Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal salutes winning team, reveals growth strategy

Airtel India CEO Gopal Vittal has shared a letter with the company team members ahead of the second anniversary of free offers from Reliance Jio in India.
Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal on 4G
The letter explains the company’s success in the Indian telecom market despite competition from Reliance Jio and other rivals.

Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Jio started offering free services in September 2016 and tried to take on Sunil Mittal promoted Bharti Airtel, Kumar Mangalam Birla promoted Idea Cellular and Vodafone Group of the UK.

Telenor Group, Tata Teleservices, Videocon, Reliance Communications and Aircel gave way creating a 3+1 telecom market.

Gopal Vittal indicated that Airtel’s 12-member team had a special meeting at Airtel Centre in Gurgaon on August 30, 2016 to discuss action plan to take on competition.

“Twelve of us were in our war room. To discuss what it would take for us to remain winners in the market, to win the hearts of our customers. On the second anniversary of that day, let me share with you where we are on this exciting journey,” Gopal Vittal said.

Telecom industry in 2016-18

# Free services for several months
# Destruction of over INR 50,000 crore of industry revenue
# Write off of over INR 100,000 crore of assets
# Hundreds of thousands of jobs lost
# Merger of the Number 2 and 3 player
# Customers speak for 650 minutes a month – 1.5x more than earlier
# Use 9 GB of data a month – 9x more than earlier

Airtel said its churn is at a historic low of less than 3 percent. Airtel’s Capex has grown from a high of INR 16,000 crore to INR 24,000 crore, largely covered by operational cash flows in India.

Airtel network team has doubled the network in two years — managing 14x volume growth from 2 Peta Bytes per day to 28 Peta Bytes per day.

Airtel’s marketing and innovation team has played a major role in making Wynk Music the #1 music streaming App in India. Airtel TV has over 50 Million customers. My Airtel is amongst India’s largest online channels.

Airtel India’s non-wireless business team has added over INR 2,600 crore of incremental revenue in 2 years. This has built stronger relationships with customers and helped cushion the pressures in the wireless business.

Airtel India’s digitization and customer team have assisted the telecom operator in improving customer experience in Networks, in Sales and Customer Care. Airtel said its calls to customer care team fell by 60 percent.

Airtel India’s operations team managed the entire show winning the customers in a tough market.

Airtel said the finance and supply chain team was instrumental in cutting INR 5000 crore of wasteful expenditure from the company and rebasing cost structure. Airtel India manages 300 plus million customers with 1.2 million retailers.

The next challenge for Airtel is the growth of Reliance Jio. Reliance Jio gained share across telecom circles in June 2018 and has over 20 percent of subscribers in nine circles our 22 in India.

Baburajan K