“When the Giants fight the world watches ” goes the saying . This is the perfect example of the latest foray in the Telecom market by giant retailer Amazon which has shown an active interest in buying a 5 % stake in our Indian telecom company Bharti Airtel for least $ 2 billion.
The discussions between Amazon and Bharti come at a time when Facebook has already bought a 9.9 percent stake in Bharti’s telecom rival Jio, owned by Reliance.
The telecom industry has been put on the accelerator by the COVID pandemic which has seen a never before thrust on online and digital platforms in all disciplines of the FMCG industry.
Amazon is the leader in the cloud market in India and is pushing to consolidate this. Although it has dealt with Bharti Airtel in the past, yet it has no formal deal with any telecom operator in India.
Amazon counts India as a crucial growth market where it has committed $6.5 billion in investments mainly toward expanding its e-commerce footprint. The Seattle-based company has in recent years also expanded its digital offerings in India via its voice-activated speakers, video streaming, and cloud storage, as it seeks to tap a rising number of internet and smartphone users in the country of 1.3 billion people.
Choosing not to comment on the deal, Amazon has left people to speculate on the dynamics of the new emerging battleground of the Big techs. Meanwhile, a spokesman of Bharti Airtel plainly said, “We routinely work with all digital and OTT players and have deep engagement with them to bring their products, content, and services for our wide customer base. Beyond that, there is no other activity to report.”
With India having a population of one-sixth of the globe and the smartphone users are expected to rise to 859 million by 2022, we are in exciting times ahead.