Read the story of Bharti Airtel’s near collapse and rebirth

Two weeks ago, Bharti Enterprises founder and chairman, Sunil Mittal was scheduled to address a gathering at Future Group's FutureReborn event in Mumbai. But due to an important engagement at the last minute, he had to give the event a miss. A recorded message was relayed instead.

Mittal shared the story of Bharti Airtel's near collapse and eventual rebirth, keeping the event's theme in mind, reported the Economic Times.

"I am reminded of a not too far off event in 2002 when Bharti Airtel was struggling in the marketplace with the launch of some significant new players on one side and the government of India through BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) on the other," ET reported, citing Mittal’s recorded message.

He further said: "The question was not if, the question was when Bharti would collapse. We had a small team of young leaders. We got together and strategised for the way forward. The outcome of that two-day session was that we need to reinvent ourselves if we have to survive, if we have to keep our heads above the water and eventually be strong enough to fight the big boys. We had to strategise, rethink, reinvent and in a sense take a rebirth."

Mittal also shared some international case studies of "rebirths".

He said in his message that Louis Gerstner (inset) made a transition from a hardware-focused company to a software giant when it was on the verge of being written off.

He also mentioned about the rise and fall of mobile company Nokia. "Nokia, which came from nowhere, their mobile division at least went into being nowhere," said Mittal.

(Image: Reuters)
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