Consolidation of existing operators is important in Sri Lanka, Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder, chairman and group CEO of Bharti enterprises said in Colombo on Saturday. There were presently five operators for a population of 20 million.
Asked if he was disappointed with Airtel’s performance in Sri Lanka, he said: “I would not say we are disappointed. We are not 1.6 million customers we came as the fifth and now we are the fourth operator. Our idea is to get to next level. Number 4.”
On the law in Sri Lanka, he said that the rules do not allow new comers to play with the tariff. “But we are used to it, we are playing within that, we are growing within that. Yes, the flexibility of tariff should be there.
That is our request to the government. But at the end of the day, you have to play with the regulation that is there,” he said and added as an aside, “I wish we had a regulator back in India who would put a ceiling on tariff at the lower end.
Asked if the group had plans to enter any other business activity, he said “No. We are concentrating on telecommunications.”
Asked if he would be interested in retail, he said that the Sri Lankan market was only 20 million people. The market was too small to put up a large scale retail facility.