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Interview: Manoj Kohli of Bharti Airtel
01 April 2008
Interview: The CEO of market leader Bharti Airtel is struggling to maintain growth in the face of a shortage of spectrum, but he sees big prospects, though lower revenue, in rural areas. Manoj Kohli explains his strategy to Sonya Dutta Choudhury
Manoj Kohli: wants to make Bharti Airtel the Toyota of
I meet Manoj Kohli at his office in New Delhi's spanking new
business district. It's a wintry February afternoon in the
Indian capital city's suburb of Gurgaon, and there's dust in
Giant glass towers and sprawling malls dot the dry landscape,
and cranes and construction are everywhere. Gurgaon, like much
of urban India, is expanding — and expanding fast. So
much so that the new Gurgaon-Delhi expressway is already
It's a congestion that extends to the country's airwaves as
well, as the growing telecom industry here faces its biggest
resource crunch ever — that of spectrum.
For Bharti Airtel, India's largest mobile operator with
revenues last year of $4 billion, this constraint could be
critical. Indeed the last few months have seen the stocks of
telecom majors, hitherto the darlings of India's stock
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