Staff reduction to help bolster Airtel Africa’s books

30 Jul 2015

Indian wireless provider Bharti Airtel is reportedly planning to reduce its headcount across its African footprint by 15%-20% during the current financial year as part of plans to reverse the fortunes of the loss-making division. The Economic Times cites unnamed sources familiar with the matter as saying that 700-800 employees related to the company’s tower operations on the continent will be laid off or, in cases where Airtel’s tower assets have been sold to another firm, transferred to the acquiring company, whilst around 20 senior executives with a variety of functions will also leave. An Airtel spokesperson claimed that there have been no layoffs in its African operations, although a number of contracts have either expired or are due to expire shortly and will not be renewed.

The development follows the revelation earlier this month that the group was engaged in talks with Orange Group regarding the sale of its subsidiaries in four countries outside of the French group’s current footprint, namely: Chad, Sierra Leone, the Republic of Congo and Burkina Faso.

India, Bharti Airtel