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Airtel rejigs corp structure to sharpen focus on digital

NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel on Wednesday announced a new corporate structure to sharpen the company’s focus on driving the rapidly-unfolding digital opportunities while enabling it to unlock value.
The new structure involves Airtel Digital Limited folding into the listed entity Bharti Airtel.
This will now house all of the digital assets spanning Wynk Music, Airtel X stream, Airtel Thanks, Mitra Payments platform used by a million retailers, Airtel Ads, Airtel IQ, Airtel Secure, Airtel Cloud and all future digital products and services, the company said in a statement.
The telecom business will be housed in a newly created entity — Airtel Limited – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharti Airtel Limited.
“It is therefore intended to house all the telecom businesses in a newly created entity, Airtel Limited – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharti Airtel Limited,” it said.
Bharti Telemedia, the 100 per cent arm operating DTH services, will sit alongside Airtel Limited for now.
“It is intended to eventually fold the DTH business into Airtel Limited to move towards the NDCP vision of converged services to customers,” it added.
The company has approached the government to seek clarity on licensing policy given that carriage that is telecom and DTH is currently being regulated and managed under two separate ministries of communications and I&B, respectively.
Airtel Payments Bank will remain a separate entity under Bharti Airtel and “work closely with the growing customer base to play a pivotal role in realising the digital opportunity that payments and financial services provide”.
All of the company’s infrastructure businesses such as Nxtra and Indus Towers will continue to remain separate entities as they are currently. The same would be the case with international subsidiaries and affiliates.
“The Board in its meeting held today approved the scheme enabling the company to file for all statutory approvals to give effect to the proposed rearrangement,” the statement said.
Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal said, “The new structure sets the exciting future course for Bharti Airtel and provides focus on the four distinct businesses – Digital, India, International and Infrastructure, each, in a razor-sharp way”.
“We believe this will provide agility, expertise and operational rigour to serve our customers brilliantly while providing flexibility to unlock value for our shareholders. This structure will serve us well over the coming years and is a win-win for all stakeholders,” Mittal added.

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