CEO’s Message

Despite these harrowing circumstances, everyone in Airtel has stayed true to our purpose of serving customers. They have done all they could do to keep the nation connected. For this, I am enormously grateful. I am proud that our services are the digital oxygen that has kept the country going by enabling people to work, study, consult doctors, help others and be entertained.

 

Dear Shareholders,

 

The Financial Year 2020-21 has been unprecedented. The devastation caused by the pandemic has been a source of deep pain all around. Many of our families and friends have been deeply impacted by this. Our people too have faced the brunt of COVID-19.

 

Despite these harrowing circumstances, everyone in Airtel has stayed true to our purpose of serving customers. They have done all they could do to keep the nation connected. For this, I am enormously grateful. I am proud that our services are the digital oxygen that has kept the country going by enabling people to work, study, consult doctors, help others and be entertained.

 

At Airtel, our strategy remains simple and consistent. A relentless obsession with customer experience and a razor‑sharp focus on quality customers. There are four enablers to these choices. The first is digitising the core to improve experience. Second, modularising our capabilities to drive new revenue streams through products and partnerships. Third, bringing together the power of Airtel through a unified customer view and integrated channel approach. And fourth, doing all of this with financial discipline while waging a war on


waste. This strategy is the thread that ties all our businesses together and creates alignment and cohesion across teams.


Quality Customers

 

We have a relentless focus on acquiring and retaining quality customers, which is reflected in our best-in-class ARPU. Over the last year, we added 43 million 4G customers to our mobile network. The Broadband business has grown to over 3 million customers on the back of strong demand for home broadband. Our DTH and Enterprise businesses have continued to outperform competition and we have grown market share. All of this has enabled our brand to become the most aspirational and highly trusted in the country. Going forward, our recently acquired sub-GHz spectrum will enable us to cover 90 million additional customers across the country. Further, we have relationships with majority of the 50 million high-value homes in India through at least one of our services – Post-paid, DTH or Broadband. We plan to bring the full power of Airtel to the home by bringing all our services together for the customer.

 

Customer Experience

 

Delivering a superior experience to our customers is the cornerstone of our strategy. We continue to invest in strengthening the foundational components of experience in the customer lifecycle – search, discover, purchase, onboard, experience and refer. As part of the customer’s search and discover journey, we are focused on omni-channel acquisition across all businesses to provide a truly differentiated and unified One Airtel experience. For seamless purchase and onboarding on our platform, we have integrated our channels across businesses to leverage the full power of Airtel. Lastly, we continue to strengthen our spectrum footprint across sub‑GHz, mid-band, and capacity bands, enabling us to deliver the best customer experience across the country. We added more than 22,000 sites and 20,000 km of optical fiber network during the year, further strengthening our core and transport infrastructure. We have developed state-of the- art digital tools to help us proactively fix experience issues in a granular and real-time manner. Moreover, we conclusively demonstrated future-readiness of our networks with our announcement of 5G ready network during the year.

 

Digital Platforms

 

We have reached a significant milestone, crossing the 200 million Monthly Active Users mark across our digital assets. This scale is the foundation of our digital flywheel that does three things. First, it allows us to become more efficient and deliver a better omni-channel experience on the core business. Every customer journey is being reimagined and delivered in an omni-channel way. Second, it helps us to build new revenue streams on our foundational strengths of Data, Payments, Distribution and Network. These strengths are now translating into differentiated products that solve real customer problems. Every one of these services, be it Airtel Ads, Airtel IQ or Airtel Secure is being delivered to our customers at minimal capex. Finally, it leads to the creation of an ecosystem of powerful partnerships that leverage these foundational strengths.

 

War on Waste

 

Our focus on stripping out waste remains steadfast. As a result, our margins continue to improve. We will continue to sweat our assets to the optimum level and drive structured collaboration with our partners to attack costs, while reducing complexity in our processes through re‑engineering and digitisation.

 

At the end, as we continue to strive to create value for our customers and other stakeholders, we are ever more focused on our responsibility to the environment and our obligation to society. Our Integrated Report spells out our initiatives for environment sustainability and community development. We have been ahead of the curve in embracing green energy to power our networks and data centres and have made massive progress in reducing our carbon footprint. We are aligned to GSMA’s commitment to transform the global mobile industry to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Bharti Foundation has been doing remarkable work to improve the accessibility and quality of education across rural India, with a special focus on the girl child. These initiatives have made our corporate citizenship more meaningful.

 

In closing, I would like to thank our customers, our people, our partners and our shareholders for their support and faith in us. We seek your continued guidance in our journey.