|In May 2001, The Prepaid Company (TPC), a subsidiary of Blue Label Investments (BLI), was granted a national licence to distribute Telkom fixed line prepaid cards. From humble beginnings, BLI soon realized the strategic imperative of developing and "owning" an extensive distribution network through which it could distribute large volumes of secure electronic tokens of value, differentiated mainly by product type, numerous mechanisms of distribution and the geographic locality of the point of sale.
In 2003, the BLI acquired a 35% stake in Oxigen India, a company that was primarily focused on the electronic distribution of prepaid airtime for Indian telecom operators. Today Oxigen is India's leading IT enabled multi services platform and virtual distributor of recharges, prepaid subscriptions and bill payments. This includes the electronic distribution of prepaid and postpaid airtime for the continents leading telecom operators.
Prior to its listing in the Telecoms sector on the Main Board of the JSE Limited in November 2007, BLI was restructured around its core telephony assets and renamed Blue Label Telecoms. On the 7th November 2007, Blue Label Telecoms and Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) announced Microsoft's acquisition of a 12% equity stake in Blue Label Telecoms and the signing of strategic collaboration agreements to jointly pursue preferred partnership initiatives in developing economies.
In January 2008, Blue Label Telecoms and Microsoft announced their first preferred partnership initiative as Microsoft acquired a 38.85% stake in Oxigen India and Blue Label Telecoms increased its initial stake to 38.85%.
Through its local footprint of touch points which extends to the foremost retailers, petroleum forecourts, independent retailers and wholesalers in South Africa, Blue Label Telecoms has evolved into a super distributor of virtual and physical prepaid airtime and telephony products for South Africa's mobile and fixed line telecoms operators.