Project Next to help Airtel reduce churn and increase profitability

The main focus of Project Next is to reduce customer churn and increase profitability for Airtel by providing digital experience to Airtel customers

Bharti Airtel has launched Project Next for transforming 2,500 retail outlets over the next three years after the successful completion of Project Leap where the company has installed more than 180,000 towers over 24 months by investing Rs. 60,000 crore.

The company is planning to invest Rs. 2,000 crore for digital enablement of 2,500 Airtel stores across India. The new stores focuses on the concept of Share, Create, and Experience.

The Share zone helps customers to interact with a video wall that collates Airtel stories and Airtel customer experiences from pan-India. In Create zone, customers can design their solutions on a touch screen table top whereas Experience Zone talks about content offerings say movie, music, games and others. Customers also have the option to give real time feedback.

The digital enablement will also help in reducing manpower at Airtel stores as the focus is on removing paper work from all customer touch point activities as the focus is on engaging the customer through different screens.

The company has also unveiled a new version of Airtel app for providing realtime customer experience through self care. This will also help in reducing customer care executives in call centres as customers can activate or deactivate any service with the click of a button and is not dependent on call centre executives for their daily requirements. All this will definitely help Bharti Airtel to reduce employee cost in India from Rs. 2,458 crore in FY 2015-16 and Rs. 2,384 crore in FY2016-17. The lower the employee cost, the better it is for Bharti Airtel in the log run.

To reduce customer churn, Airtel has launched three pronged strategy – Data Roll over Promise, Family Promise and Security Promise for post paid customers. Data Roll Over Promise will help in carrying forward unused monthly data to the next billing cycle. Family Promise will help in enjoying savings up to 50% by customizing solutions for the family.

Security Promise will help in securing smartphones by paying Rs. 49, Rs. 79 and Rs. 99 against accidental and liquid damage. Airtel Secure also comes with Norton Mobile Security Suite, which includes anti-malware protection that flags privacy risks such as intrusive behavior. All this will help, Airtel to increase stickiness with its customer so that they do not churn to competitive network operator.

Presently, Profit Before Tax (PBT) for FY2016-17 is Rs. 9,738 crore vis-a-vis Rs. 12,421 crore in FY2015-16 for India and South Asia operations and Airtel is planning to arrest its PBT through Project Next. If the company is successful, the company will then focus on digitising prepaid customers in the next phase.

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