Airtel, one of the leading telecom companies in India, has spread far and wide in the last 2 decades of its existence. The company is known for its availability and smart value-added services.
Let us look into the Overview of Airtel and then we can move on to the SWOT Analysis of Airtel.
Overview of Airtel
Bharti Airtel Limited, also known as Airtel, is an Indian multinational telecommunications service provider headquartered in New Delhi, India. It operates in 18 countries in South Asia and Africa, as well as in the Channel Islands. Airtel offers 2G, 4G LTE, 4G+ mobile services, fixed broadband and voice services depending on the country. Airtel has also launched its VoLTE technology across all Indian telecom circles. Airtel is the second-largest mobile network operator in India and the third-largest mobile network operator in the world. Airtel was named India’s second most valuable brand in the first Brandz ranking by Millward Brown and WPP plc.
Airtel is considered to have pioneered the business strategy of outsourcing all business units except marketing, sales and finance and building the low cost, high volume ‘minute factory’ model. This strategy has since been adopted by several operators. Airtel’s equipment is provided and maintained by Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia Networks, while IT is supported by Amdocs. The towers are maintained by subsidiaries and joint ventures of Bharti, including Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers in India. Ericsson has agreed for the first time to pay for the installation and maintenance of its equipment by the minute rather than upfront, allowing Airtel to offer cheap rates of ₹1 (1.3¢ US)/minute.
SWOT Analysis Of Airtel
The SWOT Analysis of Airtel includes its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. And in this reading of the SWOT Analysis of Airtel, we will examine this beauty and wellness company in terms of its internal and external factors.
S Stands For Strengths ( Internal Factor )
- Renowned Telecom Company: With over 19 years of experience in the telecom industry, Airtel has risen to become the third-largest telecom company in the world, operating in 18 countries in South Asia and Africa as well as the Channel Islands.
- High brand value: one of the leading telecom companies with a high brand alert and a colossal customer base.
- Advanced infrastructure: with the construction of Indus Tower and as a result of the alliance with Idea and Vodafone, Airtel’s network has been extended to all parts of the country, resulting in nationwide penetration.
- Strategic Alliances: The company has leading investors, Sony Ericsson, Nokia and Singtel, and the latest investor is Apple. These strategic alliances enhance the credibility of the product and profit of the company.
- Technology: Airtel’s infrastructure is manufactured and operated by Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia Networks, while IT support is provided by Amdocs. The transmission towers are maintained by Bharti subsidiaries and joint venture companies, including Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers in India.
Flagbearer of the telecom industry, Airtel is the number one player in the developing world thanks to its excellent services and has connected people’s lives in a highly efficient manner. While Vodafone is an international player, Airtel is the leading player in India and the flag bearer of the telecom industry in India.
- Quality Service: Airtel, one of the largest telecom companies in India, has spread far and wide in the last two decades of its existence. The company is known for its quality and smart service offerings.
W Stands For Weaknesses ( Internal Factor )
- Outsourced Operations: Outsourcing activities has helped Airtel to minimize its costs. However, on the other hand, there is a risk that the company is dependent on certain other companies, which may affect its operations.
- Engage in Africa: Although it has been many years since Airtel bought the African business from Zain, Airtel is still struggling to transform the unit it bought for $9 billion.
- High debt: With acquisitions proving to be bad investments and loans being high and margins weak, Airtel is heavily indebted. Airtel does not have deep pockets like Reliance Jio.
O Stands For Opportunities ( External Factor )
- Strategic partnerships: Partnering with smartphone companies is a smart strategy for MNP (Mobile Number Portability in India). This will ensure stable cash flows and a larger customer base in the future.
- Market Development: With stiff competition in the telecom industry and shrinking profit margins, the foray into new markets/developing countries will prove to be a success for the company.
- VAS ( Value Added Services ): Vas is poised to be the future of the telecom industry and by focusing on this vertical segment, Airtel can make its mark in a highly competitive market. With the introduction of exclusive offerings, Airtel could achieve higher margins.
- Untapped market: although Airtel currently offers 3 G and 4 G services, these networks are limited to certain geographical areas. Expanding these services to most regions would help the company to gain more profits and customers.
- LTE: The entire mobile world is moving towards LTE (Long Term Evolution or 4 G). Mobile broadband LTE can be a good solution for India where fixed broadband penetration is otherwise low. Airtel has taken the lead in four markets with this LTE variant, but there is still some catching up to do in terms of adoption.
Notwithstanding the weak LTE environment in India, Airtel will portray itself as a proponent of the technology. The company does not have a national 3-G spectrum license in 13 out of 22 telecom service territories. Airtel’s mobile broadband LTE network remains limited to just four cities in India. The upcoming launch of 5G technology can make Airtel the No. 1 telecom company.
T Stands For Threats ( External Factor )
- Government regulatory framework: as a result of the normal auctioning of spectrum and change in government policy, there is a potential threat to the stability and life of this market, affecting players.
- Competition: price war in the domestic market and increasing margins are negatively impacting the overall business of the group.
- MNP (Mobile Number Portability): MNP gives consumers the flexibility to switch service providers while keeping their number. Since Airtel’s tariffs are higher than other service providers, there may be a decline in the number of customers. Reliance Jio 4 G Services tariffs and the introduction of new technologies by competitors can pose a major threat to Airtel.
Also, Read BCG Matrix of Apple in a Simplified Way.
SWOT Analysis Of Airtel Key Takeaways
The SWOT Analysis of Airtel highlights where the brand currently stands and its threats in this era. Following the detailed SWOT Analysis of Airtel. Here are a Few Important Key Points.
- Quality Network
- Partnered Strategically
Following the detailed SWOT Analysis of Airtel, we have a few suggestions from Business Mavericks:
- Should provide other services like Jio cinema, music, health, cloud and others
- should rethinking on pricing Strategy.
Airtel STP & USP
- Segment: People who are looking for an efficient telecom service
- Target Group: Middle and upper class over 18 years; YUPS (Young Upward Professionals)
- Positioning: Emerging and lifestyle brand offering excellent telecom service
Airtel is one of the leading telecom brands in India with a large active customer base
- Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, also known as Jio, is an Indian telecommunications company and a subsidiary of Jio Platforms headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. It operates a nationwide LTE network with coverage in all 22 telecom circles. It does not offer 2G or 3G services and instead uses only Voice over LTE to provide voice services on its 4G network.Jio launched on December 27, 2015, with a beta phase for partners and employees and became publicly available on September 5, 2016. Jio is the largest mobile network operator in India and the third-largest mobile network operator in the world with over 42.62 crores (426.2 million) subscribers.
- Vodafone Idea Limited, also known as Vi, is an Indian telecom operator headquartered in Mumbai and Gandhinagar. It is an India-wide integrated GSM operator offering 2G, 4G, 4G+, VoLTE and VoWiFi services. As of July 31, 2021, Vi had 271.90 million customers, making it the third-largest mobile network in India and the tenth-largest mobile network in the world.On 31 August 2018, Vodafone India merged with Idea Cellular to form a new company called Vodafone Idea Limited. Vodafone currently holds a 45.1% stake in the merged company and Aditya Birla Group holds a 26% stake. Ravinder Takkar, ex-CEO of Vodafone Romania, is the current CEO of the company.
On September 7, 2020, Vodafone Idea unveiled its new brand identity ‘Vi’, which involves the integration of the formerly separate brands ‘Vodafone’ and ‘Idea’ into a single brand.
- Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited ( BSNL ) is a government-owned telecom service provider headquartered in New Delhi, India. It comes under the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India. The company was established on 01 October 2000 by the Government of India. Its chief officer is the Chairman and Managing Director, who is a Central Government officer in the Indian Communication Finance Service cadre or a Central Government engineer in the Indian Telecommunications Service cadre. It provides mobile voice and internet services across India through its nationwide telecom network. It is the largest state-owned provider of wireline telecommunications services and the fourth largest state-owned provider of wireless telecommunications services with a market share of more than 50% in India.