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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bharti Airtel divides consumer unit

Bharti Airtel Group, owners of Airtel Nigeria has divided its consumer and business units to expand portfolio.

GSMA Business Brief stated that Indian mobile giant, Bharti Airtel, undertake a broad restructuring resulting in dividing of its business into two separate verticals targeting consumer and business customers, respectively.

According to a Times of India report, the restructuring covers both its Indian and Southeast Asia operations and will come into force on 1 August.

The mobile, telemedia, digital TV and other new businesses facing the consumer will form the business-2-consumers (B2C) unit, while the business-2-business (B2B) vertical will continue to focus on serving large corporates and carriers. In an emailed statement to the newspaper, the operator suggested that some job losses could occur as a result:

“We expect the natural attrition to take care of job redundancies that emerge as a result of this; we will try and manage the others through our ecosystem of group companies and partners,” said the operator.

The report notes that the restructuring comes at a time when Bharti is looking to reverse five straight quarters of declining profit, weighed down by costs relating to its recent expansion into Africa.

“If they implement these changes it will be great, but this matrix structure has not worked very well for many companies,” said an (unnamed) analyst at a Mumbai-based brokerage firm.

“The thought is really to bring down costs and make the company consumer facing.” The newly-formed B2C unit will be headed by K Srinivas, while Drew Kelton will lead the B2B unit. Both will report to Sanjay Kapoor, Bharti’s CEO of India & South Asia.

Founded in 1976, by Sunil Bharti Mittal, Bharti has grown from being a manufacturer of bicycle parts to one of the largest and most respected business groups in India. With its entrepreneurial spirit and passion to undertake business projects that are transformational in nature, Bharti has created world-class businesses in telecom, financial services, retail, and foods.

Bharti started its telecom services business by launching mobile services in Delhi (India) in 1995. Since then there has been no looking back and Bharti Airtel, the group’s flagship company, has emerged as one of top telecom companies in the world and is amongst the top five wireless operators in the world.

Through its global telecom operations Bharti group has presence in 21 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe – India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Jersey, Guernsey, Seychelles, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Over the past few years, the group has diversified into emerging business areas in the fast expanding Indian economy. With a vision to build India’s finest conglomerate by 2020 the group has forayed into the retail sector by opening retail stores in multiple formats – small and medium - as well establishing large scale cash & carry stores to serve institutional customers and other retailers. The group offers a complete portfolio of financial services – life insurance, general insurance and asset management – to customers across India. Bharti also serves customers through its fresh and processed foods business. The group has growing interests in other areas such as telecom software, real estate, training and capacity building, and distribution of telecom/IT products.

What sets Bharti apart from the rest is its ability to forge strong partnerships. Over the years some of biggest names in international business have partnered Bharti. Currently, Singtel, IBM, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens and Alcatel-Lucent are key partners in telecom. Walmart is Bharti’s partner for its cash & carry venture. Axa Group is the partner for the financial service business and Del Monte Pacific for the processed foods division.

Bharti strongly believes in giving back to the society and through its philanthropic arm the Bharti Foundation it is reaching out to over 30,000 underprivileged children and youth in India.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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