Company Snapshot: Airtel

  • Jun 7th, 2017

About the company:

  • Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with a subscriber base of 342 million and market capital of 200 million. It’s operation is spread in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. The company is headquartered in New Delhi, India and is ranked amongst the top 3 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers.
  • The company has 14 circle offices in India in the year 2015-16.
  • Airtel is India’s first Open Network, which have set a new benchmark of transparency for the industry. In the year, 2015-16 it expanded its 4G footprint to nearly 400 cities and towns, making it the widest 4G network in India. During the year, Airtel have also completed one of the largest site deployment initiatives in the world rolling out over 87,000 new sites. Airtel also have the honour of being India’s first company to receive a payments bank license from the Reserve Bank of India.


Bombay Stock Exchange Limited (BSE) 
National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE)

Stock exchange symbol

BSE – 532454

Value Enablers:

Value Enablers

About the Customers: Data customers accounted for 23.2% of our total customer base in India, the corresponding ratio for Africa stood at 19.6% at the end of the year. Similarly, the share of data revenues in total revenues stood at 23.3% and 15.6% in India and Africa, respectively.

Customer base

India: 273,648,000 GSM mobile; 2,129,000 –Homes customers and 12,815,000- Digital TV Services
(status as on March 31, 2017)
Africa: 80,061,000 GSM mobile customers, SA: 1,964,000 mobile customers
(status as on March 31, 2017)

More about the customers: http://www.airtel.in/airtel-annual-report-2015-16/touching-lives.html#


  • 1984, Sunil Mittal started assembling push-button phones in India, which he used to first import from Kingtel, a Taiwan Company and then later he started importing and manufacturing from Siemens AG of Germany.
  • 1990, the company have become an initial hit. Bharti had also started making fax machines, cordless phones and other telecom gear  First push-button phones was introduced and named as 'Mitbrau'.
  • 1992, Successfully bid for one of the four mobile phone network licences in India.
  • 1994, Government approved the plan of Delhi cellular License and the company started operations on Delhi.
  • 1995, Bharti Cellular Limited (BCL) was formed to offer cellular services under the brand name AirTel.
  • 2002, Bharti Enterprises went public and the company was listed on Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India.

Key People:

Chairman: Sunil Bharti Mittal

MD & CEO(India & South Asia): Gopal Vittal

Executive Chaiman(Africa): Christian de Faria

Employee Base: 24,940

India- 19,523

South Asia- 646

Africa- 4,771

Product Portfolio: In India, the company's product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high-speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services, and mobile commerce.

1)      Mobile services:

  • First to launch 4G in India
  • Pocket-friendly data packs
  • Seamless 3G connectivity
  • Wide range of plans to choose from

Income(Rs. in Millions)

India- 560,818

South Asia-16,454


2)      Tower Infrastructure-

  • One of the world’s largest passive infrastructure providers
  • 88,808+ towers (including proportionate share of Indus Towers)

Income(Rs. in Millions)- 56,173

3)      Tele-Media-

  • Landline
    • Attractive plans and offers
    • Highly reliable service
    • 24/7 online support
    • Value added services
  • Internet
    • Superior connectivity
    • Tailor-made plans
    • High-speed internet access
    • Value added services

Income(Rs. in Millions)- 47,609

4)      Digital TV

  • Superior digital picture quality
  • Dolby digital sound
  • HD channels
  • Universal remote
  • 330+ channels
  • Interactive services

Income(Rs. in Millions)- 29,178

5)      Airtel Business:

  • Diverse portfolio of services - voice, data, video, network integration, data centers, managed services, enterprise mobility applications and digital media
  • Strategically located submarine cables and satellite network
  • Global network running across 225,000 Rkms, covering 50 countries and 5 continents

Income(Rs. in Millions)- 78,033

Global Revenue: Rs. 965.3Bn

Last 5 years of Financial Progress:

Last 5 years of Financial Progress

Acquired & Sold:

  • Initial Acquisitions:
    • 1999- JT Holdings and extended cellular operations to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh
    • 2000- acquired control Skycell Communications in Chennai
    • 2001- acquired control of Spice Cell in Calcutta
    • 2004- acquired control of Hexacom and entered Rajasthan.
  • Main Acquisition:
    • June 2010, Bharti acquired the African business of Zain Telecom for $10.7 billion making it the largest-ever acquisition by an Indian telecom firm.
  • Acquired & Sold list of last 3 years:
    • May 2013, Acquired Warid Telecom Uganda, first in-country acquisition in Africa
    • June 2013, Qatar Foundation Endowment invests Rs.67,956 Mn for 5% equity stake
    • March 2014, Acquired 100% stake in Warid Congo Brazzaville
    • August 2014, Successful completion of offer for the sale of 4.5% of Bharti Infratel Ltd. for a total consideration of over Rs. 21,000 Mn
    •                                 Acquired 2.55 Mn yuMobile customers in Kenya
    • February 2015, Successful completion of Secondary Sale of 55 Mn shares of Bharti Infratel Ltd for a total consideration of over Rs.19,250 Mn
    • June 2015, Signed an agreement to acquire 100% equity stake in Augere Wireless Broadband India.
    • March 2016, Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited agreed to acquire 19.90% of the paid-up capital of Airtel Payments Bank Limited.


  • Domestic Competitors:
    • Jio: Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, or Jio, is an LTE mobile network operator in India. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries headquartered in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra that provides wireless 4G LTE service network (without 2G/3G based services) and is the only 'VoLTE-only' (Voice over LTE) operator in the country which lacks legacy network support of 2G and 3G, with coverage across all 22 telecom circles in India. It is the world’s largest data network with twice more 4G base stations than all Indian operators combined.  
      The 4G services were launched internally to Jio's partners, its staff and their families of around 35,000 people who are connected to 1000 locations on 27 December 2015. Where the commercial launch was on 5th Sept,2016. Within the first month of commercial operations, Jio announced that it had acquired 16 million subscribers. This is the fastest ramp-up by any mobile network operator anywhere in the world. Jio crossed 50 million subscriber mark in 83 days since its launch. Jio crossed 100 million subscribers on 22 February 2017.
    • Tata Communications: Headquartered in Mumbai and Singapore, it has more than 8500 employees across 38 countries. The $2.9 billion company is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India and is the flagship telecoms arm of the $103.3 billion Tata Group. Tata Communications’ services portfolio includes predictable high-speed connections and global MPLS virtual private networks, Telepresence services, DDoS mitigation and detection service, content delivery networks and cloud offerings. It is one of the subsidiaries of Tata group out of 100 companies, whose in market value is more than 100 Billion.
    • Idea-Vodafone:
      • Idea: Idea is an Indian mobile network operator based in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Idea is a pan-India integrated GSM operator offering 2G, 3G and 4G mobile services. Idea is India’s third largest mobile operator by subscriber base. Idea has 191 million subscribers as of 31 December 2016.
      • Vodafone: Vodafone is a British multinational telecommunications company, with headquarters in London. It predominantly operates services in the regions of Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. Now the company have more than 400 million customers around the world with an operating network in around 30 countries and partner with networks in over 50 more.

About the Merger:

About the Merger


  • Global Competitors:
    • MTN: MTN is one of the largest competitors of Airtel in Africa. Even telecoms giants like JIO and Airtel itself has approached to MTN for acquisitions. MTN Group or Mobile Telephone Networks Group, is a South Africa-based multinational mobile telecommunications company, operating in many African, and Middle East countries. Its head office is in Johannesburg. MTN recorded 230 million subscribers across its operations in over 24 countries, where One-third of its revenues come from Nigeria, where it holds about 35% market share.




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