Bharti Airtel, the flagship company of India’s Bharti Group, offers a wide range of communication services, from voice, mobile and data to internet, satellite and networked IT solutions.
Airtel brand was primarily known as a mass-market mobile brand. In 2008, Bharti Airtel asked Wolff Olins to leverage the strength of Airtel’s B2C mobile brand to transform its B2B business.
Wolff Olins started by developing insights into Airtel’s key customer – Chief Information Officers. Their jobs are getting tougher, and they’re not getting the kind of relationship they want from their existing providers, who push standard products and not customized solutions. Though they respect the Airtel brand, it’s not seen as any different from competition, and the strength of the B2C mass brand distorts perceptions of the business offer. Based on the insights, we created a value proposition around the kind of relationship that CIOs want. We brought the proposition to life in the sales process by developing practical tools and applications to inform, engage and influence a wider audience, as well as making the lives of the salesforce easier. Finally, we adapted Airtel’s strong B2C identity to make it work in the B2B space, creating something distinctive yet recognisably a part of the Airtel family.
The new proposition and the adapted identity were introduced in June 2008 and instantly resonated with the customers. They translated into a robust sales funnel, with existing clients offering more business and new customers approaching Airtel for solutions. The change has impacted internally too, with attrition rates at an all-time low: Airtel now has an engaged staff excited to work with the B2B business, and senior management supporting the transformation through massive investments. The business has reported a 21% year-on-year growth in EBITDA.