In the fiercely competitive telecom market, Bharti Airtel is making remarkable strides in narrowing the gap with its formidable rival, Reliance Jio. What sets Airtel apart is its concerted efforts to tap into rural areas, where it has witnessed a notable increase in revenue market share across 13 out of 14 B and C circles during FY23. In contrast, Reliance Jio has managed to expand its market share in a mere three circles, according to industry analysts.
The B and C circles comprise significant markets such as Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (West), Uttar Pradesh (East), Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Assam, North East, Bihar, and more. While Reliance Jio has successfully established its dominance in non-metro and lower-tier circles, Airtel's growing revenue market share in these regions highlights the company's focused approach to capturing subscribers in rural landscapes.
Airtel's rural conquests have been driven by its ability to cater to the unique demands and aspirations of customers in these areas. By offering tailored services and connectivity solutions that resonate with rural populations, Airtel has managed to gain an edge. This has proven to be a game-changer as it has successfully attracted subscribers who were previously underserved or overlooked.
While both Airtel and Reliance Jio have witnessed revenue growth across all circles, the latter's market share gains have been relatively limited, primarily concentrated in Kerala, Punjab, and Jammu & Kashmir within the B and C circles category. In contrast, Airtel has encountered a marginal loss in market share solely in Jammu and Kashmir, reaffirming its stronghold in the majority of rural markets.
The significance of Airtel's focus on B and C circles becomes evident when considering that these regions contribute a substantial 51% of the company's total adjusted gross revenues (AGR), amounting to a staggering Rs 71,825 crore. In comparison, these circles account for 57% of Reliance Jio's total AGR, which stands at Rs 89,280 crore.
FY23 has proven to be a promising year for Bharti Airtel as it has witnessed an overall increase in revenue market share, surging from 35% to an impressive 36.2%. Reliance Jio, while still maintaining its dominant position, experienced a relatively modest rise, reaching 41% market share.