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Entrepreneurship Assignment Innovation By

Submitted By: Akanksha Bharadwaj (11) Allen Meshach (13) Apoorv Prakash (23)

Bharti Airtel is Indias leading telecommunications company and the fifth largest telecom operator in the world. As well as providing mobile services across 19 countries in South Asia and Africa, it offers landline telephone services and broadband Internet access in nearly 100 Indian cities and also has a satellite TV business. Innovation in Business Model: Airtel breakthrough came at the end of 2002, when the management team took the five major steps to renew theirunique business and management model. Airtel will become the first service provider in India to have a comprehensive service delivery platform. Chose to engage some of the well-known global equipment vendors and service providers to ensure quality services. It chose Ericsson, Nokia, and Siemens, which were key telecom network-equipment vendors, to build up and manage its telecom network in a long term partnership arrangement. The IT has been outsourced to IBM. IBM tailored 65 platforms for them and they pay IBM a percentage of their top line and revenue. For customer service and call centres, they have five to six partners who are high quality global partners.If the customer satisfaction goes up, these partners get more fees from Airtel. If it goes down, these partners have to suffer. There is a match box distribution strategy in Indiawherever a match is sold, Airtel's services will also be sold. This made the distribution, the deepest in the world. Local retailers and outlets are the best way of promotion. The passive infrastructure is all open for sharing with other operators.With more operators sharing the infrastructure, the cost of the network operation comes down steadily. Bharti has innovated a management model - the virtual corporation - that has enabled the company to manage an enormous subscriber base and still grow cost effectively Offered point-to-point mobile telecom service that is cheaper than the cost of a postage stamp. Bharti's innovative business model converted fixed costs in capital expenditure to a variable cost based on usage of capacity and revenue from services. Through the outsourcing arrangements, Bharti dramatically lowered its costs while ensuring high quality for customers, since vendors had world-class competencies in their domains.

Product Innovation: Product innovation is another main aspect of Bharti Airtels strategy. They come out with new ideas very frequently. Other innovations include micro-prepaid, e-charging, lifetime prepaid offer. The music, games, hello tunes, was implemented as their product innovation. Indias first mobile wallet service providing 24/7 payment and transfer options was their idea. The Service Delivery Platform is yet another first from Airtel and an important component of our innovation strategy for the integrated One Airtel. Airtel has transformed the telecom structure, Bharati was able to offer additional value added services like "Music Bharati". Though the company does not produce music, it has created another source for revenue by distributing music via caller ring-back tones, mobile radio and music on demand.

Marketing Innovations: They have been successful in exploiting the rural and youth sector of the population. They help the farmers to get commodity prices, agricultural information and help lines for buying fertilizer and pesticide and help them to learn English. Another major step was the IFFCO Green Card a unique system that creates localized content and delivers it to over 50m farmers in their language of preference. About 55 million farmers are going digital, including doctors on call, health care givers, animal husbandry workers, veterinarians, etc. Bharti Airtel has adopted the strategy of direct communications to market its value proposition to rural customers. To make its services accessible, the company provides all of its marketing content in local languages. Vans are used to cover rural areas with staff who educate locals about mobile services and usage. The company has developed a shared phone service called Public Call Offices (PCOs) in rural regions to increase awareness about its brand and services. Bharti Airtel Service Centers have been set up in villages to address customer queries and complaints as well as act as sales and distribution points. These centers employ local people and offer sales and customer services using local dialects. Bharti Airtel has already established over 18,000 service centers in rural India, covering over 400 languages and local dialects. The company plans to expand this network. As for Airtel, innovation has to be based on the customers. It is very difficult to innovate without the help of customers, because the innovation has to start from outside, and then into the company. Knowing the customers' aspirations for the next few years and then innovating the product has been their strategy. They listen to customers and look beyond Airtel customers and even listen to nonAirtel customers too. So they keep it more affordable and widen the reach of their telecom services. Bharti Airtel offers mobile telecom service at 0.1 INR to 0.6 INR per minute, perhaps the lowest in the world. In fact the concept of Airtel Innovation Fund is a pioneering step to promote innovation and help budding entrepreneurs realise their dreams. This initiative was aimed at building the twin pillars of innovation and entrepreneurship to usher in a new wave of entrepreneurs in India. The Airtel Innovation Fund's intent is to provide seed money to entrepreneurs who may not otherwise be able to access funds, and to serve as a vehicle to promote developments in technology, content and software applications in the area of telecommunications In 2010 Bharti made a major move on the international expansion journey by buying Zain Africa and acquiring operations in 15 countries in a $10.7bn deal.It became the worlds most asset light mobile company and by focusing only on the things it does best customer and brand management as well as finance and regulatory affairs it has grown rapidly.