A Comprehensive SWOT Analysis Of Airtel with Company Overview & Highlights

Updated on: Apr 11, 2023
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Last time we did a thorough SWOT Analysis of the chinese mobile maker Xiaomi. This time we shall decode the SWOT analysis of Airtel, one of India’s big three telecom giants.

Bharti Airtel is one of the top multinational telecommunication companies with more than 352 million users all over India. Airtel provides various services such as prepaid, postpaid, DTH, and broadband. Airtel also has an online payment feature named Airtel Payments Bank released in January 2017 for DTH recharges, NETC FASTag, Electricity, Landline Bill payment, and many more. 

The company is ver well known for it’s youthful and quirky marketing, connecting with it’s audience on the digital platforms they spend most of their time with. Digital marketing has become more relevant than ever since businesses need to have an online business to stay in the game. If you are interested in knowing the latest marketing techniques as well, you should definitely check out IIDE’s Free MasterClass on Digital Marketing 101 by our CEO and Founder, Karan Shah. 

To better understand the company, we should study its SWOT analysis which will give us a clear idea about the present situation of the company.

So, let us study the SWOT Analysis Of Airtel. But before we begin, let us start by learning more about the company, its services, finances, brand story and competitors.

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About Airtel

Bharti Telecom Limited was started in 1984 by Sunil Mittal. The company initially used to sell push-button phones by importing them from the Kingtel company in Taiwan. It later had a tie-up with Siemens AG of Germany for the manufacturing of push-button phones. Bharti also got into the making of Fax machines, cordless phones, and other telecom gear. Airtel was finally founded in July 1995 by Sunil Mittal. Now Airtel has a wide range of services other than mobile services such as Airtel Payments Bank, Wynk Music, Airtel Thanks App, and a wide range of other services.

Airtel has mostly developed because of its voice and network connectivity services, but it also provides various other services such as Data and Application Based Services, Data Center based services, Cloud-Based Services, and Digital Media services. Airtel has majorly impressed its customers with its customer services, it has an option to deliver a sim card for you at your doorstep.

Airtel provides their employees with regular training sessions which helps in achieving the vision of the group. Alongside that Airtel has a team of skilled professionals under the guidance of their current CEO, Gopal Vittal. It has multiple large scale headquarters spread across India, through which the company conducts its large scale operations.

Airtel's Delhi HQ - SWOT analysis of Airtel - IIDE

Quick Stats About Airtel
Founder Sunil Bharti Mittal
Year Founded 7 July, 1995
Origin New Delhi, India
No. of Employees 17,917 (2021)
Company Type Public
Market Cap $56.31 Billion (2023)
Annual Revenue
358.04 billion (2023)
Net Loss $1.6 Billion (2021)


Servies of Airtel

Airtel is a telecommunications giant and offers the following services:

  • Mobile Network Services
  • Broadband
  • Satellite Television
  • Payments Bank
  • Landlines


Close Competitors of Airtel

The telecommunications market in India has heated up a lot recently and here are the major players that compete with Airtel:

  • Reliance Jio
  • Vodafone Idea (VI)
  • MTNL
  • BSNL

As you now know what the company does and where it stands in the market, let’s head towards the S.W.O.T analysis of Airtel in the next section.


SWOT Analysis Of Airtel

SWOT analysis is a framework for analysing and identifying a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It helps in identifying where a company is lacking, and what are the opportunities for a company so that it can work accordingly and minimize its risk. 

A company will not have complete control over all the factors like it can work on its weaknesses by identifying them and can grow themselves with its strengths, but opportunities and threats are not in their control as these factors are not predictable. 

To understand it in detail, let us look at SWOT analysis for Airtel

1. Strengths Of Airtel

The strengths of a company are the features that have worked towards attracting more users

  • Advertising: Celebrity brand ambassadors have boosted the brand to a great extent. Airtel also has high brand visibility in forms of social media ads, television ads, and others such as banners, etc.
  • Customer Base: Airtel is one of the most popular cellular service providers in India with more than 352 million subscribers. As of 2019, Airtel had 403 million users worldwide. Airtel also has an international submarine cable system connecting India to Singapore. Airtel also has a strong customer base in countries like Srilanka, Bangladesh, and Africa.
  • Extensive infrastructure: From its partnership with Idea and Vodafone To building the Indus, Tower Airtel has extended its infrastructure all over the country which is helping it in gaining new customers
  • Other Services: Airtel also provides users with services like Data and Application Based Services, Data Center based services, Cloud-Based Services, and Digital Media services
  • Unique marketing: Airtel as a company invests highly in marketing strategies and tries to develop creative marketing campaigns to grab the attention of consumers. The company has several other creative marketing campaigns which have left an impression on the market. They are huge in the social media marketing space and this has won them many customers. If you wish to learn social media to stay relevant as well, head on over to IIDE’s Social Media Management Course and get started.
  • Strategic Alliances: Airtel has some great companies as stakeholders, namely Sony Ericsson, Nokia, and Singtel, and even  Apple. Such strategic alliances have always proven to boost brand equity and help in developing the company.
  • Strong Hold over Rural Markets: Airtel has established a strong customer base in rural parts of India by strategically investing in network infrastructure in those areas.

2. Weaknesses Of Airtel 

Weaknesses are aspects of a business or brand that have a scope for improvement. So let’s check some of Airtel’s major weaknesses:

  • Outsourcing Operations: Outsourcing operations has helped Airtel in reducing its prices. This causes the risk of the company having to be dependent on some other companies which may affect its operations
  • African operations: Airtel had bought Zain’s African Business back in 2013 at a huge price of approximately 9 billion dollars, but airtel is yet to announce any profits from that investment.
  • High Debt: Airtel has been under huge debt. This is because their acquisitions have been turning out to be bad investments and also high credit and low margins.
  • Competitive market: Airtel faces a significant challenge due to the oligopolistic nature of the Indian telecom market, with intense competition from Jio and Vodafone Idea. The market has become cutthroat, making it challenging for Airtel to navigate.

3. Opportunities For Airtel 

Opportunities for a company are the sectors in which a company may progress considering the current market situations and weaknesses of other companies.

  • Strategic Partnership: As far as MNP (Mobile Number Portability in India) is concerned partnering with smartphone companies is going to be the smartest strategy. This guarantees fixed cash flows in the future and would also ensure an increased customer base.
  • Market development: Considering the brutal competition in the telecommunications industry & shrinking margins, venturing into new markets/developing economies will prove to be a success for the company.
  • Untapped scope of the current market: Although it currently provides 4G coverage, such networks should be provided even in rural areas. Also developing more infrastructure to provide better connectivity. The company should aim towards providing these services to most of its regions, these would, as a result, help the company to achieve higher profits and an increase in customers.
  • 5G: The current advancements in technology and 5G trials could also prove an excellent success for the company. 5G and LTE services are not yet very common in the country especially in rural cities,  Airtel can extend their services in this direction to get new customers.

4. Threats To Airtel

Threats to a company are the reasons that are causing or may cause a decrease in the number of customers.

  • Jio 5G: Jio has been providing the customers with faster network services and has also developed much more in the 5G Technology. Jio’s ethernet cable services labeled Jio Fibre has gained a lot of attraction due to its low pricing and the great internet speed with rare to no fluctuations in internet speeds
  • Government Regulatory Framework: As a result of the normal auctioning of spectrum & change in government policies, there is a possible threat to the stability of this market, as companies with deeper pockets are more likely to gain from these auctions.
  • Competition: The continuously changing prices in the Indian market and the rising margins are adversely affecting Airtel’s business by a huge amount. Reliance Jio had started free data and calling a few years back which caused a huge disruption in the telecom sector, causing other companies to reduce their prices.
  • MNP(Mobile Number Portability): MNP is a set of rules that provides the customers with an option to change the company while keeping the number, since airtel has higher pricing in comparison to some other service providers there is a huge possibility of customers changing for cheaper service alternatives.

Now that we have done a deep dive into the SWOT analysis of Airtel, let us conclude our learnings below.


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Airtel has been around for more than two decades and is a powerful brand that has received its discussion and attention. Airtel’s popularity has been sustained over time despite rapidly changing consumer needs and ever-developing technology patterns. Airtel has been on the list of the top leading firms in its industry. It is maintaining its prominent position in the telecom industry by critically analyzing and reviewing the best strategies through SWOT analysis. It has greatly improved from wired communication to wireless communication and is aiming towards providing faster and better connectivity. 

Companies such as Airtel are heavily relying on their success through marketing and are always looking for talented marketers. If this interests you, you should learn how to create impactful and targeted digital marketing campaigns by learning the up and coming field that is taking the world by storm. All you have to do is be a part of IIDE’s Online Digital Marketing Course which upskills you in all aspects of the rising digital marketing field.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]

1 Comment

  1. Shivani Mishra

    I read this report as an inspiration for my personal projects and I found it insightful. The content is concisely articulated and provides a good overview of the future prospects of Bharti Airtel Ltd.


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