Bharti Airtel Limited and the Indian Telecom Sector

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR300
Case Length : 21 Pages
Period : 2005-2008
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Bharti Airtel Ltd.
Industry : Telecom
Countries : India; Global

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"Brands entering India must understand that ubiquity in diversity is an inherent dynamic of the market. Marketers must always be ready to unlearn and re-imagine their mobile strategies to succeed in India!"1

- Manish Sinha, Planning Director, Digital & New Media, BatesAsia2, in 2008.

"Sunil [Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Airtel Limited] has built an incredibly successful business from scratch, one which has had a truly transformational impact on our industry, on the customers he serves and on India's economy. His brave and ambitious strategies will continue to resonate across the country, our industry, and the business community globally, becoming a benchmark for emerging markets worldwide."3

- Craig Ehrlich, Chairman, GSM Association4, in February 2008.

Emerging Market Champion

On February 13, 2008, Bharti Airtel Limited (BAL), the leading telecommunications (telecom) company in India, crossed the 60-million customer mark.5

BAL had crossed the crucial 50 million subscriber mark in the fourth quarter of 2007 and had become the tenth largest telecom company in the world in terms of subscriber base.6 (Refer to Exhibit I for the world's top 10 wireless telecom operators) The wireless segment constituted 96% of BAL's total customer base.

Bharti Airtel Limited and the Indian Telecom Sector - Next Page>>

1] Manish Sinha, "Segmenting India's Mobile Market,", March 18, 2008.
2] BatesAsia is a brand consultancy firm focused on the Asian market.
3] "Sunil Bharti Mittal Awarded Global Telecom Sector's Highest Honour,", February 13, 2008.
4] The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade association representing over 700 GSM mobile phone operators across the world. GSM (acronym for Global System for Mobile Communications) is the most popular mobile telecommunications standard used in the world.
5] "Bharti Airtel Crosses 60mn Customer Mark,", February 13, 2008.
6] Darpana Kutty, "Bharti Airtel among Top 10 Global Telecom Majors; Plans to Enter DTH,", October 1, 2007.

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