Bharti Airtel, the giant global telecommunications company which has operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa at the weekend unveiled Airtel brand in Nigeria and around the continent, finally laying to rest the Zain brand.
The new and more vibrant brand was unveiled in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, along with Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Group CEO, Bharti Enterprises.
With the brand reveal activity, the identity of the company has changed from Zain Nigeria to Airtel Nigeria. Airtel is now the master brand for all the telecom group’s 19 operations. Airtel currently serve over 200 million customers in Asia and Africa.
In his remarks, President Goodluck Jonathan commended Airtel for choosing Nigeria as the launch location for the entire Africa continent. He also congratulated Airtel for the successful launch of the new brand and for its expressed commitment to make telecoms services affordable for the consumer. He urged the company to assist in creating additional jobs for Nigerians.
Jonathan who was represented by the Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili also expressed joy at the plan of the company to expand its operations to more rural areas and communities. He equally advice the company to increase its investment in Nigeria as this will help to reduce the level of unemployment in the country.
Speaking at the event, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti, said: “Bharti began its African journey by promising to deliver world-class and affordable mobile services to customers and delighting them with innovative products. I believe we are taking a major step towards delivering on this by introducing the heart of our business – the Airtel brand – across our operations in Africa. Our African customers will now be able to enjoy the same best-in-class brand experience as our customers across India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
He further added: “We remain committed to taking our network deeper into Africa, ensuring our services touch the common man and bridge the digital divide in the continent. I am confident that over the coming years Airtel will win the hearts of customers across Africa and emerge as one of most admired brands of the continent.”
The new brand identity
Rajan Swaroop, Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria said the new Airtel brand comes with a promise to meet the emerging needs of customers with innovative, affordable and relevant solutions to empower consumers, giving them the freedom to do what they choose and provide them with the tools to meet life’s daily challenges.
The red primary colour of the logo reflects the warmth and vibrancy of the African continent. It is the colour of life and of the African sun at dusk. These qualities are reflected in Airtel’s brand personality of being brave and bold, sensitive and empathetic. The new curved addition to the logo is a symbol which will help ensure instant recognition across our diverse international markets.
As part of the celebration of unveiling the new brand, Airtel also announced the launch of a new ultra low cost handset package which effectively provides a mobile phone free of charge to all new subscribers. The package, launched in conjunction with Nokia, will be priced at approx NGN 3,500 (USD $23) and includes a brand new Nokia 1280 mobile phone, a free SIM card and the equivalent value in free Airtel talk time and SMS text messages.
Over the next couple of months Airtel will launch a number of world leading product innovations which focus on delivering relevant information for customers to enhance their quality of life and provide tools that will help them overcome their daily challenges.
In the past four months Airtel has already made tariff interventions in 11 of its 16 markets in Africa for the benefit of its customers. It has also signed agreements to extend its networks to the most remote areas which are still not connected with the outside world.