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Group C4

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Marketing Orientation


Value Chain




Industry and Competitive



Customer Relationships



Macro Environment Factors



Marketing Research



Consumer Behaviour









Product Life Cycle



Competitive Marketing





Bharti Airtel Limited is an Indian global telecommunications services company that is based in New
Delhi, India. Since its humble beginnings in the Indian telecom industry in 1986 when it was founded by
Sunil Bharti Mittal, the company has seen exponential growth. This growth has been a result of its
operational efficiency, consistent focus on innovation and its marketing orientation.
Sunil Bharti Mittal laid the ground work for the mobile operations of the company in the year 1992.
It began operations in Delhi in the year 1995 as Bharti Tele-Ventures. In the year 2003, all of the
mobile telecom ventures were rebranded under a single umbrella brand named Airtel.
In 2004, Airtel went ballistic with glitzy ideas. Their theme song by world renowned composer AR
Rahman was an instant hit with subscribers. This tune went on to make a unique place in Airtels
history. In 2010, the company rebranded itself with a new logo(airtel) and a new theme song with
the aim to establish a global identity.
While in the past Airtel had big names such as cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, and Bollywood
celebrities Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, and Saif Ali Khan as Brand ambassadors, the
company now has youngsters such as RakulPreet Singh and Sasha Chettri in their marketing
campaigns to establish a brand connect 1.
Today, the company offers various products such as 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, High Speed
Internet, Fixed line telephony and DTH services. In a span of 20 years, the company went from
offering mobile telephony services in one city in India to expanding its operations in over 20
countries. Its is the top ranked telecom service provider in India and is among the top three mobile
service providers globally in terms on subscribers.
In the year 2015-16 Airtel bolstered their operating efficiencies, margins and revenue market share
significantly in India. The company embarked upon their ambitious Project Leap to radically transform
their network in India; and undertook one of their largest sites deployment initiatives, rolling out over
87,000 sites. Not just that, Airtel also unveiled Indias first Open Network, setting a new benchmark of
transparency for the industry2. The aim has been to allow customers to evaluate their capabilities, see their
commitment, even partner them in building a great network.
Project Leap
Project Leap will enable Airtel to take a decisive lead in delivering a differentiated customer experience.
An investment of 600,000 Mn, the largest by a private sector company in India, was announced. It will
help them build a smart and dynamic communication architecture to improve customer experience
through high quality voice and data experience across India2.
Open Initiative Network
With the Open Initiative Network, all network information such as coverage, site details, and signal
strength is made available to customers. Complaints can be lodged for poor service. Through this portal,
customers can have towers erected in the vicinity of their location2.
World Class Service Operations
Airtel plans to invest in Self Optimizing Networks(SON) for automatic network optimization, geo spatial
network tools for targeted network planning, capacity enhancements, Customer Experience Management
(CEM) as well as software defined networks that will dramatically improve customer experience2.

myPlan Family
The first ever family share plan by an Indian telecom operator with sharing starting at ` 99 only. The
entire family can share data, voice and SMSes and roaming benefits. This industry first initiative gifts a
unique power of flexibility to the customer.
Pre on Post
Pre on post is another industry first. A person who has a corporate account can simply do a prepaid data
recharge on the corporate number. Pre on post is simple; one can recharge anywhere like a prepaid
number with no additional documentation required. Over 100,000 customers have endorsed this
refreshing idea.
4G Rollout
Airtel partnered with Flipkart and Samsung to bundle 4G SIMs in the 4G handset boxes, an industry first.
Through these alliances, they were able to cover SIM deliveries to roughly 70% of the 4G smartphone
buyers in the country. This resulted in 20-25% of the bundled SIMs getting activated, despite going to
non-Airtel customers and also helped to accelerate the 4G adoption process.
Transforming Retail Customer Experience
Over the last few years, the Airtel Retail Stores have established a unique relationship with customers.
Currently, there are approximately 3,000 stores, spanning 650 cities with approximately 8,000 Customer
Relationship Officers deployed to serve customers. These stores serve postpaid and prepaid customers,
and have played an instrumental role in postpaid myPlan penetration.

Existing and Prospective Markets

Bharti Airtel has over 342 customers worldwide. Airtel being the largest telecom service provider in India
has presence in the market across the country. It also has operations in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Africa and
the Channel Islands primarily, but has commercial presence in 20 countries.
It has operations in seventeen countries in the African continent; Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic
Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger,
Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. It also has operations in the
British Crown Dependency islands of Jersey and Guernsey, under the brand name Airtel-Vodafone,
through an agreement with Vodafone3.
In the year 2015-16 Airtel entered into an exclusive discussion with Axiata Group to explore the
possibility of combining the business operations of their subsidiaries in Bangladesh, namely, Robi
The Company also concluded the sale of about 9,000 telecom towers in eight African countries. Total
proceeds from all the concluded transactions is over USD 1.8 Bn. Signed Pan-African agreement with
Liquid Telecom to provide fiber connectivity to towers. Telecommunications continues to change the face
of the African continent by providing an enabling environment for inclusion. Today, Airtel is bringing
this technology to more than 80 Mn people across the continent.2


Primary Activities8
Under the primary activities, the main activities which give Bharti Airtel a competitive edge are:

Finance for
and setup of
Setting up
with third
Software and
required to
operate the
Value added
providers of
games, music




Develop and
expand the
software to
Develop the
sim cards
Develop the
Use the Mobile
center to divert
traffic to mobile
or fixed
networks to
economies of

& Sales



Strong SIM
First mover in
better products
Introducion of
new services to
match the
Sales force
tied to profit
and not
about latest

Coverage area
of each airtel
assistance for
broad band
Duplicate Sim
Strong supplier
channel for
repairable parts
Opening new
outlets in new

Support Activities


Tower setup, IT
stations and
equipment, ERP
and various
software to assist
in operations


Hiring of
IT skilled workforce
Telecom operators,
customer support
personnel and their
training program.
Expertise in
recruiting the retail
staff and quality of
their training.
Recruiting best in
business leaders to
take the company


Development of
various VAS
Introduction of
mCheck to enable
consumers do
mobile commerce.
Investing in R &
D. Creating and
setting up of 3G
network with new
licenses coming in.


High initial
required to setup
distribution towers
and network
stations. Long term
contract with third
parties are
required. Strong
Supply Chain
Network is
required to enable
continuous supply
of handsets
andSIM cards

A company can create value through a cost advantage or product differentiation. The activities in the
value chain are dependent. Linkages may exist between activities. Airtel seeks to create value through
diversification by moving across businesses that share both operational and corporate relatedness.

Cost Advantage7
Airtel is expected to reduce the cost by optimum sharing of resources. The existing services of Airtel is
provided at a very competitive rate. The company has announced to nullify the threat from reliance Jio in
internet services(3g,4g) by slashing their tariff rate so as to expand their company base. They leverage the
existing technological platforms to extend services for a new product. As an example, the cables for a
telephone connection provided by Airtel can be used to provide broadband service to the customer
without any significant change in infrastructure. The skills required from the technicians are also not very
different and thus economies of scale are quite possible.

Product differentiation
Offering in VAS: Airtel has separate value added services for consumers and business enterprises. And
other services such as providing online space for storing media, also editing and sharing them. It also
provides free software and updates on rental basis. M-Commerce: Airtel has also idea for introducing m
commerce as one of its value added service. Because still 80 to 85 percent of population is looking for
financial transactions using mobile technology

Airtels Business Strategy evolution:
For the first few years, Bharti Airtel followed a very similar growth strategy to other mobile operators
around the world15

buying licenses
building networks
growing support activities such as customer care
billing and network operation
building its brand
offering competitive tariffs and the latest phones, and so steadily gaining more customers.

This model was specifically driven from subscribers end. Since there was no prior infrastructure
available for these services, the initial investment was quite huge. Companies were willing to set up the
network in only selective areas, where there were subscribers available who could pay them the decent
amount of call charges, which would be justifiable, since the initial capital investment was large. This
served the company well, but did not significantly differentiate it in the market or give it any major
competitive advantage over its peers.
Major strategic change: Birth of Minutes Factory Model in year 2001-0217.
Bharti Airtel decentralized the original business model. They outsourced the non-core areas of business,
like network planning/optimization and IT backbone to third parties. These allowed Bharti to convert its
fixed costs to floating costs and focus only on its core areas of marketing, sales and finance.

Outsourcing business operations to other companies

Image courtesy: - Bharti Management Presentation

Bharti was able to target millions of prepaid customers that the subscriber-led model didnt allow it to.
This allowed it to invest a certain minimum amount to set up a network that can handle a threshold level
of calls and then wait for the usage to build. Only when usage started increasing did Bharti invest more in
the network. The network growth now depended on the usage demands (minutes), which was earlier
dependent on the subscriber capability to pay.
The beauty of the Minutes Factory is that it can add small capacities fairly rapidly and economically. The
speed is achieved because each partner is a specialist and can do its bit better than anyone to
manufacture the minutes. Financially this works because Bharti doesnt have to invest in equipment and
towers in advance.

Bharti Airtels Minutes Factory model to build high usage customer base profitably

Image courtesy: - Bharti Management Presentation


Bharti Airtels evolving outsourcing strategy (Reverse outsourcing since 2014):

As the company has attained maturity over the years, it has now started thinking of managing more parts
of their IT operations in house. This has helped the company to utilize its networks better, cut costs and
helped them to increase margins. For this to happen, Airtel has revamped its contract with its outsourcing
Airtels Marketing Strategy5:

Segmentation: Airtel uses mix of segmentation strategies to segment its offerings like basic Call
/SMS plans, prepaid / Post-paid plans, VAS Data, caller tunes etc. Apart from geographically
segmenting the market in East, West, North, South & central, the market is also segmented in
each region on the basis of demographic variables like age, Income, Social groups.
Airtel has targeted the generation Z of 15-25 ages, generation X & baby Boomers by using
different campaigns over the period of time i.e. campaign like HarEk friend Jarurihotahai/ Jo
terahai wo merahai to target Gen Z and recently launched campaign of one touch internet
targeting Gen X & baby boomers.

Brand building: Airtel has been successful in top-of-the-mind recall amongst cellular phone
users and is enjoying a leadership position in most markets. After changing its logo, it has
repositioned itself as Young, Energetic & International brand. It has evolved itself as a torch
bearer of the telecom industry in India with an extensive distribution system & as high as 300+
million subscribers.

Long-term outlook: Providing voice transfer in telecom business has become an outdated model
now. Data transfer is the idea in which all telecom players are concentrating now. Airtel leads all
other players in providing this data transfer right from the time it started with its GPRS service
for mobile phones and now the largest private player to provide the new 3G service. Airtel also
has expanded its business by entering the broadband service as a part of its forward integration.

Customer care: In 2015, Project Leap by Airtel, took the first brave step in building a truly
transparent network. It is an open sharing platform that gives each customer access to companys
tower maps, its weak spots, its strong signal zones, high- speed internet and more.
Bharti Airtel launched a campaign featuring disgruntled consumers complaining about poor
network, call drops and lack of connectivity, among other things. But the telecom companys
effort to be transparent about its coverage, and convey its commitment, seems to have struck a
chord with consumers. Airtel customers can check the location of mobile towers and signal
strength in their vicinity through a mobile app or website and tell the company about network
problems.It will help the brand establish a strong connect with customers.


Porters five forces model

All the competition in telecom industry is to serve a large customer base. They are in a race to
capture large market share. This is a right choice for the companies as growth in market share
means growth in the companys revenue share as these companies are here to serve to mass market
and make more money using economies of scale16.
Industry Rivalry: Bharti Airtel has strong rivals in telecommunication sector of India like BSNL and
Vodafone. Initially, it had only two competitors but now this figure has jumped to more than ten. All
these companies are providing similar services with the same capabilities. Although it has enhanced its
investment in last few years and working hard to expand its network yet the presence of strong
competitors is a major threat for its successful survival.


Of late the impact made by newer companies has led to a major price war among all the players. Recent
statistics show that the minutes were being sold by the companies at 60p in 2008 but now, are being sold
at 35p. Competitors of Airtel are flanking it from the side by trying out newer ways to woo the customer.
Recently Reliance Jio announcement of its new 4G service at a cheapest value at Rs.50 per Gigabyte has
eroded Bharti Airtel, Idea market value. While Bharti Airtel fell 9% to Rs302, Idea Cellular fell 9.1% to
Rs85. This has triggered a price war where all companies are now cutting tariff to woo customers.
Buyers Power: Telecom in the present day holds low brand loyalty and brand switching is becoming
more and more a norm. This is more rampant as the clearance of free transfer of number while changing
the service takes place (Mobile Number Portability). The competition now mostly depends on prices as
the services offered are similar across all operators. Also buyers want more and more value added
services at a cheaper rate. Hence the companies have started focusing on Customers Delight and not on
Customer Satisfaction.
Potential Entrants: Since current telecom technologies involve heavy capital investment so chances of
success for new entrants are very limited. Still it is seen that few new entrants like Uninor is growing
rapidly and its concept of variable pricing has created ripples in market and is a serious contender to
become the industry standard.
Threat of Substitutes: In the recent years with the advent of internet into the domain of mobile has
changed the view of industry. As high speed internet is made available on the mobile phones the role of
phone calls and short messaging services has diminished which were major sources of revenue for the
telecom companies in India. The use of software like SKYPE and WhatsApp is the order of the day. This
has created a new theatre for the telecom companies to look into for revenue generation because if they
are not prepared the losses due to the inclusion of internet based communication devices would be a lot.
Thats why now the companies are more focusing on cheap internet based plans for its 3G/4G services.
Suppliers Power: As far as the suppliers are concerned, the pros and cons to all service providers are
equal that may be in human resource or products. The Suppliers are mainly network Supplier, Tower
service providers and handset providers. Since there are limited network equipment providers (like Nokia
Siemens, Ericsson,etc.) whose bargaining power is high, it may impact growth plan of company if the
supply is not smooth. Similarly, bargaining power for Tower providers is high as coverage remains a
problem for companies. But bargaining power for Handset suppliers is quite low as there is a big
competition among them16.
Industry Rivalry
Buyers Power
Suppliers Power
Threat of Substitute
Potential Entrant




Conclusion: We may conclude that the presence of rivals is the main area that needs the companys
managements attention. Company may follow the strategy of horizontal integration by taking the
decision of merger or acquisition with any of its rivals. The leader should offer special packages and
value added services to maintain its customer base. And the companys focus should be on new
technology (like 3G/4G) services and winning price war among its competitors.

Airtel is the third company in the world to reach 100 million subscribers mark in a single country. It
plans to reach 200 million users in the near future with a focus on rural population. 4G and MNP would
prove to be catalyst for this growth. This type of growth and commitment requires loyal customers who
would be ready to accept Airtel. So a strong relationship between the company and customers, needs to be
Mission of company
Hunger to win customers for life.
Vision of the Company
Our vision is to enrich the lives of our customers. Our obsession is to win customers for life through an
exceptional experience

They are trying to meet global standards for telecom service that delights customers through
1.Customer Service Focus
2. Empowered Employees
3. Innovative Services
4. Cost Efficiency
We at Airtel always think in fresh and innovative ways about the needs of our customer and how we
want them to feel. We deliver what we promise and go out of our way to delight our customers with little
bit more. MrRajvinder Singh, Sales Head, Airtel Ahmedabad.
To achieve this and to give customers a little bit more, the company has worked a lot for CRM. It has
made sure that the waiting time in queue for Airtel is low compared to other companies. It has made the
system just like its customers want.
Strategies adopted by Airtel to build a strong CRM:

Offer multiple telecommunications service to provide customers with a one stop solution
Focus on satisfying and retaining customers by ensuring high level of customer satisfaction
Technology from world leaders
Service guarantee
Value added services
World class customer care

Key Relationship Management

Relationships arent built and sustained through direct emails, rather they are built on the types of
programs that are available, for which email may be a delivery mechanism. The overall goal of
relationship program is to deliver a higher level of customer satisfaction than competing firms deliver.
Managers today realize that customers match realizations and expectations of product performance, and
that it is critical for them to deliver such performance at higher levels as expectations increase due to

competition, market communications, and changing customer needs. In addition, there is a strong and
positive relationship between customer satisfaction and profits.
A comprehensive set of relationship building process includes:

Customer service
Frequency/loyalty programs
Reward programs
Community building


Demographic- 2, 41

India enjoys favorable demographics for internet penetration than many countries of the world;

Around 75% of its online population are aged between 15 and 34.

Family structure: Nuclear families increased from 135 million to 172 million

High disposable income of middle class

Teleservices Consumption pattern

Internet users in India have risen from 50 million in 2007 to 100 million in 2010; and
more than 300 million in 2015. The urban user base grew by 71% year-on-year. On the
other hand, the rural user base went up by 93% from December 2014 to reach 87 million
at the end of December 2015.

Demographic dividend and interest penetration including internet of things are transforming the
lives of 1.25 Billion of people as they rely on it for various purposes from online shopping,
entertainment, education to healthcare, payment mechanisms and so on. Such a scenario is driving
mobile commerce.

Socio-cultural-2, 41

India is on the cusp of a huge digital revolution. Digital Literacy Mission will touch 60 Million
rural households as per the Union Budget of India 2016. The Government of India also plans to
connect 550 farmer markets in the country through the use of technology. The Digital India drive
will bring along a transformative impact on every citizen through the medium of internet.

Economic-2, 41

Airtels revenue growth will remain broadly in line with their Indias GDP growth, given the
domestic focus of the business

Bharti Airtel will have a revenue growth of 8-10 per cent over the next 12-18 months on strong
demand for data services and affordable smart phones

Technological-2, 41

India is a lucrative market for global and domestic smart phone manufacturers. Smartphone
shipments have doubled year-on-year, which led the total established base to reach 150 Million
in 2014. At the same time, it will widen and deepen the internet user base.

India is in a sweet spot to leverage market opportunities emerging through Internet of Things
(IoT). A strong ecosystem of IT organizations, renewed focus on manufacturing, significant
opportunities in education, healthcare and agriculture; and enormous growth in mobile internet
usage will act as key catalysts in supporting investments in IoT.

The Government of Indias initiative of smart cities requires seamless digital and physical
infrastructure to be shared efficiently across devices and applications; IoT will play a critical role
in fulfilling this vision.

Political-Legal-2, 41

Regulatory issues with regard to net neutrality - Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)
put a full stop on differential pricing and barred companies from charging or offering data traffic
on a discriminatory basis. The move seen as a big win for net neutrality, TRAI made clear that
no company to offer/charge discriminatory tariffs for data on basis of content.
Spectrum Auction: In March, 2015, the Department of Telecommunications concluded the
auction process for 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz spectrum. Airtel won 111.6
MHz spectrum for a consideration of ` 291,291 Million. Cumulative spectrum investments made
by the Company since 2010 are ` 681 Bn.
TRAI proposes new ceiling for roaming tariff: TRAI has reduced ceiling tariffs for national
roaming calls by 20% to 40% and SMS by 75%, effective from May 1, 2015. There will be a
reduction of roaming prices in the near future, which should encourage more roaming usage,
since the travelling population is growing.
TRAI releases Telecom Consumers Protection (Ninth Amendment) Regulations, 2015 on
Call Drop: On October 16, 2015 TRAI releases Telecom Consumers Protection (Ninth
Amendment) Regulations, 2015 on Call Drop, which mandates the originating service provider
providing Cellular Mobile Telephone Service, for each call drop within its own network
compensate the consumer by crediting the account of the calling consumer by 1Re subject to a
maximum of 3 dropped calls in a day; and inform the consumer within four hours of the
occurrence of a call drop.

Environmental/natural forces-2, 41

Significant Reduction in Carbon Footprint: Airtel will make substantial investments in green
technologies over the next three years. During FY 2015-16, 40,000+ Airtel telecom towers
operate on a battery- hybrid, Li-ion and solar-hybrid technologies. Airtel's new telecom tower
design and architecture functions without diesel generators.
We aim to increase the use of renewable energy wheeling on core sites to enhance the green
energy consumption.
Airtel will deploy modern and less power consuming radio technologies that include compact
base stations and small cells.

E-waste 2, 41
Any e-waste generated from technology up gradation, capacity augmentation and others is
recycled as per the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) norms. Airtel have a
stringent system of selection of recyclers: recyclers have to be legally compliant; they should 12
have their relevant licenses in place with world-class facilities, procedures and practices to treat
e-waste in an environmentally sound manner.


Moody's Investors Service - Bharti Airtel will have a revenue growth of 8-10 per cent over the
next 12-18 months on strong demand for data services and affordable smartphone. The
aggregate average revenue of telecom operators in Asia Pacific will increase 3-4 per cent over
the next 12-18 months, similar to 2014's growth rate of 3.8 per cent and trending in line with
forecast average GDP growth for the region and its outlook for the industry is stable. 42

Airtel Sales and Wireless Subscribers follows linear trend forecasting as shown in table 1 and 2.

Airtel Sales(Rs Cr)














Table 1

AIRTEL Wireless Subscribers










Table 2

Airtel invests extensively on market research and related expenses (6817 million rupees in 2016) to gain
insight into the requirements of its consumers who are spread across more than twenty countries in the
world and identifying potential opportunities and risks in the market. Ethnographic Market Research
plays an important role in understanding the consumers in terms of cultural trends, lifestyles and attitudes,
the company conducts a number of field trials with its equipment suppliers, to come up with new
technologies and handle its rivals.
The market research process is performed in the following ways:

Defining the problem and research objective

o Grow market share profitably
o Accelerate non mobile businesses
o Reduce waste and focus on sustainable development by embedding wider economic,
social and environmental objectives
Developing the research plan
o Scanning the entire business market, internal and external for risks and opportunities
o Classifying various consumer requirements, opportunities and risks and prioritizing them
Collecting information
Analyzing information
Presenting the findings
Making the decision
o Approving resources and preparing the budget for the actions to be taken
o Agreeing to detailed action plan to implement the decisions

As a result of the market research process conducted in more than twenty countries where the telecom
operator functions, Airtel has come with a number of innovative projects to cater to its diverse consumer
needs like Project Leap in FY 2015-2016, to build a smart and dynamic communication architecture to
improve customer experience through high quality voice and data experience



9. STP
As of July 2016, Airtel has 25.67 subscribers followed by 19.97 crore of Vodafone. Aditya Birla Group
owned Idea cellular has third largest number of subscribers at 17.64 subscribers. (Source: The Economic
Times, Sept. 5, 2016)

Any telecom operators main classification would be based on circles. The same criteria has been
followed by Bharti Airtel. It has divided its customers on the basis of circles/geographies.
Based on geography there are basically 5 regions as below:
East Region: West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, etc.
West Region: Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, etc.
South Region: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, etc.
North Region:Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi.
Central Region: Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, etc.
Based on population density, Airtel has divided its customers in 3 segments:
Urban: Having the highest population density and hence the maximum number of subscribers. This
include cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Jaipur etc.
Semi-urban: It covers states and cities having medium density. It includes places like Nasik,
Aurangabad, Ahmednagar etc.
Rural: It covers states having least population density. It includes villages and small cities like Baramati,
Khed, Saswad etc.
Based on Demographic age:
< 40 years of age: The subscribers in this age segment has the maximum utility of phone both for
messaging and calling. Keeping this in mind, this segment needs more data at less rates and also cheap
call rates. The techno savvy people of this segment love to surf the internet. So the basic requirement of
this age cohort is more data.
>40 years of age: This segment of people needs phones for calling more than SMS and data. So they
need cheap call rates and less data.
Based on Income:
Post-paid:The segment of people with high income tends to use post-paid number.
Pre-paid: The segment of people with less income uses pre-paid numbers.
Based on occupation:
Students: This segment of people needs more data as compared to any other occupation. So more than
cheap call rates, the students need cheap data.


Businessman: Small businessmans business entirely depends on placing order on calls and receiving
orders on calls. They need cheaper call rates for that.
Travelers: The professionals whose occupation demands travelling interstate need better roaming plans.
So Airtel caters to the needs of this segment through cheap roaming rates or free incoming roaming.

Airtel has targeted the premium and upper middle class. The motto behind this is only those segments
should be targeted who value time and have capacity to pay. During the introduction stage there was
pressure to get consumers across all segments to connect with their brand, because switching their brand
loyalty to Airtel from their earlier brands was too tough. Airtel marketers had been concentrating solely
on the business executive class but now that the basic viable volumes have been built up and prices have
declined to a certain extent, they are planning to venture further field. They are now targeting
professionals by giving free calls in postpaid connections; Entrepreneurs by giving various plan in which
they may get internal calling free; Youth with the,FRIENDZ Scheme.
Airtel is also targeting students by introducing postpaid connections only for students and with zero
Airtel has targeted the generation Z of 15-25 ages, generation X & Baby Boomers by using different
campaigns over the period of time i.e. campaigns like HarEk friend Jarurihotahai/ Jo terahai wo
merahai to target Gen Z, and recently launched the campaign of one touch internet targeting Gen X &
Baby Boomers.


With rapid digitalization, the positioning of Airtel is such that it aims to remove the misconception that
the cell phone is an expensive means of communication. Its a day to day use commodity and is no more a
symbol of status. Bharti has constantly repositioned its Airtel brand to expand its market and meet the
challenges posed by the changing trends in the Indian cellular market.
When it comes to Airtel who can forget the melodious, sweet music of its composed by A.R.Rehman. The
music attracts us in various forms such as chorus, whistle, piano and in many other forms. The latest
advertisements of Airtel Jo terahai who merahai and Kyunki hare k friend jaruri hot hai have created
a brand image in the minds of youngsters. This is a positioning strategy of Bharti Airtel.39


Airtel has always come up with different taglines to create a different positioning in the minds of the
subscribers. Different taglines that the company used started from Power to keep in touch in 1995 that
was used to make the user feel in control and powerful. Then came the tagline Touch tomorrow in 1999
that established Airtel as a brand that improved the quality of life. In 2003, Airtel came up with Live
every moment to position itself as thebrand that each and every person live every moment of their lives
with.Express yourself in 2003 made the emotional bond between the company and its customer

Products in the marketing mix of Airtel6
Airtel GSM:

Airtel Prepaid

Airtel Postpaid

Blackberry Wireless handheld

Value added services (VAS):

(a) Instant balance inquiry
(b) 24-hour recharge facility
(c) Caller Id
(d) Call wait, call hold and call divert
(e) MMS
(f) Airtel Live portal
(g) SMS based information services
(h) Hello Tunes
(i) Voice mail
(j) 2G, 3G and 4G Internet
(k) Airtel Money
Price in the marketing mix of Airtel5,6
Airtels pricing strategies have been able to fulfill the customer needs at low prices. It introduced cheap
call rates, cutter packs and SMS packs for the prepaid subscribers which benefited the customers with the
facility to reduce the call rate, according to their preference, by buying these packs which proves that the
tariffs are flexible and the subscribers have full control of the plans they choose. The pricing strategies
are always being monitored by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, which insures the fair charges
are being introduced according to the law. The same customer preferred pricing strategies are introduced
in all other products by Airtel. Following the entry of Reliance Jio in the market, Airtel plans to cut prices
to stay competitive.
Promotion in the Marketing mix of Airtel5,6
All the communication technics utilized by the marketers to deliver the product information to different
parties are included in the promotion. Promotions may be performed with the help of different technics
e.g. advertising in TV, newspapers, internet and posters, etc. public relations programs like exhibitions
press release seminars or trade fairs, etc. sales organizations like retailers and showrooms and sales
promotions like discounts and free offers. Apart from its service quality and availability, Airtel has been
actively participating in its promotional schemes to interact and deliver the details of its products to the

people. Its activities include ads such as large posters, video ads in television and internet and other
media. In 2002 Airtel introduced its signature tune from Oscar winning Indian musician, A.R. Rahman,
which became so popular among the people that it became the most downloaded tune in India. World
famous Bollywood celebrities like Shahrukh Khan and Sachin Tendulkar were associated to endorse its
products. Airtel also sponsors major innovative shows like Bollywood premiers, major events such as
cricket matches and many more. Airtel also organizes public exhibitions special discounts such as free
calls, free SMS, calls at discounted rates, coupons for shopping malls, etc. in order to attract the public.
Place in the marketing mix of Airtel5,6
The Place refers to distributing the products at a place convenient for the people. This can be done with
the help of various methods like intensive distributions, selective distributions, and exclusive distributions
and franchising. Airtel is the leading service provider in more than 20 countries. It has an intensive
distributions system. It has successfully delivered services to the subscribers by establishing Airtel stores
at major places and Airtel distributors even in the remote areas. Surprisingly, it has converted almost all
kinds of shops as its retailers to make the services easily available to its subscribers. Apart from the
retailers, it also has customer service centers where subscribers can go to solve their service related issues
and queries.
Airtel has made the availability of services to the subscribers or the future subscribers by enabling them to
register online for new connections and providing them the convenience to get connections by sitting at
home with the option of home delivery. It has also implemented the online recharging facility to make the
service experience better.


Airtel telecom


Airtel telecom

Airtel has reached the Shakeout region in the product lifecycle stage11, Consumers in the telecom
industry have come to understand the value of the new offering, and demand is growing rapidly.
Airtel is spending on research and development and marketing. Business processes are improving,
and geographical expansion is taking place.

Airtel currently holds:

o 21.1% PG 5 Spectrum Market Share
o 77 Million Wireless data customers across Asia and Africa
o 25.2 Million New mobile subscriptions in India in FY 2015-162


Any competitor can use the following generic strategies to remain competitive in the market. These
strategies are: Cost leadership strategy, Differentiation strategy, Focus Strategy27.
The Overall Cost leadership strategy is aimed at gaining a competitive advantage through lower costs.
The low cost leader in any market gains competitive advantage from being able to many to produce at
the lowest cost. The recent example is of Reliance Jio which has reduced its tariff to compete with Airtel,
Idea and Vodafone.
A firm with a differentiation strategy attempts to achieve a competitive advantage by creating a product
or service that is perceived as unique. Telecom companies are more focused on Value added services to
increase its market share as all the companies are more or less providing same service.
In focus strategy, an organization focuses effort and resources on a narrow, defined segment of a
market. But as the telecom field is driven by economies of scale, it is not advisable to use this strategy

Market Structure
Market Leader
Market Challenger

Vodafone, BSNL, Reliance Jio

Market Followers

Idea, TATA


Strategies adopted by Vodafone:

Strategic target: target entire industry
Strategic advantage: uniqueness perceived by the consumers
Generic strategy: differentiation strategy
Vodafone is also attempts to achieve a competitive advantage by creating a service that is
perceived as unique. The thing that differentiates it from the competitors is that it provides the
more and more number of the value added services. Advertisement of Vodafone: Zoozoos is
very attracting as perceived by the consumers.

Strategies adopted by Reliance Jio:

Strategic target: target entire industry
Strategic advantage: uniqueness arrived at low cost position
Generic strategy: low cost leadership strategy
Reliance Jio has emerged as the biggest competitors for all the companies. It is focusing on
providing cheapest data services to gain market share. Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (R-Jio) has
announces to sell its 4G Internet data for as low as Rs.50 per gigabyte which has started a price
war among companies.
Some Marketing Warfare strategies adopted by Airtels Competitors:
1. Principle of defensive strategy (to secure leadership position): Market leader adopts (Airtel)
Airtel introduced various value based service by introducing new products to
strengthen its market position. Chota Recharge concept and Night Calling
concept was introduced by Vodafone and then immediately followed by Airtel to
take in to account that this move may create big difference in the market
2. Principle of offensive strategy (on leaders strength): Market challenger adopts (Vodafone,
Reliance, BSNL)
Vodafone popularized the concept of value added service
BSNL was the first which made the roaming charge to zero
3. Principle of flanking strategy (on leaders weak areas): Market follower adopts (IDEA, TATA)
Tata provided one hand set free with buying of one handset along with unlimited
free talk time in between both. This scheme took a huge consumer response.
Airtel is primarily concentrated on the elite class people and mainly in the urban
areas. So idea found creates its market in the rural cities, where they found the
lesser competition.
4. Principle of guerrilla strategy: Market follower adopts (Virgin)
Virgin mobile only targeted youth customers. They were not concerned with the Airtels market share.
The advertisement strategy mainly focused on youth which was very successful. Also some attractive
plans specifically targeting youth consumers were introduced by Virgin to attack Airtels market share.




AIRTEL Annual Report 2015-16:

10.Exploring corporate strategy - Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes and Richard Whittington product















40.Marketing Management, Philip Kotler