Founded in 1976, by Sunil Bharti Mittal, Bharti has grown from being a manufacturer of
bicycle parts to one of the largest and most respected business groups in India. With its
entrepreneurial spirit and passion to undertake business projects that are transformational
in nature, Bharti has created world-class businesses in telecom, financial services, retail,
Bharti started its telecom services business by launching mobile services in Delhi (India)
in 1995. Since then there has been no looking back and Bharti Airtel, the group's' flagship
company, has emerged as one of the top telecom companies in the world and is amongst
the top five wireless operators in the world.
Through its global telecom operations Bharti group has presence in 21 countries across
Asia, Africa and Europe - India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Jersey, Guernsey, Seychelles,
Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon,
Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania,
Uganda, and Zambia.
Bharti Enterprises is one of India’s leading business groups with interests in telecom, agri
business, insurance and retail. Bharti has been a pioneering force in the telecom sector with
many firsts and innovations to its credit. Bharti Airtel Limited, a group company, is one of
India’s leading private sector providers of telecommunications services with an aggregate of
60 million customers, spanning mobile, fixed line, broadband and enterprise services.
Bharti Airtel was ranked amongst the best performing companies in the world in the
Business Week IT 100 list 2007. Bharti Teletech is the country’s largest manufacturer and
exporter of telephone terminals. Bharti has a joint venture with ELRO Holdings India Ltd. –
‘Field Fresh Foods Pvt. Ltd’ - for global distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables. Bharti
also has a joint venture - ‘Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company Ltd.’ - with AXA, world
leader in financial protection and wealth management. Bharti has recently forayed into the
retail business under a company called Bharti Retail Pvt. Ltd.
It also has a joint venture – ‘Bharti Wal-Mart Private Limited’ – with Wal-Mart, for
wholesale cash-and-carry and back-end supply chain management operations.
AIRTEL- Bharti’s Brand:-
Airtel was born free, a force unleashed into the market with a relentless and unwavering
determination to succeed. A spirit charged with energy, creativity and a team driven “to
seize the day” with an ambition to become the most globally admired telecom service.
Airtel, in just ten years of operations, rose to the pinnacle to achievement and continues to
As India’s leading Telecommunications Company Airtel brand has played the role as a
major catalyst in India’s reforms, contributing to its economic resurgence.
Bharti Airtel is structured into three strategic business units - Mobile services, Broadband &
Telephone (B&T) services and Enterprise services. The mobile business provides mobile &
fixed wireless services using GSM technology across 23 telecom circles. The B&T business
provides broadband & telephone services in 94 cities. The Enterprise services provide end-
to-end telecom solutions to corporate customers and national & international long distance
services to carriers. All these services are provided under the Airtel brand. Airtel's high-
speed optic fibre network currently spans over 53,000 kms covering all the major cities in
the country. The company has two international
Landing stations in Chennai that connects two submarine cable systems - i2i to Singapore
and SEA-ME-WE-4 to Europe.
Telecom giant Bharti Airtel is the flagship company of Bharti Enterprises. The Bharti
Group has a diverse business portfolio and has created global brands in the
telecommunication sector. Bharti has recently forayed into retail business as Bharti Retail
Pvt. Ltd. under a MoU with Wal-Mart for the cash & carry business. It has successfully
launched an international venture with EL Rothschild Group to export fresh agri products
exclusively to markets in Europe and USA and has launched Bharti AXA Life Insurance
Company Ltd under a joint venture with AXA, world leader in financial protection and
Airtel comes to you from Bharti Airtel Limited, India’s largest integrated and the first
private telecom services provider with a footprint in all the 23 telecom circles. Bharti Airtel
since its inception has been at the forefront of technology and has steered the course of the
telecom sector in the country with its world class products and services. The businesses at
Bharti Airtel have been structured into three individual strategic business units (SBU’s) -
mobile services, broadband & telephone services (B&T) & enterprise services. The mobile
business provides mobile & fixed wireless services using GSM technology across 23
telecom circles while the B&T business offers broadband & telephone services in 94 cities.
The Enterprise services provide end-to-end telecom solutions to corporate customers and
national & international long distance services to carriers. All these services are provided
under the Airtel brand.
In 1970’s Bharti entered in to the telecom business by establishing Bharti Telecom Limited
(BTL) that manufactured Telephonic equipment. Over the years it entered into other
business related to telecom industry. The main services of the Bharti group included Airtel
(cellular), Mantra (Internet Services) and beetel (telephone instruments).In 1992,Bharti
entered the cellular market launching services in Delhi. Airtel was launched when 80% of
the people didn’t even heard the term “cellular Services”. That was only confined to the
premium class people. In the early 2000’s Bharti invested heavily in the acquisitions and the
alliances to expand its cellular market in India. As a part of this, Bharti acquired IT Mobile
(AP & Karnataka), sky cell (Chennai) and Spice Cell (Kolkata).It also collaborated with
BPL to gain seamless access in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Chennai, Delhi, Kerala, Tamil Nadu,
AP and Karnataka. Bharti launched Airtel as a postpaid cellular service in Delhi in
November 1995. The company redefined the way cellular service was being marketed in the
country. Airtel was the first cellular operator to set up cellular showrooms. It opened its first
showroom “Airtel Connect” in Delhi, in late 1995. Bharti was also the first cellular
company to install a second mobile switching center. The company was first to provide
roaming cellular services and other value added services such as smart mail, fax, call hold,
cal waiting and information services. It was also the first company to launch an online e-
commerce portal that enabled customers to make online payments.
The tariff rates charged by the government were quite high. Air time charges were as high
as Rs16 per minute as against Rs.1.20 for land line communication.
Thus, all players targeted the premium sector, which could afford the rates. Airtel was also
positioned for the elite class. Airtel launched the ‘Leadership Services’ campaign which
featured successful men and women with their deluxe cars, carrying laptops and using cell
phones. So people started thinking that Airtel was an aspirational brand, which was meant
for leaders and celebrities. People began associating three core benefits with the Airtel
brand –leadership, performance and dynamism. Other supportive values associated with the
brand included courtesy, politeness and efficiency. So Airtel and other brands were treated
as premium-class brands.
During that time Airtel started its leadership campaign by which it is known as a premium
class brand. The taglines like "Airtel celebrates the spirit of leadership" and "The first
choice of the corporate leaders" emphasized that stance. The ‘Leadership’ campaign was
reportedly successful and resulted in a marginal improvement in Airtel performance.
Though the ‘Leadership’ services campaign was successful and resettled in a marginal
improvement in Airtel performance, it failed to attract more customers as it failed to add an
emotional dimension to the brand. Analysis perceived the brand to be distant, effective and
cold. The surveys also revealed that the concept of leadership was itself undergoing a
transformation. The public perceived the campaign as leaders are people who worked with a
team to achieve common objectives rather than those who dictated terms to their
subordinates. The surveys also indicated that 50% of the new subscribers adopted a cellular
service from the advice of their close one’s. So Airtel realized the fact that customer-
relationship was of great importance and lacking an emotional or humanized touch was a
major weakness. So in August 2000, Bharti launched its new ‘Touch Tomorrow’ which
aimed at strengthening its relationship with customers
Leadership campaign to Touch Tomorrow:-
In early 2000 it was observed through market surveys that the concept of leadership was
undergoing a transformation resulting in it being a moderate success. Hence Bharti decided
to ‘humanize’ the brand ‘Airtel’ to gain competitive advantage. In august 2000 Bharti
launched its new ‘Touch Tomorrow’ campaign which aimed at strengthening its
relationship with its customers and make the brand ‘softer’ to cater a wide variety of people
across the society. The Company adopted three-tier brand architecture to expand its ‘Touch
During this time period Airtel introduced the special features like music download, SMS,
permanent GPRS etc at a reasonable affordable price. The three tier brand architecture
which is implemented by Airtel during that time become very successful.
Airtel brand is the 1st tier brand under which the other brands developed. The 2nd tier in this
case are basic telephony, National long distance services, broad band services and mobile
services. The 3rd tier consists of free net, long distance and tango internet mobile.
The focus now was on the endless possibilities of technology to make life good and
advertising became two-pronged: a product-driven communication that showcased new
offerings like the Magic prepaid card, and an emotional communication that showed
The new campaign and the positioning was designed to highlight the relationship angle and
make the brand softer and more sensitive previously Airtel was perceived as a premium
brand ,now the new positioning is intended to add warmth to these attributes. The new
commercial developed for this campaign reflected human, aspirational, family –centric and
software brand values while promising easy reach. The campaign look’s into the needs of
the tomorrow customer. The new branding initiative takes into cognizance the findings that
consumers consider Airtel as a brand of the successful people and a preferred address. In
early 2002, Airtel changed its logo and tagline from ‘Touch Tomorrow” to “live every
moment” to give Airtel a younger look
Touch Tomorrow to LIVE EVERY MOMENT:-
Meaning behind the logo:
Airtel logo is a strong, contempory, a confident symbol of a brand that is
always ahead of the rest, always ‘In-touch’ and on customer’s side.
It incorporates two solid, red rectangular forms whose counter-form creates an open doorway.
The title case lettering with its capital ‘A’ reinforces our leadership position.
The red dot cues in our focus on innovation.
The new logo symbolized innovation, energy and friendliness. The company reportedly
allocated Rs.1 billion for media coverage and other brand building activities. Airtel’s brand
identity and campaign will now have a new younger and international look and feel that
builded on the earlier positioning of “Touch Tomorrow”, injected with renewed energy and
heightened optimism. The shift to “live every moment” from touch tomorrow had
nevertheless, proved that Bharti is consistently on the lookout for best marketing strategies
Positioning Of Airtel through Celebrity Endorsement
In late-2002, Bharti Cellular Ltd. (Bharti), India's largest cellular telephone company released
a television commercial (TVC), which despite using the 'oft-repeated' celebrity endorsement
route was unusual in terms of its celebrity selection. Instead of using the usual movie
stars/sports celebrities, it chose one of the country's most successful music composers, A.R
Rahman to promote its brand.
The campaign attracted considerable media attention because this was the first time Rahman
had agreed to do a television commercial and also because, Rahman had been paid Rs 10
million for the campaign, a sum usually unheard of, for celebrity endorsers in India. The
campaign received brickbats as well as bouquets in the media, both for the selection of
Rahman and the TVC's execution.
However, Bharti claimed to have scored an ace in terms of getting Rahman to compose five
exclusive symphonies downloadable as ring tones for Airtel users. The TVC was a part of the
brand repositioning and restructuring efforts for Airtel, as part of which, Bharti changed the
brand's tagline in early-2002 from 'Touch Tomorrow' to 'Live Every Moment.'
The company also decided to undertake a comprehensive brand building program for the
company and chose the slogan 'Unlimited Freedom' for the same. Commenting on these
changes, company sources said, "Airtel's brand identity and campaign will now have a new
younger and international look and feel that builds on the earlier positioning."
Bharti's massive media expenditure plans were no surprise, considering the fact that it was
the largest cellular telecom company in the country - reaching over 600 million people in 16
(out of 29) states of India. The company posted revenues of Rs 8.48 billion. The Airtel brand
(and the pre-paid card service brand, Magic) had top-of-the-mind recall amongst cellular
phone users and enjoyed a leadership position in most markets. Industry observers primarily
attributed it to Bharti's strong brand building and positioning strategies.
Television commercials and its rating:
“Live Every Moment” To “Express Yourself”:-
Airtel adopted the "express yourself" tagline in 2003, and has used it not just in
communication with customers, but also to unify all internal operations.
While the earlier campaign was on a purely emotional level, the current ad highlights the
capability of Airtel's network. But emotions are important, according to Rediffusion DY&R -
the agency that created the ad. Since service brands talk about experience, it is important for
them to establish an emotional connect with consumers.
A brand audit earlier this year laid the foundations of the new campaign. Feedback on the
brand and performance revealed that among the biggest concerns of young Indians is their
need to stay connected with their parents and other loved ones.
That's especially true of the large numbers migrating to the cities everyday in search of jobs
and better lives. Like other service operators, Airtel too is now setting its sights on tier II and
III towns, and villages, which means it needs to make its brand promise more inclusive and
appealing."The brand is now trying to reach out to all demographics,”
"Telecom as a category has changed very rapidly. When first launched, it was about
technology. Then it targeted premium consumers. Later it went mass and now it is digging
deeper. We have, therefore, launched another campaign to remain in our leadership position."
As is its wont, Airtel has kept brand ambassadors Shahrukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor out of
the new campaign. Airtel does not associate celebrities with its brand-building efforts: they
are used only for specific product promotions - the film stars weren't part of the Express
Yourself campaign, either.
Since it is reaching out to a more varied audience with the current campaign, Airtel is
ensuring the TVC is seen as often and as widely as possible. The ad film is already on air on
television channels like Doordarshan, the Star network, Sony and Zee, as well as regional
channels such as Sun and Gemini.
More than 1,000 hoardings have also been put up in metros, tier II and tier III towns, while
print ads are being planned in vernacular dailies and magazines.
The mobile telephony ad isn't the only campaign Bharti launched this season. A few weeks
ago, it kicked off its first advertising efforts for the enterprise services business. The
business-to-business communication is focused on a series of print ads, all of which show
images of smartly dressed executives engaged in non-business activities: rowing boats,
playing golf and so on.
The message: if your organization is well networked, you don't need to be present in office.
The body copy underlines that: "All 10 leading banks in India nine out of the top 10 BPOs,
over 1,000 leading corporate, one integrated solutions partner Airtel Enterprise Services."
The enterprise business's campaign will run for the next three months, informing large
business houses and other potential customers about the services this division provides.
The Company has developed the following strategies to achieve its strategic objective
•Focus on maximizing revenues and margins;
•Capture maximum telecommunications revenue potential with minimum geographical
•Offer multiple telecommunications services to provide customers with a "one-stop shop"
•Position itself to tap data transmission opportunities and offer advanced mobile data
•Focus on satisfying and retaining customers by ensuring high level of customer satisfaction;
•Leverage strengths of its strategic and financial partners; and
•Emphasize on human resource development to achieve operational efficiencies
Bharti Tele-Ventures believes that the following elements will contribute to the Company's
success as an integrated telecommunication services provider in India and will provide
theCompany with a solid foundation to execute its business strategy:
•Nationwide Footprint - approximately 92% of India's total mobile subscribers resided in the
Company's fifteen mobile circles. These 15 circles collectively accounted for approximately
56% of India's land mass;
•Focus on telecommunications to enable the Company to better anticipate industry trends and
capitalize on new telecommunications-related business opportunities.
•The strong brand name recognition and a reputation for offering high quality service to its
•Quality management team with vision and proven execution skills; and
•The Company's strong relationships with international strategic and financial investors such
as SingTel, WarburgPincus, International Finance Corporation, Asian Infrastructure Fund
Group and New York Life Insurance.
Bharti tele-communications provides and amongst the top technologies in the world. In
ranking of top 100 global technology companies, Bharti has made its maiden appearance at a
very impressive 19th position. At the 19th position, Bharti features ahead of global
companies like Microsoft, Ericsson, Motorola, Verizon, France Telecom, IBM, Intel, Cisco
and Qualcomm. It provides the largest GSM network.
A position should be easy to communicate and quick to comprehend. Difficulty in either
suggests that a position is too fuzzy to be of value to the brand. Airtel provides clarity and an
undisrupted voice or network connection everywhere.
People have few needs that are unfulfilled, and they have many choices to fill the needs they
have. If a brand’s position lacks distinctiveness it will be forced to compete on the bases of
price or promotion; expensive strategies that will not build brand equity in the long term.
Airtel is distinct in its services, clarity, network and efficiency.
Airtel needed to deploy a cohesive and coordinated approach to operating its systems. Speak
with one voice through all the elements of the marketing mix if one wishes to create strong
position. If, for example, a brand that is positioned as premium quality and price appears to
be low, its quality image will suffer. And thus meeting all such requirements is Airtel’s
Often people will get nervous when a strong position threatens to ignore or even alienate
some segment of the population as a price of clearly communicating to the desired target.
Once a position is adopted, it takes commitment to see it through, in the face of criticism and
pot shots. Airtel is committed to its customers and keep on looking after their tele-
Airtel brings you a host of exciting features ranging from facilities like online tests, in touch
and Video Surveillance Solutions to trouble shooting devices like, Net Expert and Web
Jockey. Airtel’s provides the best broadband services of high speed and performance to its
It goes without saying that adopting a strong brand position requires coverage. It is much
easier to defend an appeal to everyone with a rather generic sales pitch. You must believe that
the position makes strategic sense for the brand and then stick to your guns. Airtel covers 94
cities in India.
Branding through Celebrity endorsement:-
Airtel’s umbrella branding
An umbrella brand is an overarching brand used across multiple related products. Umbrella
branding is also known as family branding. It contrasts with individual product branding, in
which each product in a portfolio is given a unique brand name and identity.
AIRTEL Umbella Branding : Airtel GSM, Airtel -dth, Airtel-Broadband, Airtel-telemedia
Airtel’s co branding:-
Co-branding is also called brand partnership, is when two companies form an alliance to work
together, creating marketing synergy. As described in Co-Branding: The Science of Alliance:
Airtel Co-branding: Nokia Airtel, Siemen Airtel, Google Airtel,
• In today’s ere as far as communication service provider is concerned Airtel is
positioned as rank one communication service provider in the mind of the customer.
So to retain its position and maintain the gap between its competitor Airetl needs more
• We think Airtel should do some CSR campaign so that people perceive it as more
• Some humor and emotional ads in the electronic media may attract more and more
Airtel has the most recognizable brand in the Indian operator space.Globally, Bharti Airtel is the
3rd largest in-country mobile operator by subscriber base, behind China Mobile and China Unicom.
In India, the company has a 30.7% share of the wireless services market. Airtel is an aspirational and
lifestyle branding a way that trivitalised the price in the mind of the subscribers brand . Airtel brand
position is all about creating a winning brand position, capture the mind ,win the day. Choosing their
brand words carefully “Express Yourself”..Brand positioning workshop .In perceptual mapping, Airtel
has high connectivity and high esteem . From this we can conclude that its brand is high intention in
mind of people. Airtel has its own brand umbrella and co-branding. So in 2020 Airtel will be one of
the high connectivity global telecom service provider.