We began with the knowledge that mobile telephony had a great potential in India. And after witnessing the unprecedented growth, scale and transformational impact mobile services has had on the Indian telecom landscape, Airtel is truly proud to have been at the forefront of this story!
We were among the pioneers that connected India through an exceptional mobile network. Our honest efforts gained the trust of a steadily increasing customer share, as the country grew in its acceptance and usage of mobile communication. Our transformational and unique ‘outsourcing based business model’ allowed us to take our services to the masses. We witnessed the boom in Indian telecom industry and became a major player, reaching the pinnacle as India’s preferred telecom service provider, and staying there for years. Our focus on customer demand and a constant stream of product innovations - from Hello Tunes to Lifetime Prepaid - played an important role in this growth journey of ours.
As one of the earliest entrants in this market, we have had privilege of working with some of the biggest names in global telecom like BT, Telecom Italia, Vivendi, Singtel, among others; and each of our partners reaped handsome rewards in Airtel’s overall journey towards success! Over the years, the Airtel family grew as well. We have always had a culture of empowering our people. We put in place a process that has seen the company transform from an entrepreneur-led professional-backed company to a professional-led entrepreneurbacked entity.
Our offerings grew as well, and new customers arrived and stayed on for a lifetime. We became much more than just a mobile operator – with our broadband service, Direct-to-Home (DTH) service, Digital Payments Bank (Airtel Payments) & Airtel Business among others. We expanded our presence with Airtel Africa, turning around the entity into a profitable one today.
We began strong 25 years ago as one of India’s telecom service providers, and year after year we deepened our roots and grew synonymous with quality telecom connectivity in India.
WE HAVE BEEN GOING STRONG IN THESE TWO AND A HALF DECADES.
Even in the recent period of turbulence, we have been able to defend our ground by holding on to the market share.
Telecom price-wars changed the landscape of the industry we have known and operated in till date. While the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues have caused significant distress in business sustainability for industry players, we managed to raise more than USD 8 billion over the year through rights issue, Airtel Africa IPO, perpetual bond, QIP and FCCB. This speaks volumes about the support of investors and their trust in our capabilities.
The Indian telecom industry is now at a crucial transformational stage. From multiple players trying to claim shares of the market, now, after extensive consolidations, we have entered a 3+1 player arena. Yet, if our journey till date is any indication, we are confident about holding our ground.
The momentum has now shifted towards data, led by 4G services, although voice will continue to grow in underpenetrated areas in rural India. Mobile devices with high speed mobile internet are now a lifestyle enabler delivering services from banking, commerce to education and healthcare, and 4G networks are now accelerating India’s journey towards becoming a digitally integrated economy. As smartphones are becoming more affordable, the uptake of data services is increasing; for Airtel, data services are growing manifolds every year and we expect this trend to sustain.
In other words, we have another massive revolution in the making and we are once again proud to be at the forefront of it. After 25 years of being a strong industry player, our roots are now deep and resilient enough to withstand the challenges on the way forward. Our innovative team is focused on shaping our future, undeterred by any stumbling blocks on the way. Our global investor base has also shown immense confidence in our potential. And our millions of loyal customers trust us enough to know that we will be accomplishing many more milestones going ahead.