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In March 2013, T-Mobile US Inc. (T-Mobile), a US-based wireless service provider, launched a marketing campaign called “Un-carrier”. Some of the initiatives that the company took under the campaign disrupted the telecom industry in the US. Under the Un-carrier campaign, T-Mobile came out with monthly plans in an industry where long term contracts were the norm. The complex pricing was replaced with flexible and easy to understand pricing. T-Mobile also allowed the customers to get their own phones, where the practice was for the customers to buy a phone from the carriers. T-Mobile came up with 13 Un-carrier plans till 2017. These plans were pocket friendly for customers. There were "Un-carrier" programs such as unlimited streaming of Netflix. Such offerings helped the company to increase its number of subscribers by more than 5 million a year for five straight years before dropping to just more than 4 million new customers in 2018. From the time of the launch of the Un-carrier campaign, T-Mobile supported it through communications and advertising campaigns. T-Mobile also re-engineered its customer service and devised a model – TEX (Team of Experts) to provide seamless and hassle free service to its customers.

Un-carrier – T-Mobile’s Strategy to Disrupt the US Telecom Industry
The case is about Bharti Airtel Limited (Airtel), India's second-largest wired broadband service provider (after state-owned operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL)), which saw the demand for home broadband surge during the COVID-19-induced lockdown in the country. In 2020, Airtel significantly consolidated its position in the Indian telecom market, amid intense competition from Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited for supremacy in the telecom market. One of the biggest contributing factors for Airtel’s growth was its rising average revenue per user (ARPU),which grew without impacting the number of subscribers. The ARPU of Airtel increased to Rs.154 in the fourth quarter of 2020, up from Rs.135 in the previous quarter. The Indian telecom industry saw a major shift from mobile broadband services to home broadband networks, especially because of the pandemic. The lockdown boosted the demand for home broadband as many people preferred to stay indoors and rely on the internet to carry out their day-to-day activities. On the home broadband front, Airtel saw a surge in the number of users and the consumption of data due to the culture of working and studying from home. Airtel’s growth was attributed to the tariff hike during the end of 2019 and its focus on 4G and post-paid subscribers. The company shifted its strategy to become an ecosystem of digital services to stay relevant in the digitization era and win over quality customers across all the segments. An increase in market share, along with the rising ARPU of Airtel was the result of its well thought out strategy. During the nation-wide lockdown across the country to contain the pandemic, more and more people started working from home using their home broadband connections, creating a huge demand for bandwidth. Airtel was determined to ensure a seamless network experience for its users. Its networks operated in the Business Continuity Planning (BCP) mode. At this time, Airtel increased its investments, upgraded the quality of its services, and accelerated network roll-outs to meet customers’ demand for uninterrupted broadband connectivity (retail and enterprise). Airtel provided affordable broadband plans and leveraged its partner services to deliver an integrated offer that covered unlimited data, connectivity, and entertainment. The impact of the pandemic and cheaper data tariff plans from Airtel were expected to help the company witness faster adoption of the broadband in India post pandemic. But a few challenges remained. Airtel’s ARPU was still below the desired levels. At the same time, Jio had made huge investments in the 5G network, which could pose severe competition to Airtel. Further, Jio’s aggressive pricing strategy to attract customers could also be a challenge for Airtel.

Bharti Airtel’s Broadband Surge during COVID-19
The case study ‘Bulbul: Wooing Rural Online Shoppers Through Video-commerce’ describes how Bulbul.tv (Bulbul), India’s first live commerce (or social commerce) mobile application, was developed by Bulbulshop Shopping Network Private Limited (Bulbulshop) to woo first time online shoppers in rural India. The case focuses on the factors that led to the rapid surge in the number of rural internet users with 264 million people in rural India having access to the internet in 2019 as against 186 million in 2017. The case then describes the online consumer behavior patterns of rural Indians that Bulbul’s founders identified, leading to the creation of a novel e-commerce platform that replicated the traditional offline shopping experience to the extent possible. Next, the case describes the business model of Bulbulshop, starting with the way the company tested its unique business model before launching the Bulbul app in the market; the description of the Bulbul app, the conscious use of micro-influencers to promote products, the product sourcing, and its customer-centric approach. Finally, the case touches upon the partnerships that Bulbulshop forged with technology players to expand its business; the company’s future plans of transforming micro-influencers into key business drivers; the launch of several activities on the Bulbul app to capitalize on the rapidly growing Indian social commerce sector; and plans to introduce private label products in the Indian rural market.

Bulbul: Wooing Rural Online Shoppers through Video-commerce
The case “Copyright Infringement War between Britannia and ITC” talks about the legal tussle between leading Indian food companies, Britannia Industries Limited (BIL) and ITC Limited (ITC). In recent years, the two companies had accused each other of infringing their product packaging trademark to cause a loss of goodwill and confuse prospective buyers. The case provides in detail the various accusations of one party and the counters from the other party. It also briefly mentions the reasons for the two companies indulging in such a tussle. The case highlights the importance of trademark laws and the actions to be taken in case of infringement, apart from emphasizing the marketing ethics to be followed.

Copyright Infringement War between Britannia and ITC
In 1950, ChitaleBandhuMithaiwale, a small family-owned sweet and savory snacks shop, was founded in Pune, India. In 2020, the fourth-generation members of the owner’s family ran the business but the small local shop had become a prominent brand in India and abroad. In the highly competitive Indian sweets market, where many powerful Indian and international players were present, the brand was successful due to its focus on product quality and product innovation, efficient supply chain management, and process automation. The company had chalked out an ambitious growth plan for the future too. This case study chronicles the growth of the company, pinpoints its success factors, and analyzes its present growth strategy with respect to its business environment.

Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale – Creating Sweet Memories through Continuous Innovation
The case “Tata Motors’ Project Neev: Rural Influencer Marketing,” describes India’s biggest automobile manufacturing company, Tata Motors Ltd. (Tata)’s rural marketing initiative – Project Neev. As part of the initiative, Tata hired prominent rural people to serve as Tata Gram Mitras and do word-of-mouth marketing for its vehicle range in far-flung villages with a population of less than 50,000. Furthermore, Tata distributed its vehicles in those markets through third-party outlets called Tata Kisan Mitra, apart from leveraging the rural outreach programs of other enterprises through strategic partnerships. Project Neev was a success – enhancing Tata’s competitive strength and accounting for a large proportion of the company’s vehicle sales. Within a decade, Tata expanded the scope of Project Neev to cover almost all Indian states. So, will Project Neev continue to reap dividends for Tata in the future?

Tata Motors’ Project Neev: Rural Influencer Marketing

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