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The Indian Telecommunications network is the third largest in the world and the second largest among the emerging economies of Asia. Today, it is the fastest growing market in the world. The telecommunication sector continued to register significant success during the year and has emerged as one of the key sectors responsible for Indias resurgent Indias economic growth.

Telecom industry poses high entry and exit barriers. Telecom players need to invest heavily on equipment, cables and other assets and technology and they have to wait for years to obtain return on their investment. The market for telecom industry can be divided into individual, corporate, rural and urban segments. On the basis of product offered, the market can be divided into fixed, mobile, internet and video telecom services. A player desirous of entering telecom industry needs to analyze its strengths and weaknesses in terms of financial resources and technical expertise and its ability to face threats from changes in legal and political conditions and competition and technology. It should also have strategies in place to exploit any opportunity that emerges in the market. Each player should design an optimum marketing mix that enables it to establish an edge over competition. There are limited global players in telecom industry and they are competing with each other in their spending on R&D. In India, major telecom players are acquiring smaller players and expanding their business, leading to consolidation.


Research Methodology:

Primary Data Collection

Secondary Data Collection

Def.: Primary data are original first hand data Def.: Secondary data are published by some collected by the researcher through surveys, outside agency like trade journal for research interviews, observation & experimentation. purpose. Such data already exist somewhere Questionnaires are used for the collection of having being collected for some other purpose. primary data. Such data are more valuable as the data are fresh, reliable & tailor-made.

Primary data will be collected from-

Secondary data will be collected from1. Books, journals & internet sites.

1. Customers feedback by questionnaire.


To explore the marketing mix of Bharti Airtel.

To understand or study the strategies adopted by Airtel to compete in the market.

To explore the role of service employees in marketing services.

To explore different services offered by Bharti Airtel.

To study the service gaps and branding.

To study the customers views about the services offered by Airtel.

To study how competently the company is performing to accomplish their Mission, Vision & Values.


3.1: What is a SERVICE?

A service is the action of doing something for someone or something. It is largely intangible (i.e. not material). A product is tangible (i.e. material) since you can touch it and own it. A service tends to be an experience that is consumed at the point where it is purchased, and cannot be owned since is quickly perishes. A person could go to a caf one day and have excellent service, and then return the next day and have a poor experience. Characteristics

Inseparable - from the point where it is consumed, and from the provider of the service. For example, you cannot take a live theatre performance home to consume it (a DVD of the same performance would be a product, not a service).

Intangible - and cannot have a real, physical presence as does a product. For example, motor insurance may have a certificate, but the financial service itself cannot be touched i.e. it is intangible.

Perishable - in that once it has occurred it cannot be repeated in exactly the same way. For example, once a 100 metres Olympic final has been run, there will be not other for 4 more years, and even then it will be staged in a different place with many different finalists.

Variability- since the human involvement of service provision means that no two services will be completely identical. For example, returning to the same garage time and time again for a service on your car might see different levels of customer satisfaction, or speediness of work.

Right of ownership - is not taken to the service, since you merely experience it. For example, an engineer may service your air-conditioning, but you do not own the service, the engineer or his equipment. You cannot sell it on once it has been consumed, and do not take ownership of it.


The service marketing mix is also known as an extended marketing mix and is an integral part of a service blueprint design. The service marketing mix consists of 7 Ps as compared to the 4 Ps of a product marketing mix. Simply said, the service marketing mix assumes the service as a product itself. However it adds 3 more Ps which are required for optimum service delivery.

The product marketing mix consists of the 4 Ps which are Product, Pricing, Promotions and Placement. These are discussed in my article on product marketing mix the 4 Ps. The extended service marketing mix places 3 further Ps which include People, Process and Physical evidence. All of these factors are necessary for optimum service delivery. Let us discuss the same in further detail. Product The product in service marketing mix is intangible in nature. Like physical products such as soap or a detergent, service products cannot be measured. Tourism industry or the education industry can be an excellent example. At the same time service products are

heterogeneous, perishable and cannot be owned. The service product thus has to be designed with care. Generally service blue printing is done to define the service product. For example a restaurant blue print will be prepared before establishing a restaurant business. This service blue print defines exactly how the product (in this case the restaurant) is going to be. Pricing Pricing in case of services is rather more difficult than in case of products. If you were a restaurant owner, you can price people only for the food you are serving. But then who will pay for the nice ambience you have built up for your customers? Who will pay for the band you have for music? Thus these elements have to be taken into consideration while costing. Generally service pricing involves taking into consideration labor, material cost and overhead costs. By adding a profit mark up you get your final service pricing. You can also read about pricing strategies. Place - Place in case of services determine where is the service product going to be located. The best place to open up a petrol pump is on the highway or in the city. A place where there is minimum traffic is a wrong location to start a petrol pump. Similarly a software company will be better placed in a business hub with a lot of companies nearby rather than being placed in a town or rural area. Promotion Promotions have become a critical factor in the service marketing mix. Services are easy to be duplicated and hence it is generally the brand which sets a service apart from its counterpart. You will find a lot of banks and telecom companies promoting themselves rigorously. Why is that? It is because competition in this service sector is generally high and promotion is necessary to survive. Thus banks, IT companies, and dotcoms place themselves above the rest by advertising or promotions. Here on we start towards the extended service marketing mix. People People is one of the elements of service marketing mix. People define a service. If you have an IT company, your software engineers define you. If you have a restaurant, your chef and service staff defines you. If you are into banking, employees in your branch and their behavior towards customers define you. In case of service marketing, people can make or break an organization. Thus many companies nowadays are involved into specially getting their staff trained in interpersonal skills and customer service with a focus towards customer satisfaction. In fact many companies have to undergo accreditation to show that their staff is better than the rest. Definitely a USP in case of services.

Physical Evidence The last element in the service marketing mix is a very important element. As said before, services are intangible in nature. However, to create a better customer experience tangible elements are also delivered with the service. Take an example of a restaurant which has only chairs and tables and good food, or a restaurant which has ambient lighting, nice music along with good seating arrangement and this also serves good food. Which one will you prefer? The one with the nice ambience. Thats physical evidence. Several times, physical evidence is used as a differentiator in service marketing. Imagine a private hospital and a government hospital. A private hospital will have plush offices and well dressed staff. Same cannot be said for a government hospital. Thus physical evidence acts as a differentiator. Process Service process is the way in which a service is delivered to the end customer. Lets take the example of two very good companies Mcdonalds and Fedex. Both the companies thrive on their quick service and the reason they can do that is their confidence on their processes. On top of it, the demand of these services is such that they have to deliver optimally without a loss in quality. Thus the process of a service company in delivering its product is of utmost importance. It is also a critical component in the service blueprint, wherein before establishing the service, the company defines exactly what should be the process of the service product reaching the end customer.



The triangle is a concept that links the three elements of service marketing: organization, employees and customers.

Three levels of marketing are deducted from this framework: Internal marketing from the organization to the employees External marketing from the organization to the customer Interactive marketing that occurs between the employee and the customer during service consumption. The service marketing triangle does offer limitations and assumptions, such as the lack of consideration of customer interaction and the equal importance of each of the elements. It is, however, an important tool in understanding service marketing. The implications of the service marketing triangle are varied, and a limited number of these implications can be discussed in this paper. The importance of the service employee in service delivery is a key implication, due to the nature of interactive marketing. The concept of internal marketing as a method of communicating to and motivating service employees is highlighted by the theory. The method in which the organization presents itself to its customers in its marketing communication activities is a key to ensuring success of the service organization.

3.3.1: Interactive Marketing

The Importance of the Service Employee: The current service marketing literature emphasizes a number of issues arising from the practice of service marketing. The characteristics of services enable marketers to conceptualize these issues into meaningful classifications. Services by their nature are consumed at the time of purchase. Such an intricate relationship between the customer and the service has led many authors to emphasize the importance of the service employee in service delivery. Due to the fact that most services are consumed or used at the moment of production, the services industry relies heavily on hiring and training its people to create an experience instead of a product, an experience in the view of the customer or often while interacting with them . Hence, employees not only need the skills to do the job, but also the skills to manage the customers at moments of truth. The term refers to the multiple contacts that the customer has with the organization and its employees regardless of how remote, but where the consumer can

form an impression on the incident. The term is relevant to all firms, both product and services, in describing the importance of every contact or encounter the customer has with the organization and its employees any one of which can make or break the relationship. The services industry realizes that its people must perform their jobs with a smile and a friendly facade. This is especially true if they are in customer-contact jobs. This means that happy consumers are the majority of the time, directly related to content employees. Thus, the industry spends considerable time and energy making sure that its employees are pleased in their jobs so that they can spread their sense of enjoyment to the customers. However, even employees behind the scenes can negatively influence overall customer satisfaction if they are not cheerful and not supporting a customer-oriented culture.

Managing the Service Employee The Use of Company Culture:

The company culture within the services sector must be carefully planned and communicated to all employees. The more intangible the offering to the customer, the stronger the cultural values, beliefs, and norms must be in that particular service organization. As a result of this idea, good managers know that the values, beliefs, and norms of the behaviors taught to employees by the company culture become critical in ensuring that each front-line employee does what the organization wants done in unanticipated situations. When the company culture is well communicated a feeling of dedication to the companys norms becomes stronger. Culture can be taught or conveyed in a number of interrelated ways. It can be inspired via formal training programs, modeled by managers and other employees, and storytelling. A strong culture also gives meaning to employee jobs. All employees want to feel important and that his or her work contributes to something greater than what they can do by themselves. For example at Disney, Disney employees learn that their mission is to create happiness. Disney advertisements, the community programs they sponsor, and the organization's training and reward systems all teach and reinforce this value. happiness. With an organized company culture and employee commitment there is more overall effectiveness within the service sector. There is considerable research that ties an organizations financial performance with the perceived quality of its services. Moments of truth with customers where perceived quality is formed are the interactions customers have with front line employees. These are caused by the organizational performance and culture of the company. Bergstrom, Blumenthal & Crothers (2002) suggest that commitment is best stimulated through an appropriate culture. However, the establishment of a particular culture is complex and timeconsuming. Furthermore, while culture has a strong influence on employee behavior, it may not suffice as the singular tool for the communication of appropriate behaviour. Thus, a more planned approach must be taken. It has been suggested in the literature, that one such approach may be the practice of internal marketing. Their job is no longer to merely give directions, load rides, or sweep streets. It is now to be part of a greater cause of providing

3.3.2: Internal Marketing:


Recent developments in the literature and empirical research in the field of service quality have yielded findings suggesting a significant correlation between the degree of commitment to the organization among employees, and the quality, consistency and coherence of the service experience. Thus, it would seem that the achievement of commitment to the organization among employees is a worthwhile endeavor.

Functions of Internal Marketing:

Internal marketing was originally proposed as a means of employee motivation through tailoring job products to employees needs. According to the theory, staff would then be more willing as well as more capable to deliver superior service and consequently increase customer satisfaction. A second paradigm in the internal marketing literature concerned the notion of internal markets, with internal suppliers and internal customers. According to this orientation within internal marketing, an internal approach to quality exchanges similar to the principles of Total Quality Management would serve in increasing internal efficiency and effectiveness, motivate staff through better relationships and ultimately result in a better product or service offering. Grnroos (1981) sees the ultimate goal of internal marketing in the communication of organisational values and objectives to employees in order to stimulate organisational commitment. The author differentiates between internal marketing at a strategic and a tactical level. The former refers to the creation of an internal environment bolstering customer consciousness, while the latter refers to the internal promotion of particular marketing activities to employees (Grnroos, 1981). Thus, internal marketing fulfils both the function of establishing a fertile culture for the stimulation of commitment as well as facilitating commitment through the communication of organizational goals and objectives.

The three functions of internal marketing outlined above can be sequentially linked

The attraction and retention of suitable employees to the organization


The communication of organizational goals and objectives to these employees Facilitation of the establishment of efficient and effective internal supplier-customer relationships aimed at the ultimate target of increasing customer satisfaction.

Benefits of Internal Marketing:

The result of such an integrative approach to internal marketing is motivated, committed and empowered employees capable of translating organizational targets into suitable behavioral patterns. Given the need for consistency, coherence, integrity and the reduction of the gap between image and perception in services marketing, internal marketing offers a considerable benefit to service organizations.

Issues in Internal Marketing:

According to Shipley (1994), resistance can occur in internal marketing.

Before internal

marketing can be considered, the necessary environment has to be created in which internal marketing is more likely to be fruitful. This notion is consistent with Grnroos (1981) concept of internal marketing at a strategic level.

The issue of service quality measurement in internal marketing is commented on by Reynoso & Moores (1995) in the context of the internal market suppliers and customers paradigm, however the authors criticism is applicable to at least some aspects in all of the major orientations of internal marketing. According to the authors, service quality measurement frameworks such as SERVQUAL (Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Berry, 1988) are too stringent in their identification of relevant dimensions, thus reducing their transferability of such generic criteria across different sectors. Furthermore, the authors argue the mere adaptation of such models, as proposed by, for example, Frost & Kumar (2000) or Straughan & Cooper (2002), to be insufficient on the grounds of a lack of research supporting such a claim. Thus, an individual approach in each case may be


more useful, as shown by Bruhn (2003, p. 1187) in his development of an internal service barometer for Novartis. A crucial element of internal marketing is the type, content and context of the message being conveyed. Not only does the message need to be internally consistent, a match needs to be made between internal and external messages communicated by the organisation. Furthermore, to create enthusiasm among both employees as well as consumers, an engaging, uniting, underlying principle needs to be established to tie all communication together.

3.3.3: External Marketing: Internal and interactive marketing can be considered more recent paradigms in marketing thought. However, external marketing is a more established theory within marketing, and therefore within services marketing. External marketing involves all aspects of communication between a firm and its external publics. The service marketing triangle identifies external marketing as an essential tool in an integrated marketing communications campaign.


Objective of External Marketing: A service firm uses external marketing to communicate its offerings to customers. External marketing represents a method by which firms may communicate their promises to their publics. These publics consist of customers, shareholders, the general public, government, and competitors. The promises communicated include the benefits that the service will provide the return on investment, policies on the environment, and compliance to regulations and legislation.

Methods in External Marketing: The methods used in external marketing are wide ranging, and involve all of the tools in the communications marketing mix. This includes sales promotion, advertising, personal selling and corporate design (Lovelock, 1996). While it has been demonstrated that the employee carries out marketing of the service firm, the importance of the more traditional methods of marketing communications cannot be ignored. The balance of these varying elements is crucial, with managers forced to allocate budgets and commitment to each depending on the objectives of the campaign. Each of the individual elements involve a number of managerial decisions; choosing agencies, setting objectives, selecting media and audiences (Wilson and Gilligan, 2001).

Promise Management: A key issue in external marketing is managing the service promise to the customer. Conflict may arise between what the customer has come to expect from the service and that which is delivered by the service organization. It is the role of external marketing to ensure that operations and marketing are in agreement as to the promise made and the service received. The literature identifies a number of methods by which the service promise to the customer may be managed. Organizations must create effective services communications, ensuring that there is no ambiguity in the message. In addition, promises made must accurately reflect the service that will be delivered. External communication must be organised such that it represents an accurate

reflection of the service organisation. Realistic promises must be made based on the capabilities of the organisation. Reassurance must be offered to the customer in the form of service guarantees, such as money back or complaint resolution promises.

3.4: SERVICE BRANDING: The argument has been made that services are intangible dominant. The challenge therefore for service managers is to tangibilise services. A method of tangibilising services is to build a service brand. In order to build and reinforce a brand, a firm must concentrate on a number of external marketing activities. Such a branding task involves assessing the position that a service holds in the competitive environment and assessing consumer perception of the brand. In order to move the consumer perception of the brand to the desired location, branding communications must be carried out. Such communications include endowing the service with a personality, with characteristics such as caring, vibrant, mature. This may be achieved through the use of sales promotions or advertising. Thus, external marketing plays a critical role in service marketing. communicate with its publics. public. It allows a firm to It enables the firm to set promises and build expectations

regarding the service firm. It allows the firm to build a brand and communicate this brand to the

3.5: SERVICE QUALITY: Service quality involves a comparison of expectations with performance. According to Lewis and Booms service quality is a measure of how well a delivered service matches the customers expectations. Generally the customer is requesting a service at the service interface where the service encounter is being realized, and then the service is being provided by the provider and in the same time delivered to or consumed by customers.

The main reason to focus on quality is to meet customer needs while remaining economically


competitive in the same time.[1] This means satisfying customer needs is very important for the enterprises to survive. The outcome of using quality practices is: Understanding and improving of operational processes Identifying problems quickly and systematically Establishing valid and reliable service performance measures Measuring customer satisfaction and other performance outcomes

3.5.1: Managing the Service Quality:

The traditional orientation of measuring the quality is quantifiable terms of its collection and use no longer offers attainable goals; or does it adequately address the campus community's demands for information. New ways to conceive of and measure quality in service industry is needed--and alternate approaches emerge in the business sector where organizations are increasingly evaluated in terms of their service quality. The primary focus of a service industry is service, and service quality is the most studied topic in marketing research during the past decade. A repeated theme in the marketing literature is that service quality, as perceived by consumers, is a function of what customers expect and how well the firm performs in providing the service. Among the most popular assessments tools of service quality is SERVQUAL, an instrument designed by the marketing research team of Berry, Parasuraman, and Zeithaml (PB&Z). Through numerous qualitative studies, they evolved a set of five dimensions which have been consistently ranked by customers to be most important for service quality, regardless of service industry. These dimensions are defined as follows:

Tangibles appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and communication materials.

Reliability ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately.


Responsiveness willingness to help customers and provide prompt service; Assurance knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence.

Empathy the caring, individualized attention the firm provides its customers.

3.5.2: SERVQUAL METHODOLOGY: Measuring customer satisfaction is a critical requirement for many organizations, but it does not need to be a painful one. T.S.P.G. offers a very useful process for measuring the overall customer satisfaction of an organization through the ServQual Methodology. Originally developed by leading customer satisfaction researchers Valarie Zeithaml, A. Parasuraman and Leonard Berry (Delivering Quality Service, Free Press: 1990), the ServQual Methodology is an invaluable tool for organizations to better understand what customers value and how well their current organizations are meeting the needs and expectations of customers. ServQual provides a benchmark based on customer opinions of an excellent company, on your company, on the importance ranking of key attributes,

and on a comparison to what your employees believe customers feel.

It provides detailed information about: Customer perceptions of service (a benchmark established by your own customers); Your performance levels as perceived by customers; Customer comments and suggestions; Impressions from employees with respect to customer expectations and satisfaction. ServQual has proven to be a simple yet effective tool for many organizations.

3.6: GAP MODEL: The gap model (also known as the "5 gaps model") of service quality is an important customer-satisfaction framework. In "A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research" (The Journal of Marketing, 1985), A. Parasuraman, VA Zeitham and LL Berry identify five major gaps that face organizations seeking to meet customer's expectations of the customer experience.


The five gaps that organizations should measure manage and minimize:

Gap 1 is the distance between what customers expect and what managers think they expect - Clearly survey research is a key way to narrow this gap.

Gap 2 is between management perception and the actual specification of the customer experience - Managers need to make sure the organization is defining the level of service they believe is needed.

Gap 3 is from the experience specification to the delivery of the experience - Managers need to audit the customer experience that their organization currently delivers in order to make sure it lives up to the spec.

Gap 4 is the gap between the delivery of the customer experience and what is communicated to customers - All too often organizations exaggerate what will be provided to customers, or discuss the best case rather than the likely case, raising customer expectations and harming customer perceptions.

Finally, Gap 5 is the gap between a customer's perception of the experience and the customer's expectation of the service - Customers' expectations have been shaped by word of mouth, their personal needs and their own past experiences. Routine transactional surveys after delivering the customer experience are important for an organization to measure customer perceptions of service.

Each gap in the customer experience can be closed through diligent attention from management. Survey software can be key to assisting management with this crucial task.



Bharti Airtel Limited (NSE: BHARTIARTL, BSE: 532454), commonly known as Airtel, is an Indian telecommunications company that operates in 19 countries across South Asia, Africa and the Channel Islands. It operates a GSM network in all countries, providing 2G or 3G services depending upon the country of operation. Airtel is the fifth largest telecom operator in the world with over 207.8 million subscribers across 19 countries at the end of 2010. It is the largest cellular service provider in India, with over 152.5 million subscribers at the end of 2010. Airtel is the 3rd largest in-country mobile operator by subscriber base, behind China Mobile and China Unicom. Airtel also offers fixed line services and broadband services. It offers its telecom services under the Airtel brand and is headed by Sunil Bharti Mittal. Bharti Airtel is the first Indian telecom service provider to achieve this Cisco Gold Certification. To earn Gold Certification, Bharti Airtel had to meet rigorous standards for networking competency, service, support and customer satisfaction set forth by Cisco.[3] The company also provides land-line telephone services and broadband Internet access (DSL) in over 96 cities in India. It also acts as a carrier for national and international long distance communication services. The company has a submarine cable landing station at Chennai, which connects the submarine cable connecting Chennai and Singapore. Bharti airtel limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa. The company offers mobile voice & data services, fixed line, high speed broadband, IPTV, DTH, turnkey telecom solutions for enterprises and national & international long distance services to carriers. Bharti airtel has been ranked among the six best performing technology companies in the world by business week. Bharti airtel had 200 million customers across its operations.


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1. Product: Airtel Prepaid Mobile Connection Airtel Postpaid Mobile Connection Airtel Digital TV Airtel Broadband Services Blackberry Wireless Handheld,etc. Value Added Services (VAS) Instant Balance Enquiry 24hr Recharge Facility Caller Line Identification Call Divert, Call Wait & Call Hold Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) Airtel Live Portal SMS based Information Service Hello Tune & Ring Tones Voice Mail Services Easy Postpaid Bill Connection Gifting of Ringtones & Hello Tunes GPRS 1. Price: Customer Based Pricing Strategy Flexible Pricing Mechanism Controlled By TRAI


1. Place: Wide & Extensive presence even in the Remotest Area Airtel Customer Care Touch Points Distributors like; Eg.: Pan shops, Grocery shops, Chemists, Outlets,etc.

1. Promotion: Large scale Print & Video Advertising Big celebrities like SRK, Saif, Karina, Sachin are roped in to endorse the products. In 2002, Airtel got its signature tune from A. R. Rehman, this signature tune is the most downloaded tune in India. Recently in 2011, Airtel introduced another promotional tune Har Ek Friend Zaruri Hota Hai, this is again a popular & successful promotional tune.

1. People:

Well trained and qualified workforce. Dedicated and passionate workforce. One of the best customer support. Have won 2nd best employer of award in 2004.

1. Physical Evidence: Relationship centers/Airtel Gallery in different cities. Attractive ambience in relationship centers. Posters, pamphlets and banners about new plans or products are displayed in relationship centers, dealers shops, etc. 1. Process:

Process for getting the service is very easy and the customer can avail it easily. The functioning of different value added facilities, internet services, etc have also become more easy and simplified. 121 is the customer support number which can be dialed from anywhere in India.

4.3: Competitive Strengths:


Bharti Tele-ventures believes that the following elements will contribute to the companys success as an integrated telecommunication services provider in India and will provide the company with a solid foundation to execute its strategy.

Nationwide Footprint- Appropriately 92% of Indias total mobile sucscribers resided in the companys fifteen mobile circles. These fifteen circles collectively accounted for approximately 56% of Indias landmass.

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 services to its customers.

Quality management team with vision and proven execution skills.

The companys strong relationship with international strategic and financial investors such as SingTel, WarburgPincus, International Finance Corporation, Asian Infrastructure Fund Group and New York Life Insurance.

4.4: Brand Architecture:

Bharti is working on a complex three-layered branding architecture:

Create specific brands for each service Build sub-brands within each of these services and

Use Bharti as a mother brand providing the group its corporate identity as well as defining its goal to become a national builder of telecom infrastructure.

4.5: Brand Strategy:

4.5.1: Brand building exercise associated with AirTelAirTel, a brand that had to be repositioned recently to address new needs in the market. When the brand was launched, cellular telephone wasnt a mass market by any means. For a average customer owing a phone was expensive as tariff rates (at Rs 8 a minute) as well as instrument prices were steep; sometimes as much as buying a second-hand car. Bharti could have addressed the customers by rationally explaining to him the economic advantage of using a mobile phone. But such a strategy would not have worked for the simple reason that the value from using the phone at the time was not commensurate with the cost.

Instead of the value-proposition model, they decided to address the sensory benefit it gave to the customer as the main selling tack. The idea was to become a badge value brand. So the AirTel leadership series campaign was launched showing successful men with their laptops and in their deluxe cars using the mobile phone. In simple terms, it meant Airtel was positioned as an aspiration brand that was meant for leaders, for customers who stood out in a crowd. D i d i t w o r k ? R e p e a t e d s u r v e y s f o l l o w i n g t h e l a u n c h s h o w e d t h a t there were three core benefits that were clearly associated with the brand leadership, dynamism and performance . These were valuable qualities, but they

only took AirTel far enough to establish its presence in the market. As tariffs started dropping, it became necessary for AirTel to appeal to a wider audience. And the various brandtracking exercises showed that despite all these good things, there was no economical dimension to the brand- it was perceived as cold, distant and efficient. The team realized that in business in which customer relationships were the core this could be a major weakness. T h e reason? With tariffs identical to competitor Reliance Infocomm and roughly the same level of service and schemes, it had now become important for Bharti to humanize AirTel and use that relationship as a major differentiation. The brand had become something like Lufthansa- cold and efficient. What they neede was to become Singapore Airlines, efficient but also human. A change in tack was important because this was a time when the cellular market was changing. The leadership series was okay when you were wooing the crmede la crme of society. Once you reached them you had to expand the market so there was need to address to new customers. By that time, Bharti was already the leading cellular subscriber in D e l h i with a base of 3.77 lakh (it now has 1.2 million customers). And with t a r i f f s b e c o m i n g m o r e a f f o r d a b l e ; a s c e l l c o m p a n i e s started cutting prices it was time to expand the market. How could Bharti leverage this leadership position down the value chain? Surveys showed that 50% of the new customers choose a mobile phone brand mostly through word of mouth endorsements from friends, family or collegues. Thus, existing customers were an important tool for market expansion and Bharti now focused on building closer relationships with them. That is precisely what the brand tried to achieve through its new positioning under the AirTel Touch Tomorrow brand campaign.

This set of campaigns portrayed mobile users surrounded by caring family members. The new campaign and positioning was designed to highlight the relationship angle and make the brand softer and more sensitive. As it looks to expand its cellular services nationwide to eight new circles apart from the seven in which it already operates Bharti is now realizing that there are new compulsions to rework the AirTel b r a n d , a n d a n e w e x e r c i s e is being launched to this effect. Right now, the company is unwilling to discuss the new positioning in detail. But broadly, the focus is on p o s i t i o n i n g A i r T e l a s a p o w e r brand with numerous regional sub-brands reflecting

customer needs in various parts of the country. If AirTel is becoming more human and more sensitive as a brand, Bharti has also understood that one common brand for all cellular o p e r a t i o n s m i g h t n o t a l w a y s w o r k i n u r b a n m a r k e t s t h a t a r e n o w getting increasingly saturated. To bring in new customers, the company decided that it needed to segment the market. One such experiment, launched last year, is Y o u t o p i a , a b r a n d a i m e d a t t h e y o u t h i n t h e 1 4 t o 1 9 a g e b r a c k e t and for those who are young at heart. With its earlier positioning, AirTel was perceived as a brand for the well-heeled older customer; there was nothing for younger people. With Youtopia, AirTel hoped to reverse that. In order to deliver the concept, AirTel offered rock bottom tariff rates (25 paise for 30 seconds) at night to Youtopia customers; a time when they make maximum number of calls. It also set up merchandising exercises around the scheme like a special portal for young people to buy things or bid for goods. The company is now looking at offering other services at affordable prices to this segment which include music downloads on the mobile a n d b u n d l i n g S M S r a t e s w i t h n o r m a l c a l l s t o m a k e i t c h e a p e r f o r young people to use. The other experiment that Bharti has worked on is to go in for product segmentation through the Tango brand name. The brand was created to offer mobile users Internet-interface services or what is known as WAP (Wireless Application Protocol). The idea was to bring Internet and mobile in perfect harmony. The name was chosen from the popular movie title; It Takes Two To Tango basically, you need the two services to tango to offer customers a new choice. This, however, had less to do with the branding exercise as within efficiency of service (accusingly slow download speed) and the limited utility of WAP services. Subsequently, the ads were withdrawn, but the company re-iterated that the branding exercise could be revived because Tango will be the brand to offer GPRS services or permanent Internet connectivity on the mobile phone which AirTel is expected to launch soon.

4.5.2: Brand Positioning by Bharti Airtel:

1. Market segmentation:


Geographical segment (metropolitans & cities India) Demographic segment - middle income groups People age group of 20 to 28 year

1. Target marketing:

People living cities and towns. Poor and middle income groups. Youngsters in big cities. Businessmen

1. Positioning: Creating brands (Sharukh khan & Sachin Tendulker) Ads and promotions


Feedback from various mobile users:


Q:1) Who is your current mobile phone service provider?











The data states that there are more number of AirTel subscribers than others. Close to AirTel, Vodafone is at the 2nd position. This is mainly because of the difference in pricing. Idea, Reliance and others come subsequently.

Q:2) Which of the following information sources have you used for the purchase of mobile service?


Newspaper T.v. Magazine Internet Friends Mobile phone retailer Other

0% 5% 0% 11% 47% 26% 11%

47% of the target population for data collection comes under the influence of their friends while selecting the service provider. Mobile phone retailers are also another influencing source.

Q:3) How many years you have been using the current mobile services?


1 year


2 year


3 year


More than 3 year


Many of the people are using their current mobile services from more than 3 years. So it shows that they are satisfied with the network and prices of their service provider.

Q:4) How many different mobile service providers have you had in the past?







Major group of people is not switching the service provider more than 2 times. There are people who have never switched to another service provider.

Q:5) Have you ever used Airtel? If yes then were you satisfied with the service?






58% of the people said they have used AirTel and most of them were satisfied with the service. Q:6) Do you have a postpaid or prepaid connection?





Most of the people have postpaid connections. It shows that the satisfying plans provided by their service provider in postpaid connection. Q:7) Are you using any of these airtel products?


Prepaid Mobile Service


Postpaid Mobile Service


Broadband Service


DTH Service




Major parts of mobile users surveyed do not use products of Airtel other than a postpaid or prepaid mobile connection.

Q:8) Are you satisfied with your mobile services?


Highly Satisfied








Most of the people are satisfied with their service provider. Some are highly satisfied; no one is dissatisfied with their services as they are continuing using the same network.


Q:9) How efficient are the customer care services to satisfy your needs?



Very Good








The customer care services usually get low ratings. But here I have noticed fair ratings saying that the customer care services of their service provider are good enough to satisfy their needs.


Feedback from Airtel users:

Q: 1) From how long you are using Airtel services?

1 year


2 year


3 year


More than 3 years


As per the data analysis it can be seen that most of the people are using AirTel connection from more than 3 years. This shows that they are satisfied with the services as well. There are people who are new users of AirTel; who are using AirTel connection from past 1 year.


Q: 2) How many mobile services you have used yet? Name those.




More than 3





Most of the people said they have not used any mobile services other than AirTel. Some have used another connection as well. There are people using more than 3 connections. But they are currently using AirTel.

Q: 3) Are you satisfied with your Airtel Services?

Highly satisfied









Most of the people are satisfied with AirTel. Some are satisfied on an average whereas others are highly satisfied. 20% of the people are dissatisfied.

Q:4) Are the written statements or brouchers easy to understand?

Very Easy




Sometimes Difficult



Cant understand


The written statements and brouchers are very easy to understand for the users. Some people finds it sometimes difficult.

Q:5) You have Airtel Postpaid or Prepaid Connection?






60% of the people are prepaid users. The reason being no monthly fixed charges, wide availability of E-Recharge facility, good talk time offers, etc. There are people using postpaid connections because of some beneficial plans provided to them at minimum rental.

Q:6) Are the customer care services of Airtel efficient enough to solve your problems?



Very Good









The response for customer care services is little low rated. Some says it is excellent; some people even says its poor for them.

Q:7) Are you using mobile internet on Airtel?

Yes No

40% 60%

Most of the people do not use internet on their AirTel mobile. Q:8) Are the prices of Airtel Services affordable?








Many people think the prices of AirTel are affordable on an average. Some even says it is cheap than other service providers. To a few number of people the prices are costly.



Marketing a service is much more difficult than marketing a product. The intangibility factor of services makes it little difficult to be understood by the consumers. Services cannot be seen; we cannot touch or taste it. The process of service delivery is an important factor in service marketing as the quality of service delivered influences the customers views about the service or the firm. All the elements of service marketing mix i.e. the 7Ps of service marketing are used properly by AirTel. The Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Physical Evidence & Process are considered for marketing strategies. Also the Service Quality, Service Gaps and Managing the people all these factors are also given importance.



The company should focus on improving customers relations and create value for their services, as most of the mobile users select their service provider with the suggestions of their friends using it.

Make improvements in the promotional activities of Broadband Service & DTH Services to create more awareness among the people.

Offer attractive discounts and packages. Make good offerings for postpaid connections in order to increase its sales. Provide good training to the customer care executives. Train them with good communication skills so that they will be friendly to the customers and solve their problems patiently.

List of survey questions: (A) Feedback from various mobile users:

Q:1) Who is your current mobile phone service provider? Airtel Vodafone Idea Reliance Other

Q:2) Which of the following information sources have you used for the purchase of mobile service? Newspapre T.V. Magzines Internet Friends Mobile phone retailer Other___________

Q:3) How many years you have been using the current mobile services? 1 year 2 years 3years

More than 3 years

Q:4) How many different mobile service providers have you had in the past? 1 2 3 None

Q:5) Have you ever used Airtel? If yes then were you satisfied with the service? Yes, __________________________ No

Q:6) Do you have a postpaid or prepaid connection? Postpaid Prepaid

Q:7) Are you using any of these airtel products? Prepaid mobile services Postpaid mobile services Broadband services DTH service

Q:8) Are you satisfied with your mobile services? Highly satisfied Satisfied Average Dissatisfied

Q:9) How efficient are the customer care services to satisfy your needs? Excellent Very Good Good Average Poor

(A) Feedback from AirTel users:

Q: 1) From how long you are using Airtel services? 1 year 2 year 3 year More than 3 years

Q: 2) How many mobile services you have used yet? Name those. ________________________________________________________

Q: 3) Are you satisfied with your Airtel Services? Highly Satisfied Satisfied Average Dissatisfied

Q:4) Are the written statements or brouchers easy to understand? Very Easy Good Sometimes difficult Cant understand Q:5) You have Airtel Postpaid or Prepaid Connection? Postpaid Prepaid

Q:6) Are the customer care services of Airtel efficient enough to solve your problems? Excellent

Very Good Good Average Poor

Q:7) Are you using mobile internet on Airtel? Yes No

Q:8) Are the prices of Airtel Services affordable? Costly Average Cheap


Marketing management:-Philip Kotler. Marketing management:-Kevine Lane & Philip Kotler. Marketing management: - M.V.Kulkarni. Service marketing:- Sunny Fernandes.


Website: www.google.com www.ask.com

www.wikipedia.com www.bhartiairtel.co.in