Headquartered in New Delhi, Bharti Airtel is one of the most sought-after and reliable telecommunications companies in the world. This Multinational company operates in 20 countries across Western Europe, South Asia, and Africa. At present, Airtel offers an array of services like 3G, 4G LTE, fixed-line broadband, VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) services, and the list goes on!
Having acquired a staggering 190 million subscribers in India, it’s a little-known fact that the company’s journey to success has been a rather bumpy one.
Established in 1986, Airtel has its roots in Bharti Telecom Limited. The company was founded by Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, with the intent of being the first-ever to offer push-button telephones in India.
The first partnership Airtel had was with the German company, Siemens AG. In this partnership, they started manufacturing push-button landlines in the country instead of importing them from Taiwan, something Airtel did before the partnership.
Over time, Airtel went on to launch a series of telecom technologies in the Indian market, thereby securing a license to start a cellular network in Delhi. In 1992, Bharti Telecom Limited offered a helping hand to the company by laying out the groundwork for its mobile operations. Three years later, in 1995, Airtel began its operations in Delhi as Bharti Tele-Ventures. By and by, their services extended to various other states through acquisitions and partnerships.
Airtel’s strategic planning
Mr. Sunil Mittal, the Founder of Airtel Ltd, has had an inspiring journey to success. To get to where the company is today, Mr. Mittal has had to work extremely hard. To begin with, back when the company was just starting, the concept of a cellular network in India was just a far-fetched dream. People were still hesitant about how it worked, and Mr. Mittal knew he would have to come up with a strategy to make his idea work.
In 2001, Airtel acquired control of the Spice Cell in Kolkata, after which, the company got listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange.
In 2003, all of the company’s cellular mobile operations were rebranded under a single brand called Airtel. The idea was to establish an identity of its own.
In 2004, the company collaborated with the world-famous music composer, A.R Rahman to launch their theme song.
In 2005, the company acquired control of Hexcom and entered its operations in Rajasthan. In the same year, the company extended its networks across India and launched its first international mobile network in Sri Lanka.
In 2010, Airtel launched its new logo and a new theme song as a means to establish a global identity.
Over the years, Airtel has acquired its operations in countries like-
The Indian Subcontinent
A few countries in the African continent as well as the Channel Islands
The British Crown Dependency islands of Jersey and Guernsey through an agreement with Vodafone, under the name Airtel Vodafone.