Airtel Africa's growth continues offsetting losses of parent company
September 30, 2019
In late August 2019, Airtel Africa passed the 100 million subscribers mark in Africa for the first time. This milestone is impressive since its parent company, Bharti Airtel has been struggling in its core market of India. Bharti Airtel has spent billions to upgrade its LTE network and defend its market share against a hostile competitor, Reliance Jio. However, Airtel’s strategy of fending off Jio has failed as the latter has been able to gain market share by building an extensive 4G network coupled with extremely low entry level prices. For instance, in the last 2 years Bharti Airtel subscribers in India have declined from 381 million in 2017 to the current figure of 324 million. In contrast during the same 2-year period, Airtel Africa’s subsidiaries added 20 million subscribers. Indeed, Bharti Airtel is becoming increasingly dependent on the continued growth of its Africa operations.