Locking Horns: Airtel vs Jio

Locking Horns: Airtel vs Jio

PGPM Class of 2019-20 Student Sayali Nadhe, of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, talks about the brewing broadband war between Airtel and Jio

Bharati Airtel Limited, commonly known as Airtel, is an Indian global telecommunication service company and one of the top providers of telecommunication service across Asia, Africa and Channel Islands [1]The company, which was India’s largest operator till a year ago, lost its spot to Reliance Jio which stormed into the telecom sector in September 2016 with its disruptive voice and data offerings [2].

On one hand, we have the worst time for India’s automobile sector and on the other, the telecom sector is set to boom as telecom tower tenancy ratio will increase from 1.95 times in 2016 to 2.9 times by 2020 due to the expansion of 3G, 4G and the onset of 5G technologies [3]. “Data is the new oil” says Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries and Founder of Reliance Jio, who entered the telecom sector with the launch of Reliance Jio, shook up India’s telecom market and grabbed the number one position by revenue within just three years.

PGPM Class of 2019-20 Student Sayali Nadhe, of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, talks about the brewing broadband war between Airtel and Jio

Is Reliance Jio creating a monopoly in the market? Jio aims at creating an entire digital ecosystem, offering services almost in every telecom application. Increasing customer base by providing attractive offers was always their strategy of expansion. Jio’s mega plan, Jio GigaFiber, can disrupt the home internet space just the same way it transformed the mobile internet landscape. It is constantly expanding its customer base by proposing “Welcome Offers” through free subscription to Hotstar, free HD or 4K LED TV and 4K Jio set-top box, and a ‘First Day First Show’ feature expected to be launched by 2020 which would enable premium subscribers to stream new movies on the day of their theatrical release [4].

Jio has triggered a broadband war with other telecom operators, and which Gladiator would turn out to the champion in this war will be decided by no one else but the customers. Consumers are attracted towards cashbacks, free goodies, and convenient services which carry a low switching cost. Jio has indirectly made it inevitable for other operators to come up with new services to increase and retain their customer base.

PGPM Class of 2019-20 Student Sayali Nadhe, of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, talks about the brewing broadband war between Airtel and Jio

Airtel has returned fire by providing new offers in response to Reliance Jio’s disruptive broadband services. Airtel is coming up with the Omni-Channel strategy to entice all types of users from Mobile Services, Direct-to-Home TV to Broadband, with a range of super-premium tariff packs. The operator is tying up all loose ends to beat Reliance Jio’s offerings. For starters, the telco would offer an Android-based Smart Set-Top Box with high-speed broadband, free LED TV, which may also be bundled with various digital plans in ways similar to Jio’s.

From the point of view of coverage, even if Jio has reached a number of rural villages in India, considering data speeds Airtel fares better than Jio. Therefore, Airtel can certainly leverage this capability to target rural areas. A good and stable high-speed internet service can aid seamless access to the internet at home, schools, colleges and business places. This can help Airtel to have an edge over Jio with its sizeable customer base across post-paid mobile, DTH, broadband services, etc. Airtel has also merged with Tata Teleservices to expand their customer base and gain wider access to the 4G spectrum. This deal will again help Airtel to compete with Jio.

Customers now-a-days demand not only high speed data access, but also an uninterrupted service at the lowest price point. Therefore, value-rich tariff plans that would carry its seamless services across wider geographies would aid Airtel in its game plan to attract new customers and retain existing ones, thereby sustaining and improving its revenues and overall growth.

PGPM Class of 2019-20 Student Sayali Nadhe, of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, talks about the brewing broadband war between Airtel and Jio

Written by: Sayali Nadhe

PGPM “Spartan” Class 2020

Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

Sayali Nadhe of PGPM "Spartans" Batch of 2019-20 at Great Lakes Institute of Management talks about her views on the Broadband War between Airtel and Jio.

Sources:

[1]: https://www.statista.com/topics/4859/airtel/

[2]: https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/jio-beats-airtel-voda-idea-to-be-top-telecom-revenue-earner-at-rs-10900-cr-in-june-quarter-4378251.html

[3]: https://www.investindia.gov.in/sector/telecom

[4]: https://www.hindustantimes.com/tech/reliance-jio-gigafiber-commercial-launch-announced-check-details-here/story-z65w6135sU3yiOti2NFJ1O.html

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#instascam – Of Fake Accounts and False Prophets

#instascam – Of Fake Accounts and False Prophets

Mechanics of the Scam:

Influencer marketing is big business today. A study by Swedish e-commerce start-up A Good Company, and HypeAuditor, shows that Indian Instagram influencers have over 16 million fake followers, the third-highest after the US and Brazil [1]. Several influencers use these bogus accounts to boost their vanity metrics such as “likes” and overall engagement.

And brands bite – the study estimates that the fraud has cost marketers $750 million globally. Marketing firm Mediakix predicts that influencer marketing on Instagram could reach $2 billion by the end of 2019. “Influencers” on Instagram and other social media enjoy a wide outreach and leverage this to strike deals with brands and earn sponsorships, pushing products and services to their fake fan base. Many of these influencers try to game the system and make easy money by coaxing brands into thinking they have a larger following than they actually do; they buy followers, likes and even engineer comments on their posts. Companies end up paying a fortune to these influencers for collaboration and in the form of free give-aways to non-existent persons. It is quite easy to buy fake engagement and fake followers online for anyone who knows where to look.

Influencers get more and more creative with their tricks in making their fake followers look genuine

A Cat and Mouse game:

Unfortunately, there is no single fool-proof workaround for this. As much as social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc. work to identify fake users, the shady services that sell fake social media engagement always find ways to stay one step ahead. In his great “Manipulating” series on YouTube, Destin Sandlin explains how these social media websites are at war with fake news and fake engagement [2]. You could once spot fake following by checking social media analytics websites such as Social Blade and look for unusual spikes in follower count, given that there has been no major external event that may to the spike [3]. However, services that provide fake engagement have gotten smarter. They allow you to gain followers in a slow, consistent, steady fashion that seems organic to the algorithms of social media websites.

Influencers have a number of fake followers in the form of people, often themselves, and as bots.

So what can be done about it?

Technology companies have dedicated a vast amount of resources to solve this problem using AI-driven algorithms to terminate fake accounts. However, there are certain elementary methods to identify if an account is fake, apart from the ones mentioned earlier.

One of the ways is to analyse the comments. Comments posted by bots or the influencers themselves usually follow a common theme in terms of vocabulary and sentence structure. So if you look for patterns in them, you will usually find overwhelming polarized content and limited writing variety.

Another method is to check the profiles of some of the commenters. If they are overwhelmingly empty accounts with poor post frequency, skewed following-to-followers ratio (fake accounts usually follow a large no. of accounts to engage but have low follower count), or just don’t seem to have any personalized content, there is a very good chance the influencers are buying engagement and scamming companies out of their money.

A typical fake Instagram profile with high Following count as compared to Followers count and a single post, with the image of a celebrity.

In Conclusion:

Methods to spot fake profiles are certainly not fool-proof and can be quite cumbersome, but they can still provide a fair idea about an influencer’s account. Skepticism could be helpful to marketers so that they can take a calculated risk if they’ve got Influencer Marketing on their minds. They should be cognizant of the fact that any random “influencer” may not have their best interests at heart. Nevertheless, influencer culture is here to stay, whether we like it or not. While large corporates may not [need to] invest in this, struggling start-ups and local brands may still try to walk this road as a cost-effective means to create awareness among masses, instead of expensive mainstream advertising.

Written by: Anant Gupta – PGDM “Apache” Class of 2021

Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

PGDM Class of 2021 (Apaches) student Anant Gupta

[1]: https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/social/indian-instagram-influencers-have-over-16-million-fake-followers-says-new-study-5830303/

[2]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUiYglgGbos&list=PLOY__sF3NWC1rqjRh_KVftNj0j4slUd3Z

[3]: https://socialblade.com/

Change is Good, “I’m Lovin’ It!”

Change is Good, “I’m Lovin’ It!”

Ranjeeta Gupta, PGPM Class of 2020 student at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, talks about a sustainable new strategy for McDonald's Happy Meal toys.

McDonald’s is the world’s largest restaurant chain, with 37,855 restaurants serving over 69 million customers daily in over a hundred countries worldwide [1]. Short time-to-serve, attractive pricing and offers, adapting to local tastes and preferences in different countries, and the traditional McDonald’s Happy Meal have been some of the prominent strategies of the chain that have stood the test of time. They understand the desire of their consumers and keep upgrading and evolving, not just for the consumers but for the benefit of environment as well.

Two British children,aged 7 and 10 have, launched a petition stating that the plastic toys that come with McDonald’s Happy Meal cannot be recycled and often end up being discarded. This petition has already garnered 325,000 petitions [2]. This movement gives a new direction to the firm in a constructive manner. Amidst growing environmental concerns, the fast food chain is also trying to live up to the expectations for minimum or no disturbance to nature. In the past, it has replaced plastic straws and cups with paper ones. Now the focus has shifted towards plastic toys given away by McDonald’s as a part of its Happy Meal packs and its hazardous effect on the environment.

Ranjeeta Gupta, PGPM Class of 2020 student at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, talks about a sustainable new strategy for McDonald's Happy Meal toys.

McDonald’s can now explore new avenues such as “Sweet Edible Toys” of different flavors, which children can enjoy playing with, and would be not only be harmless but also serve as a neat dessert idea after a scrumptious Happy Meal. This would curb the menace of plastic pollution and, at the same time, would entice more kids to ask for a Happy Meal at an outlet. Introducing new variants of these toys with trending animated movie and comic book characters would help the brand and the product build and maintain its clout among its young customers.

Another option they can explore would be personalized happy meal boxes. Young patrons can have their own pictures or personal messages printed on the biodegradable paper boxes used to pack Happy Meals. Binding this with customer-driven social media campaigns for user-generated content can turn out to be a cost-effective marketing strategy and drive more customers to go “I’m Lovin’ It!” Social acceptance and bragging rights are some of the top priorities of the digitally-enabled youth worldwide. Engaging customers in content co-creation would be mutually beneficial for the customers as well as the brand.

The fast-food giant has started taking all possible steps to reduce the harm caused to the environment by its activities. By 2025, McDonald’s plans to use renewable, recyclable and certified materials in all kinds of packaging [3]. “With great power comes great responsibility”, and McDonald’s is very well cognizant of this fact. To survive in the long run, it is imperative for the company to be sensible enough in taking rational decisions which is in-line with the expectation and need of the society as a whole.

Ranjeeta Gupta, PGPM Class of 2020 student at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, talks about a sustainable new strategy for McDonald's Happy Meal toys.

Children these days need not always be enticed with physical incentives such as toys and the likes. Proliferation of technology and increase use of personal devices by younger demographics have opened up doorways to new ideas for types of incentives. A brand like McDonald’s can bring about a revolution and transform itself into an environmentally-responsible brand by going eco friendly or by going digital, or both. This is where we would let the creative heads at McDonald’s’ marketing fraternity do the thinking.

Written by: Ranjeeta Gupta – PGPM “Spartan” Class of 2020

Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

References:

[1]: https://expandedramblings.com/index.php/mcdonalds-statistics/

[2]: https://www.wsj.com/articles/mcdonalds-happy-meal-toys-caught-in-backlash-over-plastic-11562583605

[3]: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/mcdonalds-packaging-sustainable-cut-renewable-recycling-latte-levy-a8162231.html

Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Tribute to the True People’s Prime Minister

Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Tribute to the True People’s Prime Minister

India is the largest democracy in the world. Throughout its democratic history, it has witnessed several politicians rising to power before going downhill. Our countrymen have been fortunate enough to see great leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, P.V Narsimha Rao, and Indira Gandhi taking up the podium and setting up vivid examples of leadership and diplomacy for the generations to come. Our country represents a classic example of unity in diversity, it exemplifies different flavours in almost every aspect of our lives, Politics being one of them. We have produced leaders exhibiting varied styles and building a connect with varied people of our country. And at the same time, the race to reach the pinnacle of power had also corrupted some of those leaders beyond redemption. Today, we are a part of a political system which lacks mutual respect for each other. We see Parliamentary sessions succumbing to unproductivity owing to clashes between ideologies and people driven by the utmost motive of demeaning each other. Where does a leader like ‘Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’ fit in in this landscape? What made him stand out from the rest?

Born to Krishna Devi and Krishna Bihari Vajpayee on 25th December 1924 in Gwalior, Atal Bihari Vajpayee did his schooling from Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Gwalior and later went on to complete his graduation from Laxmi Bai College, Gwalior. He then pursued his Masters of Arts in Political Science from DAV College, Kanpur, where he was awarded a first-class degree. A revolutionary nationalist at heart, at a tender age of 16, he was already working as an active member of RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and had earned the honour of being a freedom fighter when he was jailed for participating in ‘Quit India movement’. The urge for public service and uplifting our nation drove him throughout his life. From being one of the founding members of ‘Bhartiya Jan Sangh’ to organizing it into the first truly national party, ‘Bhartiya Janta Party’, formed in independent India, he exhibited strength, proactivity and responsiveness to various national and state-level issues, especially in the case of J&K protests against separate permits for other citizens. His extraordinary organizational and oratorical skills won the hearts of masses. His aptly articulated and poetic way of addressing public sessions soon started bearing fruits. In 1957, he was elected as a member of Lok Sabha from Balrampur. There, his oratorical skills so impressed Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru that he predicted that Vajpayee would someday become India’s Prime Minister. He served as an MP (Member of Parliament) for 47 years thereafter, as he was elected 10 times for Lok Sabha and 2 times for Rajya Sabha. As his political career progressed, Atalji became a name synonymous with Integrity, Cohesiveness, Patience and Cooperation. He was an inspiration for many and he strongly upheld our nationalistic identity on international platforms. India had just started gaining momentum, when as a ‘Minister of External Affairs’, he addressed the UN General assembly in Hindi. It showed the love he had for his motherland and his capability to think differently to create a distinct national identity.

Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee @Pokhran

Atal Bihari Vajpayee served as the Prime Minister of India between 1996 and 2004 in three non-consecutive terms. Though the initial terms were comparatively unstable, his firm decision-making and his ability to build consensus amongst everyone brought about a lot of key changes at that time. His approach to decision-making included seeking considerations from every political front to arrive at a consensus. He strongly believed that such inclusion was paramount in achieving desired effectiveness for the government policies to work. His able governance proved several economic and political pundits wrong, who suggested that a democracy could never achieve a very high GDP growth rate since India grew at around 6-7% at that time owing to the liberal reforms in various sectors. While we as a nation had started dreaming of becoming a superpower, Atalji consolidated our position in terms of national security as well when he overcame the hesitation of our nation, the resistance of the world and threat of isolation to make India a nuclear weapons power post the second Pokharan range tests. Amid all these developments, he showed contrasting gumptions when he went an extra mile to make Indo-Pak relations better post Kargil war. Foreign relations, especially with USA and China, were never better. He widely advocated World Peace and Cooperation. As he himself once said, “Gun can solve no problem; brotherhood can. Issues can be resolved if we move forward guided by the three principles of Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat.” During his Prime Ministership, India witnessed a golden era of transformation and positivity while everything worked in tandem in an otherwise difficult-to-manage coalition government. It was the magic of Atalji working wonders for the nation.

We have not only lost an excellent politician, but a diplomat, journalist, poet, and in a true sense, a Bharat Ratna. A gem whose shine would enlighten us forever in our path for development. He taught everyone the politics of consensus and not confrontation. He taught us how to accommodate everyone’s opinion while putting forth your own ideologies and beliefs. He was often termed as ‘Bhishm Pitamah’ of Indian politics as he was equally respected and liked by either political fronts. I still remember humming to the tune of the song “School chale hum…” during my childhood. Today it feels different. I am sure his spirit will continue to guide us as we progress to become the greatest nation in this world.

Author: Prateek Gupta

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author

Image Sources:

indiatimes.com

abplive.in

ndtv.com