This Case is about CROSS-CULTURAL MANAGEMENT
PUBLICATION DATE: April 10, 2012 PRODUCT #: 112096-PDF-ENG
In the month of June 2010, Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile services operator, got the African assets of Bahrain-based Zain Telecom for $10.7 billion-the largest ever cross-border deal in developing markets. The executives of Bharti imagined that they would repeat the highly successful high-volume, low cost telecom version they had initiated for the Indian masses in Africa. Nevertheless , once they started to incorporate the businesses, Bharti’s executives found a slew of unanticipated challenges, including ethnic differences between their Indian and African workers, more inferior infrastructure than they had expected with higher-than-anticipated prices, a monopolistic supply network, powerful opponents, a poor partner ecosystem, as well as a marketplace that was unresponsive to tariff reductions. In 2012, a year along with a half succeeding, the firm has outsourced customer support businesses, IT and its networks like it established a unified brand on the other side of the continent did in India; and integrated with its new surroundings. Essential business metrics, including market share and profit margins, are showing early signals of progress. But questions remain about whether the business will soon have the capacity to overtake the top player in Africa, MTN, by lowering tariffs what its strategy ought to be going, and like it did in India.