Gopal Vittal, CEO of Airtel, Telecom News, ET Telecom

New Delhi: Bharti Airtel is under financial pressure during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, but expects the recovery to start soon, a senior company official said on Tuesday. Bharti Airtel MD and CEO of India and South Asia Gopal Vittal said he has also lost 13 colleagues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are seeing some impact from the second wave of COVID. The impact is both psychological and emotional, which is linked to fear and insecurity among clients.

“The second impact is financial pressures as migrants return to villages where income and livelihoods have been destroyed. Some of them consolidate their SIM cards, using a SIM card between their families,” said Vittal when calling the company’s income.

There is also an impact on customer acquisition due to the reduction in store visits, he added.

“All of this we have seen. We have also seen a strong recovery in June. 90 percent of India is under foreclosure and 10 per cent is under overnight or weekend lockdown.

“We are operating in the foreclosure situation. Given the softness we saw in April, we are preparing for a financial recovery as we see the market opening up. We saw it coming strongly in June. of last year, “said Vittal mentioned.

Bharti Airtel reported consolidated net profit of Rs 759 crore in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year ended March 2021 and for the first time crossed annual revenue of Rs 1 lakh crore.

The company recorded a loss of Rs 5,237 crore a year ago.

Bharti Airtel’s consolidated revenue rose 11.9 percent to Rs 25,747 crore in the reported quarter compared to Rs 23,019 crore it released in the corresponding quarter of 2019-20.

Bharti Airtel’s revenue in India rose 10 percent in the quarter to 18,337.8 crore from Rs 16,734.3 crore a year ago.

Bharti Airtel’s mobile services business grew 9 percent to Rs 14,079.7 crore during the period under review.

Airtel posted a 5.8% drop in average revenue per user (ARPU) to Rs 145 in January-March 2021 from Rs 154 a year ago.

“During this quarter (reported), we have restated our figures, and in particular the ARPU, in view of the abolition of the IUC regime. To make the definition of ARPU even more stringent, we have eliminated interconnection revenues as well as inter-license settlement between This therefore means that ARPU is now a true measure of mobile-only customer revenues. Vittal said.

Airtel recorded the highest net addition on record of around 2.74 lakh customers in home services in the January-March quarter.

Vittal said the company plans to cover around 2 to 2.5 crore of homes through the rollout of the network over the next two years.

The company has a lot of opportunities to expand into the business segment, he added.

“We have increased our market share from 23% to 31% in 2 years. Since 80% of our business comes from 20% of our customers. There is real leeway here to increase our market share and go beyond 31%. Another opportunity is beyond connectivity and this is another Rs 50,000 crore opportunity. There are cloud communication activities, the second activity is cybersecurity, ”Vittal said.

The company sees the Internet of Things platform as another promising area of ​​growth over the next 5-7 years.

He said 5G auctions were expected by the end of this year, but could be delayed for a few months.

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