Abstract: This case study is about Bharti Airtel Ltd.

(BAL), the market leader in the Indian telecommunication industry and its globalization strategy. BAL's telecom model was considered as the new model for telecom and effective for emerging markets like India, according to experts. BAL had established itself as a dominant player in India with its innovative business processes and strong brand, but was witnessing tapering growth because of increasing competition and saturation of the more lucrative urban markets. While more and more players were eyeing the fast-growing Indian mobile market which was experiencing high growth, BAL put its sight on foreign shores.

The acquisition of Zain Group's telecom business in fifteen African counties in 2010 gave it a footprint in the African continent. While concerns regarding whether BAL had overpaid for the deal remained, industry observers were keenly observing to see whether the company could replicate its successful

After completing the deal. » Analyze BAL's strengths.telecom model in these developing and emerging markets. political forces and socio-economic environment. » Appreciate the role of tailoring strategy to fit a specific industry and business environment . BAL was in the process of giving shape to its strategy for the African markets. Issues: » Understand the issues and challenges in globalization. demographic and market conditions and its possible impact on business. Africa posed an intriguing environment with different cultures. . » Understand the importance of business process innovation and strategic partnerships. » Understand and discuss cross-country differences in Cultural. weaknesses and its external opportunities and threats. » Explore the ways a business can be successful in international markets. importance and pros and cons of legal and regulatory framework. especially the critical success factors in emerging markets. » Probe the role.

Bharti Airtel Ltd."1 . was considered one of the biggest acquisitions in the emerging markets. leading Indian mobile telecom company Bharti Airtel Ltd. The deal. we need to copy India. in June 2010 Foray into Africa In June 2010. had operations in seventeen African countries. valued at US$10.. BAL.7 billion. which made it the world's fifth largest mobile telecom operator4. Africa's second largest mobile telecom service provider. BAL's subscriber base rose by 42 million to reach 185 million. With this. CEO (International).Manoj Kolhi. Zain.'… (The) objective is to build a strategy that is appropriate for each country of Africa. (BAL) concluded a deal with Zain Group 2(Zain) to buy its businesses in fifteen African countries."We are not going with a static mind that ‘okay. apart from six Middle Eastern countries3. which had earned a name for itself globally with its low .

were declining profits and the low contributions of the fifteen acquired businesses to the group's revenues. The reasons for this.cost model and strategic innovations. but the deal fell through both times. Though BAL was able to acquire a global footprint and a much larger customer base through this deal. especially at a price tag of US$10. and called the deal a ‘forced marriage'. In the years 2008 and 2009.7 billion. Zain's African assets accounted for about 58% of its total subscriber base (71. but they made up only a fraction of its net profits6.8 million). industry . Africa's largest telecom company. was actively looking to globalize itself since 2007. MTN had a presence in more than twenty African countries. they said.5 Many analysts felt that BAL had settled for the second best. it was in advanced stages of negotiation to complete a deal with the MTN Group (MTN). They said that the deal with Zain was nowhere as attractive as the one contemplated with MTN.

Jaydeep Ghosh. each of which came with its own different regulatory requirements and geopolitical risks. Further. EMERGING AS THE MARKET LEADER By the end of 2001. it will not be easy. Africa represented diverse cultures with many of the countries having minimal infrastructural resources. retail. the Bharti Group had transformed itself into a successful business conglomerate with businesses such as telecom. BAL had 1 million subscribers but was at strategic inflection point. "Bharti has replicated the low-cost model through outsourcing in India.. said. Though . Executive Director of KPMG 7..experts believed it would be difficult for it to leverage on the business model and strategies which had kept it afloat and ahead of the competition in India. BAL had to function in fifteen different countries. and food. but depending upon different geographies (in Africa)."8 COMPANY OVERVIEW From its humble beginnings in 1976 as a bicycle part manufacturing business. financial services..

BAL decided to enter into an 'exclusive discussion' with Zain... coupled with its unique business model.the market reflected huge potential with the number of subscribers almost doubling each year. GLOBALIZATION INITIATIVES BAL felt that its extensive experience in India. COMPETITION The competition in the Indian telecom market was increasing by the year. ... ACQUISITION OF ZAIN On February 15. There were significant cultural. 2010. would help it tap the opportunity provided by other developing and emerging markets and create value for its customers. Africa's second largest telecom company.. while players such as Reliance that operated through the CDMA technology... CHALLENGES IN AFRICA The African sub-continent posed numerous challenges to BAL. which operated in. were allowed to offer mobile telecom services using both GSM and CDMA Technology.. In 2007. Vodafone entered India by acquiring Hutch...

. Mittal delegated responsibilities to senior managers in top positions in BAL in India and also got new people on board. EMBARKING ON THE AFRICAN SAFARI Soon after the deal. who was promoted as CEO (International) in January 2010. and regulatory differences among the fifteen countries..language.The entire international operations were being headed by Kohli.. ..

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