New Delhi / Bangalore: India’s biggest mobile phone company by customers, Bharti Airtel Ltd, continuing to outsource non-core functions, asked Infosys Technologies Ltd to build and manage a digital convergence platform that enables the telecom giant to offer interactive services for its newly launched direct-to-home, or DTH, services.
Separately, Bharti Airtel, which, along with other Indian mobile firms has been criticized for not providing enough customer support entered into a outsourcing agreement with IBM Corp.’s IBM Managed Business Process Services to enhance its customer service experience for its top end platinum customers. These customers are selected based on the number of years they have been with Airtel and their average spending.
Joining hands: Bharti Airtel’s CEO and joint managing director Manoj Kohli at the launch of Airtel Digital TV-- its DTH service. Ramesh Pathania / Mint
For instance, calls from such customers will be automatically diverted to a specialized call centre for customer service. Airtel didn’t disclose how many so-called platinum customers it has.
“Customer retention and resolution for this special set of customers will be done in an unified group,” said Pavan Vaish, chief executive of the IBM unit that will handle the Airtel work.
As for the DTH project, S.D. Shibulal, chief operating officer of Infosys, said the platform could also be used for similar service on broadband and mobile.
Both Airtel and Infosys declined to share financial details for the deal. Infosys earns about 15%, or about Rs2,505 crore, of its annual Rs16,700 crore revenue from the media and entertainment segment, he said.
“They (Bharti) will be more focused on core activities, such as subscriber acquisitions rather than support services,” said Maulik Patel, analyst with stock broker KR Choksey Ltd, attributing the company’s industry leading Ebidta (earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortization) margins of nearly 41% to this strategy.
Shares of Airtel fell 5.95% to Rs718.80 a share on Wednesday at the Bombay Stock Exchange. Shares of Infosys fell 4.71% to Rs1,331.25 a share.