Airtel CEO Highlights Key Levers to Drive Growth and Revenue

Read about Bharti Airtel's growth strategy, including premiumization, data monetization, and 5G deployment, to boost revenue and average revenue per user, as highlighted by CEO Gopal Vittal during the recent earnings call.


  • Bharti Airtel's comprehensive growth strategy for enhanced revenue and ARPU.
  • Focus on premiumization, postpaid expansion, data monetization, and international roaming.
  • Leveraging network expansion, 5G rollout, and cost optimization for sustainable growth.

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Airtel CEO Highlights Key Levers to Drive Growth and Revenue

During Bharti Airtel's first quarter ended June 30, 2023, earnings call, Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, outlined a growth strategy that promises to reshape the company's trajectory in the highly competitive telecommunications landscape. Airtel's earnings call shed light on a multi-faceted approach that centres around premiumisation, data monetisation, and the ongoing 5G rollout, which are considered growth levers by Gopal Vittal.

Also Read: Bharti Airtel Reports Q1 Net Profit of Rs 1,612 Crore, ARPU Grows to Rs 200

The growth levers discussed include various strategies and initiatives that the company is implementing to drive revenue and increase average revenue per user (ARPU). These levers are intended to stimulate growth and improve the company's performance. Let's delve into the core growth levers that we see highlighted by CEO Gopal Vittal and gain insights into the same.

Premiumisation Strategy

Bharti Airtel aims to focus on premium customers and drive revenue growth by upgrading feature phone users to smartphones and encouraging prepaid customers to switch to postpaid plans. According to Airtel, these upgrades are expected to lead to higher average revenue per user (ARPU) as smartphone plans typically offer more data and services. As per Airtel, an entry-level smartphone plan commands an ARPU approximately 50-60 percent higher than the corresponding feature phone plan.

Also Read: Airtel’s Impressive Postpaid Growth: Strengthening Leadership and Driving ARPU

Postpaid Family Plans

Bharti Airtel is focused on increasing postpaid net additions, which typically result in higher ARPU. The company's efforts include offering attractive postpaid plans, providing superior customer experiences through simple digital journeys, and expanding its postpaid customer base. Airtel said its Infinity family postpaid plans encourage multiple members of a household to subscribe to postpaid services on the same plan as reported by TelecomTalk. This approach helps reach higher ARPU as more lines are added to a single account.

Also Read: Airtel 599 Postpaid Family Plan Sees Traction: Check What It Offers

Data Monetisation

Bharti Airtel said it is actively offering additional data packs or plans to users who exhaust their data allowance, allowing them to purchase more data on an impulse basis. This strategy aims to capture incremental revenue from data-hungry users. TelecomTalk has already covered this strategy from our perspective in our stories.

Also Read: Airtel Data Packs With Validity That Keep You Connected on the Move

International Roaming

Airtel said it is continuously working on improving international roaming services, particularly for prepaid customers. Simplified pricing, personalised messaging, and ease of access aim to increase the penetration of international roaming, contributing to revenue growth. According to Airtel, enhancing the international roaming experience could drive higher ARPU, especially for postpaid users who travel frequently. Airtel has launched its refreshed New International Roaming Packs, which are valid in over 180-plus countries, as reported by TelecomTalk in December 2022.

Network Expansion, 5G Rollout, Capacity

Expanding network coverage, especially in rural areas, to tap into underserved markets. By providing network access to more users, the company aims to attract new subscribers and increase ARPU. The linked story below provides some insights about the same.

Also Read: Bharti Airtel and Taara to Deploy Laser Internet Technology in India

Regarding 5G, Bharti Airtel is currently deploying 5G technology and expects a significant boost in data capacity in comparison to 4G. The adoption of 5G is expected to drive revenue growth as customers experience enhanced data speeds and capabilities. Airtel sees 5G as a pivot to drive monetisation to increase ARPU, especially through the postpaid segment.

Cost Optimisation

Bharti Airtel said the company is committed to optimising costs across its operations, including network operating expenses. By reducing costs, the company aims to improve margins and overall profitability.

Also Read: Bharti Airtel Shows Positive Net Subscriber Growth Amid Tariff Hikes

Steady Tariff Corrections

While significant increases in ARPU would require a tariff reset, Bharti Airtel is strategically implementing gradual tariff increases across different segments to contribute to ARPU growth over time. An example is Airtel's entry-level tariff correction from Rs 99 plan to Rs 155 across all 22 circles, as reported by TelecomTalk.

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)

Bharti Airtel is exploring opportunities in the fixed broadband segment, including FWA. While the economics of FWA are currently challenging due to higher equipment costs, Bharti Airtel is actively piloting FWA services in certain cities to assess the market potential.

The recent launch of Xstream AirFiber - India's 1st wireless home Wi-Fi service powered by Airtel 5G Plus in Mumbai and Delhi is part of the same. Airtel's FWA strategy is already reported by TelecomTalk earlier.

Also Read: Airtel CEO Outlines Fixed Wireless Access Strategy for India

These growth levers represent strategic approaches to drive revenue growth and improve ARPU over time. Bharti Airtel aims to utilise these levers in a coordinated manner to achieve its financial goals and enhance its competitive position in the market.

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Telecom Analyst

Passionately following the Indian #Telecom Industry for over a decade from Business, Consumer and a Technical perspective. My primary focus area is Consumer & Digital Experience.

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