Bharti Airtel is gambling high on the African market. The company has started to restructure its Africa network and has now set a target of achieving 100 million subscribers by 2012.
Manoj Kohli the joint MD and CEO of Bharti’s international operations in an interview talked about Bharti’s strategy to turnaround Zain.
According to Kohli, the operations of Zain actually declining for last 18 months or so. Revenues, profit, EBITDA, market share was declining and his first job there, was to get the decline to be over so that the company can revive it and start a growth trend and that he thinks they have done within the first three months.
He added that since the last month, there has been very good growth. Minutes are growing, Minutes of Usage per customer are growing, revenues are growing and customer satisfaction is growing and today the company is launching as a brand in Africa. People will see a very remarkable change in this market.
When asked about the recently cut tariffs in Kenya he stated that the company’s strategy of course is taking the network deep into the market, into small town, into rural areas, also offer affordable services. Now strategy is affordability and not has price wars etc. which some people are portraying it as. The company is going through a restructure period which can take a couple of quarters. There are around 6 7 big restructurings that they are doing in Africa. The company’s network is being fully restructured.
The company has more than 40 million active customers and is adding more than a million active customers a month. But he added that when the company took over they had shed about 6 million from 42 million to 36 million.