Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2010 (Revised November 2012)

Indus Towers: Collaborating with Competitors on Infrastructure

by Ranjay Gulati, Francisco de Asis Martinez-Jerez, V.G. Narayanan and Rachna Tahilyani

Abstract

The case describes the formation of Indus Towers, the largest telecom tower company in the world that has a joint venture created to build and manage the passive infrastructure of wireless telecom operators by bringing together three competitors in India's tough telecom market—Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar, and Idea Cellular—and merging their tower holdings. It focuses on the issue as to how do you collaborate with your competitors in setting up towers but engage in a brutal competition with them in the marketplace?

Keywords: Joint Ventures; Cost Management; Infrastructure; Alliances; Competition; Cooperation; Telecommunications Industry; India;

Citation:

Gulati, Ranjay, Francisco de Asis Martinez-Jerez, V.G. Narayanan, and Rachna Tahilyani. "Indus Towers: Collaborating with Competitors on Infrastructure." Harvard Business School Case 110-057, February 2010. (Revised November 2012.)