04 December, 2020

The Rrrrrrring-O-Star

Airtel safe, it's time to move on to other things: airports, or agriculture maybe

Gireesh G.V.
The Rrrrrrring-O-Star
I came into the telecom business when it was being opened for the private sector for the first time in the country. In 1982-83, we tried to force a change in the government's mind to allow the private sector in the manufacture of telephone sets in India. Finally in 1984, the government allowed telephone manufacture in private hands. This is when we stepped foot into an industry that was hitherto an exclusive domain of the government and no one had an idea of how a private company would fare in that arena.

As expected, many private companies jumped in and soon, along with us, we had companies like hfcl and others walking through the gates that had just been opened. Some foreign companies also came into the manufacturing arena then. That was the beginning of competition in the telecom sector in India.

But my real stint began in 1992-94 when telecom services were opened and the private sector was allowed to enter the game. It was a big challenge at the time to fight the monopoly of several years. That is when we started the Airtel service in India from our first circle in...


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