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Bharti Airtel Case Study Solution Example


Bharti Airtel grows at a stunning paceby keeping its focus on the customer.

Innovation that matters

“ By working along with us to transformour go-to-market strategies and reinvent our internal processes, IBM has been a partner  for the innovation that we see as essential in our ability to sustainour rapid growth.” 

– Jai Menon, Group CIO,Bharti Enterprises and Director(IT & Innovation), Bharti Airtel

In the global telecommunicationsmarket, it’s hard to imagine a morefertile environment for explosivegrowth than India. With a large, youngand tech-savvy population, an econ-omy whose growth rate is secondonly to China and telephone pen-etration of just seven percent, Indiastands as a textbook example of howdemand for communications servicescan be explosive if the conditions areright. A few years ago, when forecast-ers predicted a fourfold increase insubscribers in three years–to 200million–it seemed impossible. Sincethen, however, market growth hasoutstripped the unlikely forecast, andno operator has been better poisedto capitalize on this opportunity thanBharti Airtel (www.airtel.in).


Business Challenge 

Bharti Airtel needed to maximize its future flexibility and growth potential by adopting a business- driven framework for integration,allowing it to implement and deliver new services rapidly. With competition intensifying in the Indian telecom services market,Bharti Airtel needed to find a way to focus on developing new ser- vices that could set it apart from the competition and strengthen its customer relationships.


Bharti Airtel entered into a comprehensive 10-year agree- ment with IBM to transform its processes and take on the man- agement of its IT infrastructure. Its new platform provides a standard- ized framework for Bharti Airtel to integrate its channels and cus- tomer-facing processes–enabling a more seamless customer experi- ence, higher customer satisfaction and more profitable growth.

Key Benefits 

Ability to process 1.5 million new customers per month 

Outsourcing of technology enables Bharti Airtel to focus resources on growing the business 

Based in New Delhi, Bharti Airtel is India’s largest private sector telecom operator, with a strong presence in mobile communications, fixed line services, and domestic and international long distance services. Bharti Airtel is India’s sixth-largest company by market capitalization, with more than57 million customers (as of 12/31/07) and US$4.2 billion in annual revenues (as of 3/31/07).

Case | HBS Case Collection | July 2006 (Revised December 2007)

Strategic Outsourcing at Bharti Airtel Limited

by Francisco de Asis Martinez-Jerez, V.G. Narayanan and Michele Jurgens


Faced with exponential growth and a competitive telecom environment, Bharti looks for ways to better manage its capital expenditures for telecommunications and information technology. One option is to hand over management of its telecom and IT networks to its vendors. Explores the pros and cons of such an outsourcing arrangement for a company in an industry where technological superiority is considered an essential element in competitive strategy.

Keywords: Innovation and Management; Job Cuts and Outsourcing; Competitive Advantage; Technology Networks; Telecommunications Industry; India;

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