New Delhi/Tokyo, October 20, 2011: Bharti Enterprises, one of India's leading business groups that includes Bharti Airtel Ltd, India's largest mobile services provider in terms of number of subscribers (“Bharti”), and SOFTBANK CORP., parent corporation for one of Japan's leading internet company groups (“SoftBank”), are pleased to announce the formal launch of Bharti Softbank Holdings Pte. Ltd. (“BSB”), a 50:50 controlled joint venture between Bharti and SoftBank established to focus on the mobile internet.
BSB will actively participate in the mobile internet ecosystem's growth in India, with an emphasis on three key areas: Social Media, Gaming and e-Commerce. BSB aims to further accelerate the pace of development of India's mobile internet market, which, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, had over 850 million mobile subscribers as of July, 2011.
“India, which has emerged as the second largest mobile market in the world, stands at the cusp of another revolution - mobile internet,” said Mr. Kavin Bharti Mittal, BSB's Head of Strategy & New Product Development. “With a fast growing economy, a large youth population and access to cheaper and faster data, there is a unique opportunity to build services ground up for mobile, especially in a country where the first screen for most is a mobile device. We are delighted to partner with SoftBank, whose vast experience in this area will help us build and invest in services for India.”
“Over the decades, SoftBank has endeavoured to develop new markets for Internet businesses, starting from the U.S., China and now India,” said Mr. Atsushi Taira, a Director of BSB. “I believe that through the mobile internet, we can change people's lives in India and empower each one of them to contribute to society's exponential growth. I am very excited to be a part of this vision and delighted to have Bharti, with its unparalleled vision, knowledge and experience with emerging markets, as our partner. This partnership represents a significant step in SoftBank's journey towards becoming No.1 in the mobile internet industry.”
Bharti Enterprises is one of India's leading business groups with interests in telecom, agri business, retail and manufacturing. Bharti has been a pioneering force in the telecom sector with many firsts and innovations to its credit. Bharti Airtel, a group company, is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa. Bharti Airtel offers mobile voice & data services, fixed line, high speed broadband, IPTV, DTH, turnkey telecom solutions for enterprises and national & international long distance services to carriers. Beetel Teletech is the country's largest manufacturer and exporter of telephone terminals. Bharti has a joint venture - FieldFresh Foods - with Del Monte Pacific Ltd, to offer fresh and processed fruits and vegetables in the domestic as well as international markets. Bharti has forayed into retail business under a company called Bharti Retail. It also has a joint venture - Bharti Wal-Mart - with Wal-Mart for wholesale cash-and-carry and back-end supply chain management operations in India.