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Airtel to Join E-commerce App

Update On :07 April 2015

Airtel to Join E-commerce App

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel is set to launch an open, non- discriminatory platform - Airtel Zero for e-commerce application players. The new app will enable e-commerce companies to launch their apps for download by consumers at a fraction of cost they currently incur by utilizing digital marketing tools. The company will not charge its customers for downloading the apps from the Airtel Zero platform.The service is rendered as a B2B for the over-the-top (OTP) players.

Srini Gopalan, director — consumer business, Bharti Airtel said, this platform — Airtel Zero — would be a real win-win for customers and e-commerce app players. The company is in the final stages of finalizing pacts with around 20-25 e-commerce players and about 100 start-ups who would utilize this new platform. The country’s top 4-5 e-commerce players would sign up with us, Srini said while declining to divulge the names.

The way the platform would work is simple: The participating e-commerce player would be able to provide downloading of app on the Airtel platform which would cost much less than what they incur today by digital marketing initiatives. For the consumer the downloading of the app would not entail any data charge. Further, the usage of the app could be either fully free of data charge or free up to a point as opted by the e-commerce player.

Srini stated that from the pilots undertaken we have seen that on an average if a player pays R100 to generate a download using digital marketing, he will end up paying 1/3 in Airtel Zero. The benefit for Airtel in this initiative is that it gets revenues from the e-commerce players for hosting their app on its platform. Further, while the customer does not pay any data charge for the download and only maybe a part for further usage, this charge would be paid by the e-commerce player to the company.

While Airtel Zero would be a B2B platform, it would be marketed to the consumers through a different brand name. The move is “in in sync with governments vision of digital inclusion and make in India vision”, Srini said.

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