will continue to look for opportunities outside India while at the same time developing our businesses in our home market of 1 billion people. We have learned a lot from our experience of bidding in the UK.”
Sugal & Damani put forward ambitious plans for the lottery license including an increase in ticket sales over the 10-year period to £63.9 billion, generating £17.9 billion for good causes and a commitment to contribute any profits above 1 per cent. The company proposed introducing new games, greater facilities and incentives to retailers to arrest downturn and an expansion of sales through mobile phones and other electronic media.
The company had proposed establishing a fully UK-based operation to run the lottery and it would have based its two call centres in the UK.
Mr Vijay said he had been impressed by the way the National Lottery Commission had handled the bidding process. “We felt that we were treated absolutely fairly despite the fact that we were a foreign bidder going up against the incumbent operator,” he commented. “It is nevertheless difficult to dislodge an established company in any market place by virtue of its local presence.”
Sugal & Damani has been running lotteries in India for the past 37 years. It dominates in a truly competitive marketplace and enjoys more than 70 per cent market share in some of the states with up to seven operators. It operates lotteries in all major lottery playing states and handles more than 5 million transactions a day on over 20,000 point-of-sale terminals.
After reaching a dominant position in the Indian lottery market it sees further growth opportunities coming from abroad and from similar ancillary activities. Used to competitive operations, it is still considering possible expansion in the UK through various gaming and ancillary services.
Sugal & Damani employs 350 information technology specialists in India and carries out all of its lottery software design in house. Its systems employ an “open architecture” approach which means that they are compatible with a wide range of hardware and access formats including mobile phones.
Apart from its lottery operations, Sugal & Damani also has businesses in travel and tourism, jewellery, engineering and leasing and finance. Group turnover is more than INR 59.7 billion (GBP 695 million) and it employs a total of 700 people. It supports an extensive philanthropic programme in India embracing medical care and education.
Sugal & Damani had teamed up with a set of 18 powerful international & UK based partners, who are leaders in the their own domain, in its bid to win the lottery licence. Shareholders in the bid consortium are Sugal & Damani Lottery Agency Pvt Ltd; Deutsche Bank, which has also committed debt financing; Financial Technologies Ltd, an operator of commodity exchanges; and Gopsons Papers, a security printer.