Case | HBS Case Collection | September 2003 (Revised March 2004)

Bharti Tele-Ventures

by Tarun Khanna, Krishna G. Palepu and Ingrid Vargas

Abstract

Following the liberalization of India's telecommunications service industry in the early 1990s, Bharti Tele-Ventures grew from a small entrepreneurial telephone equipment importer and manufacturer to become India's largest private-sector telecommunications service group in terms of numbers of customers. Attracting over $1.2 billion in foreign equity investments, more than any other Indian telecom firm, by 2001 Bharti had achieved the country's leading market position in mobile telecom service. By 2003, however, the nature of the game had changed. A spate of mergers and acquisitions had reduced the field to the most successful and best-financed contenders. At the same time, telecommunications regulatory changes let in new, lower priced competitors, significantly altering the rules of the game. Suddenly, in addition to government-owned BSNL and the stately Tata Group, India's oldest business house, Bharti was up against Reliance, the largest and most profitable of a new generation of business groups. Bharti's management and equity partners at Mittal and his partners at SingTel and Warburg Pincus had to determine what to do next.

Keywords: Private Sector; Growth and Development; Customers; Foreign Direct Investment; Mergers and Acquisitions; Competition; Public Ownership; Profit; Partners and Partnerships; Rank and Position; Telecommunications Industry; India;

Citation:

Khanna, Tarun, Krishna G. Palepu, and Ingrid Vargas. "Bharti Tele-Ventures." Harvard Business School Case 704-426, September 2003. (Revised March 2004.)