India’s private telcos shift focus to enterprise business to drive revenues

enterprise business revenues
Clay well rings constructed in West Bengal, India. Image by Arindam Chowdhury | Bigstockphoto

Indian telecom operators are aggressively focusing on building their enterprise business by adding new capabilities and entering into new segments to drive their revenues in the country.

Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea Limited are also trying to capture the digitisation opportunity in the country as enterprises across categories quickly digitise their business to cope with the challenges introduced by the ongoing pandemic.

Industry analysts said that enterprise businesses had contributed just 10% to any telco’s revenues in India. With an increased focus, Indian telcos could grow the share to 20-25% of their businesses in the next couple of years.

Airtel’s enterprise business has grown in double digits over the last few years. A large chunk of Airtel’s business comes from the top 20% of its customers, and therefore it aims to revamp its go to market strategy and emphasise both hunting and farming.

“…we have also consistently grown market share and are outperforming other listed players in the last few quarters. Our business model is also extremely efficient as reflected in our industry-leading margins of 38.7%,” Bharti Airtel India chief executive Gopal Vittal said in a recent analyst call.

Bharti Airtel recently launched Airtel IQ and Airtel Ads to enter fast-growing cloud communications and adtech markets, respectively. Analysts said that Sunil Mittal-led telco’s multiple new enterprise projects would help it grow its overall B2B business, especially the cybersecurity business. It is also building new data centres through its subsidiary Nxtra Data.

In the last one year, Airtel launched its security intelligence centre with an investment of Rs 100 crore ($13.7 million) and entered into partnerships with Cisco, Vmware, Radware and Force point to offer cybersecurity solutions. It also entered into a strategic deal with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide cloud solutions for small to medium (SME) and enterprise customers in India.

Reliance Jio, India’s leading telecom operator by revenue and subscribers, is also building its enterprise business with cloud services, fibre connectivity, Internet of Things (IoT) and a suite of enterprise solutions.

The Mukesh Ambani-led telco is currently in advanced talks and trials with original equipment makers (OEMs) to launch narrowband Internet of Things (IoT) or NB-IoT services in the country. It claimed to have developed a comprehensive solution with device, diagnostics, connectivity, platform and support.

Jio aims to connect at least a billion connected IoT devices to its Internet of Things (IoT) platform, eyeing Rs 20,000 crore ($2.74 billion) annual revenue opportunity.

Vodafone Idea, India’s third-largest telco by subscribers, also revealed that its enterprise revenue is growing faster than its consumer revenue. It aims to further develop the business through a partnership-based model and focus on small and medium organisations and startups.

Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) recently entered into strategic partnerships with players like Hubbler, Eunimart and Fiskl to bolster its enterprise offerings for small and medium organisations.

“We want to have the right set of partners, both internationally and locally. Currently, we are focused on segments like financial modelling, process automation, business networking. There are other areas where we will soon enter. We have an aggressive plan on partnership models,” Abhijit Kishore- Chief Enterprise Business Officer- Vodafone Idea was quoted as saying by the Economic Times recently. 

VIL is currently testing its NB-IoT network and will soon launch commercial services, having already conducted small scale proof of concepts (PoCs) with various utility companies.

Rohan Dhamija, partner and head, India and the Middle East, Analysys Mason, told the publication that the pandemic had forced Indian businesses to go digital, and there is a huge demand for telcos to provide with the network and cloud-related support. “The improved fibre connectivity has also added to their advantage.”

Be the first to comment

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.