There is yet another feather in Airtel's cap, India's leading mobile service provider. The mega brand of telecom major Bharti Enterprises has been adjudged as the "World Communications Best Brand of the Year". Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Group Managing Director, received the award at a function in London on Monday.
More than 50 of the world's top telecom companies submitted 123 entries for the awards. Airtel was nominated in two categories: Best Brand and Best Mobile Operator. It won the Best Brand award against stiff competition from leading international players like Orange, British Telecom, Starhub and M1.
The World Communications Awards have been instituted by the London-based Emap Communications Group and are internationally considered as telecom's Oscars. The award is based on actual market performance of the brand and the parameters include revenue growth, market share and market share growth, and demonstrated leadership in product and service innovation.
Said Mittal, "It is an honour to receive this award. It is indeed noteworthy that our efforts at placing Bharti on the global map on a par with the leading telecom brands of the world has been recognised."
In a way, it was almost a double whammy for Airtel. In the 'Best Mobile Operator' category, it was runner-up. It was pipped at the post by Singtel, which significantly has 28 per cent share in Bharti.
Airtel's 'Express Yourself' campaign struck a chord with the international panel of judges which included Sean Collins, Chairman-ICE, KPMG, UK, Roger Wilson, Director, European Competitive Telecommunications Association, David Molony, Editor-in-Chief, 'Total Telecom', Christine Winter, Head-Global Telecom Sourcing, Reuters.
Asked about the factors that made Airtel win this prestigious title, Hemant Sachdev, Corporate Director, Marketing, said: "Firstly, we have built the brand on pillars of powerful consumer insight. We understood the consumer psychology beyond the rational plane and connected with them at the emotional level. Secondly, we have been adapting and changing the positioning of the brand to connect with the consumer. From the 'power to keep in touch', 'touch tomorrow', 'live every moment' to 'express yourself', we have constantly reflected the changing customer needs. Thirdly, our ability to combine the business objective with customer experience has led us to become the leading brand."
About the campaign, Sachdev said, "Express Yourself is a platform that we used to communicate the fact that Airtel consumers have unlimited freedom." So will there be more campaigns from Airtel? "Yes, we do have some campaigns lined up," he said.