The country’s biggest mobile phone company by customers Bharti Airtel Ltd has found a place among the world’s 25 most valuable telecom brands, ranked by the UK-based brand valuation firm Brand Finance Plc. Bharti Airtel ranked 25th in the recently released list, with a brand value of $2.48 billion (Rs9,778 crore then) at the end of 2007. This is the first time an Indian telecom brand broke into the list.
Global telecom brands have moved from their home markets to expand across the world. Vodafone has moved from a Europe-centric model to a global one over the past decade, and Orange has evolved from a UK-centric brand to a global brand. In India, international expansion is now clearly on Bharti Airtel’s agenda.
Second, a question that Indian telecoms have to ask is, what breakthrough products and services can they offer the market and the world?
Bharti Airtel is talking about its mobile payment gateway to offer microfinance and micropayment services to millions of Indians. If it can pioneer this for the home market and then take it to other developing markets, it would further enhance brand value.
Meanwhile, Chinese telecom brands are leaping ahead. The Brand Finance report shows that China Mobile has increased its brand value from $11 billion in 2007 to $13.9 billion this year. China Mobile experienced significant growth this year, boosted by its selection as the telecom supplier for the 2008 Beijing Olympic