Simplified SWOT Analysis Of Vodafone Idea

Updated on: Mar 16, 2024

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My name is Aditya Shastri and I have written this case study with the help of my students from IIDE's online digital marketing courses in India.

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Here, we will look at the SWOT analysis of Vodafone Idea.

Vodafone Idea Limited, commonly known as Vi, stands as a telecommunications powerhouse in India with its headquarters strategically located in Mumbai and Gandhinagar. This pan-India GSM operator has etched its mark in the industry by delivering a comprehensive range of services, including 2G, 3G, 4G, 4G+, VoLTE, and VoWiFi.

Boasting a robust subscriber base of 269.03 million as of 2018, Vi proudly holds the title of the third-largest mobile telecommunications network in India and an impressive 10th position globally.

 In an era where the world is rapidly transitioning online, Vi has adeptly adapted to the changing landscape of marketing. Online presence and digital marketing are very important in today’s world for growing a business. To know more about digital marketing and its different attributes, do check out the Free Digital Marketing Masterclass by Karan Shah the founder and CEO of IIDE.

If you’re as curious as we are about Vodafone Idea’s success formula, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll learn about the Third-Party strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the Vodafone Idea, but before that let us look at the company.

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About Vodafone Idea

swot analysis of Vodafone Idea

Curious about how Vi achieved its prominence in the telecommunications industry? Join us in this blog as we delve into the SWOT Analysis of Vi to unravel the key factors behind its success. Before we delve into the analysis, let’s take a closer look at Vi—covering aspects such as its history, product offerings, financial status, and competitors.

Vodafone Vi Limited is a collaboration between the Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Group, making it India’s leading telecom service provider. Offering Voice and Data services across 2G, 3G, and 4G platforms nationwide, the company is dedicated to providing exceptional customer experiences and contributing to the vision of a ‘Digital India.’

Equipped with a broad spectrum portfolio to meet the growing demand for data and voice services, Vodafone Vi is focused on connecting millions of citizens and fostering a better tomorrow. The company is actively investing in infrastructure to introduce cutting-edge technologies, ensuring both retail and enterprise customers are prepared for the future with innovative offerings.

Accessible through a range of digital channels and widespread on-ground presence, Vodafone Vi is committed to creating a seamless experience for its users. Additionally, the company is listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in India.

Current news about Vodafone Idea

Here are the latest updates about Vodafone Idea:

  1. The GST additional commissioner’s office in Chandigarh has imposed a Rs 13.16 crore penalty on Vodafone Idea.
  2. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has hauled up Vodafone Idea for providing mobile connections to corporate customers without following the mandatory ‘know your customer’ (KYC) rules.
  3. Vodafone Idea has received an order under the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, imposing a penalty of Rs 10.76 crore.
  4. The DoT plans to conduct the next spectrum sale in March as permits of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) expire in 2024 in some circles such as West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, and Odisha

Services provided by Vodafone Idea

  • Mobile Telephony: Vi offers comprehensive mobile telephony services, providing users with reliable and high-quality voice communication. With a robust network infrastructure, Vi ensures seamless connectivity, enabling customers to stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues, making it a preferred choice for mobile communication needs.
  • Wireless Broadband: Vi stands at the forefront of wireless broadband services, delivering high-speed internet access to both urban and rural areas. Through advanced technologies, Vi’s wireless broadband services cater to the growing demand for fast and reliable internet connectivity, empowering users to access online content, stream videos, and engage in various online activities with ease.
  • Internet Services: Vi takes pride in offering a diverse range of internet services, catering to the evolving digital needs of its user base. From basic internet access to advanced data-intensive applications, Vi ensures that customers have access to a seamless online experience, reinforcing its commitment to keeping users connected in the digital age.\
  • Pan India Voice: Vi’s Pan India Voice services underscore its commitment to providing extensive voice coverage across the nation. Whether in bustling urban centres or remote rural areas, Vi’s voice services ensure that users can make crystal-clear calls, fostering effective communication regardless of geographic location.
  • Data Services across 2G, 3G, and 4G Platforms: Vi remains at the forefront of data services, offering a spectrum of connectivity options across 2G, 3G, and 4G platforms. From basic internet browsing to high-speed data streaming, Vi’s data services cater to the diverse needs of users, ensuring a seamless and reliable online experience across various devices and platforms.

Competitors of Vodafone Idea

  • Reliance Jio: Reliance Jio, a formidable competitor, is known for its widespread network coverage and disruptive pricing strategies. With a focus on digital services, Jio has become a major player in the telecom market.
  • Airtel: Airtel, a longstanding contender, is recognized for its extensive network infrastructure and diverse service offerings. Known for innovation,Airtelcompetes with Vi across various segments, including data and voice services.
  • BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited): BSNL, a government-owned entity, remains a significant competitor, leveraging its extensive reach to provide reliable telecom services. It is known for offering services in both urban and rural areas.
  • Tata Teleservices: Tata Teleservices competes with Vi through its comprehensive telecom solutions. Known for its reliability and diverse service portfolio, Tata Teleservices caters to a wide range of consumer and business needs
  • MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited):  MTNL, another state-owned telecom company, is a key player in the market. It competes by offering affordable plans, reliable connectivity, and a range of services to both residential and business customers.

Buyer Persona of Vodafone Idea

Buyer’s Persona

Name:

Rahul Patel

Place:

Banglore

Age:

32 years

Profession:

Marketing Executive

Motivation

  • Stay connected with family and friends.
  • Seamless and reliable mobile services for work
  • Affordable and flexible mobile plans.

Interest & Hobbies

  • Photography
  • Watching Stand-up Comedy
  • Fitness Enthusiast
  • Cooking
  • Gaming

Pain Points

  • Inconsistent network connectivity.
  • Confusing tariff plans and add-ons. 
  • Limited international roaming options.
  • Customer service responsiveness.

Social Media Presence

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Linkedln

SWOT Analysis of Vodafone Idea

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. It is used as a tool to know and analyze the market position and general health of a business. It is extremely useful and is done by every old as well as a new business to determine the most effective future path.

Analyzing the external opportunities and threats may also help to know the necessary steps that could be taken to make provisions and develop strategies.

Strengths of Vodafone Idea

Vi holds several strengths that contribute to its competitive edge in the telecommunications industry:

  • Advertising: Vi leverages celebrity brand ambassadors, creating a strong brand presence through various channels like social media, television, and banners.
  • Customer Base: With over 352 million subscribers in India and 403 million users globally, Vi stands out as one of the most popular cellular service providers
  • Extensive Infrastructure: Through strategic partnerships, such as the one with Airtel to build the Indus Tower, Vi has extended its infrastructure across the country, facilitating customer acquisition.
  • Unique Marketing: Vi invests significantly in creative marketing campaigns, especially in the social media space, winning over consumers with innovative strategies.
  • Great Deals: Vi is known for offering attractive big data plans, positioning itself as a market leader in this regard. 
  • Network Coverage: Vi boasts excellent network coverage, with a 1.1% yearly growth rate in India and the highest upload speed according to TRAI’s latest report.

Weaknesses of Vodafone Idea

Despite its strengths, Vi faces some notable weaknesses that present areas for improvement:

  • Outsourcing Operations: Depending on outsourcing operations poses a risk of dependency on external companies, potentially affecting Vi’s operations.
  • High Debt: Vi is burdened by substantial debt, stemming from what seems to be unfavourable acquisitions, high credit, and low.
  • Financial Losses: Increasing tariff rates and SIM consolidation have led to significant financial losses for Vi, impacting its customer base and government support.
  • High Prices for Small Plans: Vi’s postpaid plans are perceived as relatively expensive, especially for budget-conscious customers compared to competitors like Jio.
  • Reliance on Indian Market: Vi’s heavy reliance on the Indian market for revenue leaves it vulnerable to economic fluctuations and limits its global revenue sources.

Opportunities of Vodafone Idea

Vi has several opportunities to explore and capitalize on for future growth:

  • Strategic Partnerships: Collaborating with smartphone companies, especially for Mobile Number Portability (MNP), could secure cash flows and expand the customer base.
  • Market Development: Venturing into new markets or developing economies could prove successful, given the intense competition and shrinking margins in the telecom industry.
  • Untapped Market Scope: Vi could further develop infrastructure and expand its 4G coverage, especially in rural areas, to attract new customers and increase profits.
  • Advancements in Technology: Embracing advancements like 5G and LTE services could position Vi as an industry leader, especially in areas where such services are not yet widespread.
  • Affordable Plans: Offering more affordable data plans would make Vi more accessible to a broader range of customers, aligning with competitors’ pricing strategies.

Threats of Vodafone Idea

Vi faces certain threats that could impact its market position and customer base:

  • Competition from Jio: The competitive edge of Jio in terms of faster network services, 5G technology, and attractively priced services poses a significant threat to Vi.
  • Government Regulatory Framework: Changes in government policies and spectrum auctions could create instability in the telecom market, favouring companies with deeper pockets.
  • Intense Competition: The continuously changing prices and rising margins in the Indian market, triggered by disruptive players like Jio, adversely affect Vi’s business.
  • Mobile Number Portability (MNP):Vi is vulnerable to losing customers due to MNP, especially when customers seek more affordable alternatives.
  • Financial Challenges: Vi’s declining stock value, substantial user base losses, and financial challenges due to plan pricing and service issues pose a significant threat to its market standing.

Vi’s SWOT analysis highlights its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, providing insights into the company’s current position in the dynamic telecommunications market.

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Failed campaigns of Vodafone Idea

What was the issue?

In 2020, Vodafone Idea faced a significant issue related to network downtime, affecting a large number of its users across various regions in India. The outage resulted in disrupted mobile services, including voice calls, internet connectivity, and messaging services.

What backlash did the brand face?

Customers faced severe disruptions and expressed their dissatisfaction on social media platforms, highlighting the inconvenience caused by the network downtime. Many users vented their frustration, complaining about the impact on their daily communications and the unreliability of Vodafone Idea’s services.

What did the brand do in this situation?

Vodafone Idea acknowledged the issue promptly and took to social media to communicate with users. The brand issued apologies through official channels, explaining the technical challenges that led to the network outage. Additionally, they provided updates on the progress of resolving the problem to keep users informed.

As of the last update in January 2022, Vodafone Idea had no notable campaigns facing backlash. Traditionally, Vodafone was known for its trending ads like the zoozoos and the iconic pug, while Idea had memorable but somewhat intrusive campaigns. In a market dominated by competitors like Jio, Vodafone Idea aimed to stand out with a new approach, given their financial struggles and negative publicity. The current campaign, although not necessarily bad, feels a bit overwhelming, borrowing from Idea’s strategy of bombarding users with ads. While it has sparked discussions, some might argue it risks affecting the user experience. The campaign, however, has achieved its goal of getting people talking, evident from queries like ours on platforms like Quora.

Did they take down the campaign or changed it as a whole?

Vodafone Idea did not have a specific campaign associated with the network downtime, as the issue was more operational than promotional. Instead, the brand focused on addressing the technical challenges, investing in infrastructure improvements, and communicating transparently with its user base. They reassured customers of their commitment to enhancing network reliability, emphasising the steps taken to prevent similar incidents in the future.

While the network downtime incident presented a challenge for Vodafone Idea, their responsive communication and efforts to resolve the issue showcased a commitment to customer satisfaction and operational improvement.

Conclusion

Vi, a telecom giant with over two decades of presence, is a formidable brand in the market. However, it grapples with challenges in maintaining its popularity amid evolving consumer needs and dynamic technological advancements. Despite its robust marketing capabilities, Vi faces tough competition from emerging brands with innovative strategies.

If you liked the case study, you can read more such case studies of other famous companies.

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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]

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