Ahead of the two-year milestone completion of the latest telecom entrant in the industry, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel CEO, Gopal Vittal wrote an email addressed to all the Airtel employees urging them to put in every effort to increase the Revenue Market Share (RMS) of the company. This move comes after Bharti Airtel lost its top spot to the newly merged entity Vodafone-Idea Ltd. The CEO said that for the path ahead, the building blocks have already been kept in place in the form of network expansion, content tie-ups and lean organisation.
The CEO also did not forget to recall the tough period which the industry has faced in the last two years after the entry of Reliance Jio. However, at the same time, Vittal highlighted the opportunities which have surfaced following the consolidation in the industry. Right now, only three major market players control the sector – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone-Idea and Reliance Jio. Further, the executive also added towards the end of his letter that the privacy of Airtel customers remains of paramount importance.
The Idea Vodafone merger was kicked off by the entry of Reliance Jio in September 2016, following which the aggressive pricing techniques of the Mukesh Ambani led telco dented the industry revenues and led the other telcos on the path of massive losses. Following the trends, Bharti Airtel joined the ranks of Vodafone and Idea and posted losses in the last few quarters.
In a letter seen by ET, Gopal Vittal also said “Hundreds of thousands of jobs lost. The merger of the Number 2 (Vodafone India) and 3 (Idea) players.Customers who speak for 650 minutes a month, 1.5 times more than earlier; and use 9 GB of data a month – 9 times more than earlier.”
However, Vittal also did not forget to add that the data tariff war hasn’t been able to bring down the telco to its knees. He said in the letter, “Where then are we? We are stronger than ever before and continuing to grow market share...?? Our annual capex has grown from a high of Rs 16,000 crore to a staggering Rs 24,000 crore, largely covered by our operational cash flows. Our balance sheet is solid and will remain so.”
As per the CEO, the focus of the company will now be on expanding market share, and for accomplishing that, the telco will rely on its two core strengths - 300 million-plus customer base and 1.2 million retailers. Lastly, the CEO concluded the letter by saying “Each of these opportunities by themselves would be massive. Collectively, they are life-changing and historic.”