#13: Airtel - How the world's second largest telco expanded from India to Africa
Afrobility: Africa Tech and BusinessOctober 05, 2020
01:18:26179.54 MB

#13: Airtel - How the world's second largest telco expanded from India to Africa

Overview: Today we’re going to talk about Airtel - The third largest telco in Africa (& second largest telco in the world), we’ll discuss its founding, early history, success in India, expansion into Africa, non-telco businesses & end with our views on its future outlook. This episode was recorded on October 4, 2020

Companies discussed: Airtel Africa, Bharti Airtel Group, Celtel, Zain, MTN, Reliance Jio, Safaricom, Econet Wireless & Vmobile

Business concepts discussed: Telco diversification (voice vs data vs emerging businesses), VOD (video on demand), mobile money, telco M&A strategy & developing markets growth strategy.

Conversation highlights:

  • (02:10) - Why we are talking about Airtel today
  • (04:47) - Bharti Airtel founding, Sunil Mittal and early history
  • (14:45) - Airtel Africa - early origins from Celtel and then Zain
  • (21:00) - Zain acquisition of Celtel
  • (22:54) - Nigeria naming journey - from Econet to Airtel
  • (27:02) - Airtel Africa + MTN attempted merger / acquisition
  • (36:31) - Airtel Africa IPO in 2019
  • (39:50) - Airtel Africa’s non-telco businesses
  • (48:45) - What Airtel Africa looks like in 2020
  • (59:56) - Bankole’s overall thoughts and outlook
  • (1:05:32) - Olumide’s overall thoughts and outlook
  • (1:10:23) - Recommendations and small wins
  • (1:16:05) - Open questions

Olumide’s recommendations, small wins & open questions:

  • Recommendation: Hotel Sweet Home (by Libby Rome) - Fun book about living in a hotel. For travel & point nerds
  • Recommendation: The Treasury of Quotes by Jim Rohn - Amazing book of various smart & insightful quotes from one of my favorite personal development coaches
  • Small win: I listened to Owl City - Unbelievable (ft Hanson) while I wrote script for Health Tech episode
  • Small win: I used background ambient sounds from  Mynoise.net to focus while I prepared for this episode
  • Open question: What can entrepreneurs today learn from Mo Ibrahim or Sunil Mittal?

Bankole’s recommendations, small wins & open questions:

  • Recommendations: Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
  • Small win: FIFA 21 released! A veritable time sink has a new installment! [YouTube trailer]
  • Other content mentioned: Chillhop jazzy lofi - YouTube live channel with good background music to work
  • Other content mentioned: Opomulero by Ruggedman feat 9ice [YouTube] - entry music by UFC athlete Israel Adesanya
  • Open question: What other examples can you think of where events outside Africa dictate an African company’s strategy or market outcomes?

We’d love to hear from you. If you have feedback, topics you’d like to hear, or just want to say hello, please email info@afrobility.com

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