The Indian Tiger Prowls in Africa: Bharti Airtel’s Acquisition of Zain Africa Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

On the 8th June 2010, India's leading integrated telecom service provider, Bharti Airtel Ltd ("Airtel"), completed its acquisition of the cellular operations of Kuwaiti firm Zain in 15 nations throughout Africa. At US$10.7 billion, it was Airtel's most expensive and challenging acquisition yet, and the biggest ever cross border price from one emerging market to another.

Airtel assumed that, with this specific deal, the business would be transformed into a truly international telecom business, fulfilling its vision of building a world-class multinational. Airtel was the flagship company of the Bharti conglomerate of industries and was a pioneer in India's telecom sector.

The Indian Tiger Prowls in Africa Bharti Airtel's Acquisition of Zain Africa case study solution

Sunil Bharti Mittal had founded the Bharti group in 1976, and it had grown from being a small-scale producer of bike components into one of the largest business groups in India, with operations in the telecom, financial services, retail and food sectors. By launching cellular services in Delhi, India Airtel had commenced its telecom services business in 1995. In a short period of about 15 years, the company had become India's largest mobile service provider and among the very best five wireless operators on earth, with revenue of US$8.8 billion and net income of about US$2 billion as on 31 March 2010. What approach should Bharti pursue to guarantee its success in Africa?


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