April 16, 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray
Telecommunications giant Bharti Airtel, which has mobile operations in Africa as well as India and Sri Lanka, will split its activities into four separate units.
Operations such as Airtel Africa, Bharti Airtel Lanka in Sri Lanka and Indus Towers in India will continue to operate as separate entities, as will – for now – the group’s Indian Direct Broadcast (DTH) satellite business, Bharti Telemedia.
Sunil Bharti Mittal (photo), President of Bharti Airtel, said: “The new structure charts the way forward for Bharti Airtel and emphasizes four distinct businesses: digital, Indian, international and infra, each in specific ways. “
The company has created a new subsidiary, simply called Airtel, which houses all of its Indian telecommunications activities. Airtel Digital’s interests, including Airtel IQ, Airtel Secure and Airtel Cloud, have been transferred to the parent company. Eventually, Bharti Telemedia will move into the Airtel unit.
Indian observers say the new structure separates regulated entities from unregulated companies.
“We believe this will bring agility, expertise and operational rigor to serve our customers brilliantly while providing flexibility to unlock shareholder value,” Mittal said of the Bharti Airtel reorganization.
The holding company, Bharti Airtel, will retain control of Airtel Payments Bank, the company said this week.
According to a detailed breakdown from Bloomberg Quint, Bharti Airtel’s international business will include Airtel Africa, Network i2i submarine cable unit, Bharti Airtel Lanka and Robi Axiata in Bangladesh.
The infrastructure division will own the Nextra Data and Indus Towers data center unit, as well as future infrastructure assets.
Mittal is also executive chairman of OneWeb, in which the group invested $ 500 million last year. OneWeb participation remains within the overall Bharti operation and is unaffected by the reorganization. CapacityMittal’s interview about OneWeb is here.
The main holding company, Bharti, also includes such gems as the Hoxton hotel business, which has grown far beyond its birthplace in east London to places such as Amsterdam, Chicago and Paris, and the Gleneagles Golf Resort in Scotland.