Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel has unveiled plans for a new corporate structure that would see it fold Airtel Digital, which houses the firm’s digital assets, into the listed entity, Bharti Airtel. Meanwhile, the company’s domestic telecom business would be moved to a newly created wholly-owned subsidiary, Airtel Limited. Airtel Payments Bank will remain a separate entity under Bharti Airtel, as will its ‘International’ and ‘Infrastructure’ subsidiaries and affiliates, the former consisting of Airtel Africa, Network i2i, Bharti Airtel Lanka and Robi Axiata and the latter Nxtra Data and Indus Towers. The group also intends to ‘eventually’ fold its direct-to-home (DTH) operating arm Bharti Telemedia into Airtel Limited with a view to providing converged services to customers, but is awaiting clarification from the government on the matter, as the telecom and DTH markets are currently managed and regulated by two separate government ministries. Similarly, Bharti Hexacom will ‘sit alongside’ Airtel Limited for now, but is intended to be folded into the latter in the future.
Commenting on the plans, Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal was quoted as saying: ‘The new structure sets the exciting future course for Bharti Airtel and provides focus on the four distinct businesses – Digital, India, International and Infrastructure, each, in a razor sharp way. We believe this will provide agility, expertise and operational rigour to serve our customers brilliantly while providing flexibility to unlock value for our shareholders. This structure will serve us well over the coming years and is a win‐win for all stakeholders.’