Knowledge Management is a scheme, model or system designed to assist organisations make, gaining control, analyze, use, and recycle knowledgeA to accomplish competitory advantage. ( ) A cardinal facet of Knowledge Management is that cognition within an organisation is treated as a cardinal plus. A simple phrase that encapsulates a nucleus facet of Knowledge Management isA ” acquiring the right cognition to the right people at the right clip in the right format ” . ( ) KMS systems trade with information ( although Knowledge Management as a subject may widen beyond the information centric facet of any system ) so they are a category of information system and may construct on, or use other information beginnings.
Bharti Airtel was the first one to supply nomadic services in the private sector. It besides provided cyberspace and telephone services in 92 metropoliss. Bharti Airtel won the award for ‘Best Knowledge Management ‘ at the MIS Asia IT acme 2006, which reflects the company ‘s robust efficiency in retaining, alining and using the information engineering. ( Indian telecasting intelligence )
In India the Telecom Industry is really complex. It requires a big figure of Service Providers, plenty trained Manpower, Local, Regional and Global changing fluctuations and of all time altering environment. ( ) This brings many challenges to the company for the consumers which they have to carry through. KM is non specified to any specific job and it ‘s an umbrella which covers all the sections of an organisation. ( )
Airtel was one of those company ‘s which realised the importance of cognition direction at an early phase, which helped it turn and value its most of import plus. The following provides a survey about Airtel and its cognition direction.
Question no.1: BUSINESS OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES
Airtel Business Aims
The company is formed of four strategic concern units – Mobile, Digital Television, Enterprise and Telemedia. The former concern provides services in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The Telemedia concern offers broadband, IPTV and telephone services in 89 Indian metropoliss. The Digital Television concern provides DTH Television services across India ( Airtel, 2010 ) .
The aim of Airtel is to supply end-to-end telecom solutions to its corporate clients nationally every bit good as internationally long distance services to Telco ‘s.
Airtel has achieved specialisation in offering customized solutions to turn to alone demands and demands of different industry ; IT, instruction, media, Manufacturing and distribution, telecom, Government and retails etc. ( Airtel, 2010 ) .
Due to Airtel ‘s co-opetion with taking engineering companies all around the universe and substructure, it presents full scope of telecom solutions. These solutions enable corporate to web their offices nationally and worldwide, give them substructure to run of import concern applications and offer them ways to bond with their consumers and employees ( Airtel, 2010 ) .
PORTER ‘S GENERIC COMPETITIVE STRATEGIES
Cost Leadership Strategy
Many clients have high outlooks for buying at lower monetary value, goods and services. A Number of houses engage themselves in activities which allow them to prosecute low cost of production than its rivals and consequences in cost leading in an industry ( Hitt et al. , 2009 ) . Airtel has addition cost leading by pull offing its procedures and resources expeditiously and efficaciously. It has successfully offered its merchandises and services at lower monetary values by conveying down its operational costs. Due to the net income borders being greater or the addition in gross revenues volume, Airtel has besides earned higher net incomes.
The Cost Leadership Strategies for Airtel works great during a monetary value war in the industry. Due to it ‘s Low Price Strategy, the house has acquired net incomes compared to the rivals ( MTNL, Idea, Tata, RCOM ) , which are bound to do losingss ( Rediff Moneywiz, 2010 ) .
Firm chooses Focus Strategy when they intend to utilize their nucleus competences to function demands of a peculiar section of the industry instead than the full market. This peculiar section can be either a peculiar purchaser group, or different section of a merchandise line, or a different geographic market. This consequences to client ‘s trueness to the house and hence new rival is resisted to come in in that country ( Hitt et al. , 2009 ) .
Airtel ‘s focal point scheme is to concentrate on the clients with the monthly charge of land line more than Rs 10000 ( & gt ; S $ 285 ) . Airtel can besides offer its service to a specific geographic country.
A company which adopts Differentiation Strategy needs to hold sufficient ability and accomplishments, so that they can distinguish their merchandise from the rivals and influences the clients to pay a premium monetary value. These properties can be superior merchandise quality, merchandise itself, the bringing system or the market attack. Aim is to make trade name trueness towards clients ( Eldring, 2009 ) .
Due to this Strategy, many houses have successfully accessed advanced scientific research, a high degree of skilled labor force, and effectual client communicating schemes, etc.
Airtel offers free digital EPABX with free leased lines ( no connectivity charges ) . Therefore the house provides newest EPABX to the client which costs approx Rs 50,000 ( ~S $ 1430 ) . ( APPENDIX 1 )
Bharti Airtel has been able to accomplish dominant leading place in the market with an RMS of 33 % which is good in front of the closest operator, chiefly due to concentrating on development of its planetary portfolio of services and webs. If any rival wants to be on the top of conference, it has to confront some of the of import factors like increase their international range, right investings in the planetary overseas telegram systems every bit good as enlargement of international points of presence ( PoPs ) and interconnects with the international bearers. Airtel merely did that ( Voice & A ; Data, 2010 ) .
Apart from this, Airtel emphasised on making direct interconnects and relationships with international operators. It has signed over 400 interconnect understandings boulder clay day of the month for these direct interconnects.
Milan Rao, CEO, planetary voice, Bharti Airtel says, “ Despite the hyper-competition in the Indian sweeping market in the last two old ages, Airtel has emerged as a dominant leader in both NLD and ILD infinite. With our investings in domestic and international webs, planetary PoPs, strategic interconnects and state-of-the-art service bringing platforms, we are now poised to widen this leading to the planetary market ” ( Voice & A ; Data, 2010 ) .
The authorities of India has taken major enterprises to liberalise the NLD and ILD licences to increase the growing of the IT and BPO services in the state which will take to more competition and force operators to concentrate on the QoS. This will do non merely Bharti Airtel, but all the operators to increase their investing to guarantee 100 % QoS to retain clients ( Voice & A ; Data, 2010 ) .
Co-opetition is the impression of at the same time winning in competition and cooperation within your market. This can efficaciously increase the broader market for everyone. Small houses can more readily profit from co-opetition since the understandings can be easy, and little spouses can turn faster than the big 1s due to laziness and bureaucratism created by size. ( APPENDIX 2 )
Bharti Airtel has been a regular follower of co-opetition. Few of the many stakeholders of Bharti Airtel are Sony-Ericsson, Nokia and Sing Tel, keeping a strategic confederation. This means that Airtel has the entree to knowledge and engineering from different parts of the telecommunications universe. The co-opetition with Google develops the trade name, and besides gives Promotioning chances in India for Google. Now, iPhone will be introduced in India via distributorship of Airtel. Another illustration of Co-opetition is partnership held with BlackBerry Wireless Solutions.
Bharti Airtel is broadening with another partnership with Vodafone Essar and Idea Cellular to do a trade name new crowned head tower house called Indus Towers ( Wireless Federation, 2010 ) . This new venture will take over more than 60 % of India ‘s web towers. Bharti Airtel has besides reportedly entered into strategic concern confederation with Cisco to help the growing of Indian endeavors ( Airtel, 2010 ) .
In June 2010, the company teamed up with Taiwan-based Smartphone maker HTC Corporation to establish India ‘s first Android powered nomadic phone – the HTC Magic ( Airtel, 2010 ) .
Bharti Airtel Ltd. will spouse with Ericsson and Huawei to spread out and pull off its nomadic web in Bangladesh ( Comm, 2010 ) .
Question no. 2: Current Knowledge Management Strategies
APQC STRATEGY ( AMERICAN PRODUCTIVITY AND QUALITY CENTER )
For the intent of placing the current IKM schemes into force at Bharti Airtel at the minute we chose the APQC scheme which encompasses a broad scope of cognition direction schemes:
This theoretical account was proposed by Karl Wigg and APQC jointly to sort the concern oriented cognition direction schemes. This encompasses 6 KM schemes which loosely touch every section of the concern.
Customer Focused Knowledge Strategy-
Bharti Airtel in Kampala, Uganda announced to outsource all call centres and back office staff to better the quality of client services in Africa. Bharti Airtel which operates the “ Zain ” trade name in 16 states of Africa picked IBM, Tech Mahindra and Spanco to present quality services to clients across these states. Airtel operates for around 40 million clients in this part and marks for more than 100 million by 2013. ( Muhumuza,2010 )
The company believes that this outsourcing would redefine seamless client experience and would besides supply promptly, efficient and inexpensive client services. Apart from the client benefit factor this besides helps the company to cut down the costs of operations and besides develop the accomplishments and competences of its work force as they get exposure to planetary patterns and latest engineerings.
Knowledge Transfer Strategy-
This scheme believes in the spillover consequence, that is employees learn from each other and every bit good as the organisation ( Yang, 2010 )
To deploy a web in Bangladesh Bharti announced an understanding with Ericsson and Huawei. The understanding includes web design, planning, execution, undertaking direction etc. Ericsson plans to set about a host of services on behalf of Airtel like expand and upgrade the circuit and the similar. This helps in transportation of the cognition from Ericsson to Airtel in order to better the operational quality and efficiency. It besides helps in the transportation of latest systems and engineerings that Ericsson and Huawei deploy at their workplace to Airtel.
Personal Knowledge Asset Responsibility Strategy-
Bharti Airtel supports its employees in a figure of ways to assist them develop their accomplishment and portion cognition. For the same, they have created legion platforms like Bharti Learning Systems and Centum Leaning Systems. These systems provide terminal to stop acquisition and accomplishment development solutions to its staff ; it focuses on people and procedures and provides a wide scope of developing installations like developing through Blended Learning Programmes, Executive Coaching, Performance Coaching, Process Management and Certification etc. These systems non merely assist but promote the employees to prosecute in accomplishment edifice activities and portion the cognition amongst each other. ( Sharma, 2010 )
Knowledge Strategy as Business Strategy-
In this scheme KM means placing wide, enterprise-wide concern schemes and spreading them across assorted locations and webs. ( Haggie and Kingston, 2003 )
Bharti Airtel ‘s main executive Mr. Manoj Kohli states that Airtel focuses chiefly on widening its range. Company aims to promote its bing users to speak more and besides wooed new users by cutting rates. Although mean gross per user went down, the direction is n’t worried, alternatively their aim is to sell proceedingss and earn healthy borders on them. Airtel expects their grosss to fall as they move to new strata of society every twelvemonth. The company ‘s “ rural scheme ” is critical. Figures show that more than 50 % of Airtel ‘s new endorsers come from rural India. Through this of import cognition direction endeavor based scheme of cutting call rates and widening range, Bharti Airtel expeditiously managed to add 100 million endorsers in six months. ( N/A, 2008 )
Knowledge Creation Strategy-
Any scheme adopted by an administration where invention or creative activity of cognition takes topographic point in order to finally accomplish their concern aims is a cognition creative activity scheme. ( Haggie and Kingston, 2003 )
The Six Sigma enterprise at Airtel is an of import constituent of the company ‘s invention scheme. The Six Sigma was adopted in order to accomplish sustainable competitory advantage. Keeping in head “ reproduction of best patterns takes much lesser clip than execution ” , Bharti Airtel conducted many cognition sharing Sessionss where all Six Sigma patterns in the internal system of the administration through electronic mails and intranet. The best pattern implementers besides shared their success narratives. ( Shukla and Srinivasan, 2007 )
Intellectual Asset Management Strategy-
A companies KM scheme where they make usage of assets already in the company to make or reassign cognition or merely for cognition direction is their rational plus direction scheme. ( Haggie and Kingston, 2003 )
Bharti Airtel creates schemes to do it critical for all employees to prosecute in KM activities. Bharti makes usage of their employees as assets to make, portion, replicate and to commit KM. They have target to hold 40 % employee engagement in all straight customer- related procedures within a twelvemonth and two-base hit in 2 old ages. Bharti besides has a knowledge- dollar ( K $ ) strategy in which employees earn K $ each clip they portion cognition or everytime they replicate or even use cognition shared by others. This scheme acts as a incentive and at the same clip becomes a KM scheme where cognition is acquiring created, replicated and applied by utilizing assets that company already has. ( Hariharan, 2005 )
How make these schemes help achieve concern aims
These schemes may be classified as above, but when closely seen in existent pattern they all are interlinked. Any scheme adopted by the administration helps carry through non merely one but several other intents excessively, e.g. : call Centre outsourcing non merely cuts costs but improves the client services and assist employee development.
The chief concern aim is to spread out the web of Bharti Airtel and do it widespread, which really is being attained by the above mentioned schemes. It improves its client services in every scheme so as to better and retain its client base which is really apparent from the above account. It trains and develops its employees ‘ potency at every possible degree so as to better their efficiency, productiveness and inturn client service, and eventually web enlargement.
In an industry where Bharti Airtel is viing with former monopolies like BSNL and MTNL, they realised that competition can non non be sustained with monetary value and engineering merely. Through in depth research they realised that the lone beginning of competitory advantage for a telecommunication company was quality of service and hence they began the execution of Six Sigma. They found out that Six Sigma provided them a more analytical step in footings of accurate statistical tools, changeless supervising and trailing of different parametric quantities, and clear measurings of non-i¬?nancial parametric quantities. By following Six Sigma, Airtel aimed at accomplishing competitory advantage by turn outing error- free service, but once more finally aiming client satisfaction. ( Shukla and Srinivasan, 2007 )
Question no. 3: Challenges Faced by Bharti Airtel
Business challenges force an organisation to remain one measure in front of the competitiors, develop new schemes to stand out in the crowd in the of all time altering market place.
With the telecom roar in India, Airtel has a batch of rivals in the market. More and more telecom companies are being set up. With the telecom spectrum up for sale, India has seen many companies venture into the telecom sector. As a consequence, Airtel has been losing land easy but steadily. The authorities owned Bharat Shanchar Nigam Limited ( BSNL ) is Airtel ‘s major rival, be it in footings of substructure, pricing, etc.
Rivals have given stiff competition to Airtel in footings of pricing. Many of Airtel ‘s programs are priced more than its rivals, which is ensuing in Airtel losing its market portion to its rivals. BSNL, holding great infrastructural advantage, has got the lowest call rates across India.
Many employees of Airtel leave within 2years of fall ining. As such Airtel does n’t hold a stable employee force ( at the lowest degree of the hierarchy )
Whenever there is a alteration in engineering, of a displacement in monetary value, Airtel takes its ain clip to accommodate to it. For illustration, late, Vodafone and thought cellular slashed their roaming rates by about 50 % .
Airtel about two months to revise its roaming programs. Meanwhile many clients of Airtel had already shifted to the other operators.
With so much of advertizement, Airtel has non been able to capture much of its rival ‘s clients. May advertisement runs were targeted at the young person and really small attending is given to the remainder of the sections.
The old strata of the society have remained loyal to BSNL for assorted grounds.
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES
Organizations need to specify cognition in specific context and content. It is necessary to separate between informations and information on one manus and cognition on the other.
Pull offing cognition is really important for any organisation, if cognition is non utilised decently, it will be undervalued, which will forbear the organisation from outbeating the competition.
Airtel is one of those companies which realized the value of cognition direction at an early phase and has taken many stairss to foster it. The challenges faced in this due class are:
Aligning KM with Organizational Goals:
The nexus between KM and concern is sometimes absent or lone implicit in the planning phase. In the of all time altering concern environment, it is really of import that cognition direction keeps a gait with the altering organisational aims and assist it travel in front instead than stagnating it.
The KM directors at Airtel must guarantee that the issue of associating KM to concern consequences is addressed by finding the intent of KM. They should mensurate the public presentation by all agencies so as to do certain that the KM schemes implemented are functioning the intent and taking the concern towards a coveted way.
Application of KM Models in existent pattern:
Despite of the fact, that bharti Airtel has separate platforms like Bharti larning systems and Centum larning systems for seting cognition direction construct into pattern, it is clearly seeable that there is a batch of spread between the purpose and the existent pattern. The employees find it hard to set the acquired cognition direction tacts into usage. It creates a confusion between the concern and cognition direction schemes and therefore, the whole intent of KM is lost.
The company should do certain that each person in the company can distinguish between a concern and a KM scheme, for this, the company should include presentation of the application of KM schemes, may be through on the Job preparation methods.
E.g. Airtel has besides confronting a new challenge from its rivals and has deficiency of pull offing the cognition and engineering can be seen when its rivals have launched 3G, Airtel has failed to use its resources efficaciously.
3. Non Awareness of the construct Knowledge Management
Carrying cognition workers to make, portion and use cognition is a really ambitious undertaking in airtel. This construct is really new to the employees in the organisation so it will take some clip for the employees to acquire used to it.
Mere deployment of engineerings at appropriate topographic points is non plenty, a good country of research so, is to redesign the cognition work processes or modify them so that they channel the flow of cognition in the right way. Airtel should hold some experts in the field of cognition direction so that they can excite people in organisation to make, portion or use cognition.
4. Competition within the organisation leads to failure of KM schemes
Internal Competition within the employees of the organisation leads to failure of cognition direction schemes such as cognition transportation, the employees do non desire to portion information or accomplishments with each other in order to hold an border over one another. Sometimes, they do n’t portion information because of deficiency of trust or clip excessively. This leads to stagnant cognition which finally is of no usage since the company runs as a squad and non by an person. ( APPENDIX 3 )
Question no. 4: Recommendations for utilizing KM to run into these challenges
Airtel in order to travel in front of its Rivals must get down Owning its Towers, so that they can non merely supply Wide Coverage Nationally but besides bring down their Costss and have advantage over their Rivals. The KM Team needs to Survey and happen out the Markets where their Customer Base is Strong and urge to the Management to hold their “ Own Towers “ in those Locations to give Customer the Best Service to remain in front of Competition. ( Airtel one-year study 2009 )
Airtel in Order to go a Global Leader must hold a Competitive Pricing Policy in topographic point to travel in front of Competition. They need to be abreast with the Plans / Offers offered by Competition. They should non wait for Competition to denote their Offer and Slash Prices based on their Offers. Through usage of Knowledge Management, they should follow the Module of Earning per Minute alternatively of Net incomes per Customer and by which they can get at their Costss and consequently Price their Merchandises lower than their Rivals. ( www.airtel.com )
Airtel were one of the Pioneers in Mobile Telephony. When they started they had no Dearth of Talent, as they were one of the first market participants. They could model their Employees the the Airtel manner. As more participants started emerging in the Market the Demand for their Staff increased. All new participants wanted to understand the Airtel Mantra and started poaching Airtel Employees. Inorder to keep a Higher Retention Rate, the Knowledge Management Team should hold Strong Work Ethics inculcated in their Employees, Good Soft Skills Training to the Key Personnel. The Best manner to hold Higher Staff Retention was by holding the HIGHEST SALARY in the Industry, so that Competition can non afford them anymore. ( World Wide Web. knowldege business.com )
4. Associating Knowledge Management to Business Aims
Airtel needs to increase Customer Satisfaction and supply a consistent Good Customer Experience. The Number of Customers which Airtel is providing is really high so, they besides need to hold the Infrastructure to Cater to their Large Base Of Customers. The KM squad at Airtel should carry on a elaborate treatment with their functional caputs on their Vision of Customer Satisfaction and Customer Experience ‘s. These elaborate treatments will take them to set up a few critical parametric quantities, which can be derived from Critical Customer-Impacting Business Processes. The purpose should be a decrease in public presentation fluctuation across parts, we should trust to accomplish by rapidly retroflexing best patterns. Reproduction of proven good patterns from within or outside the organisation is ever faster than get downing from abrasion.
Capturing, Sharing and Replicating will besides guarantee the Institutionalization of best patterns: Individual Knowledge can be converted into Organizational Knowledge, which can be re-used at subsequently phase. Naturally, this will besides cut down the Organization depending on peculiar Individual Employee.
Airtel should concentrate on their advertizement in a specific manner through KM, while aiming the consumer they should be really specific which section of the consumer they want to aim, the current market mark of Airtel is Generic in nature, which does non clearly speak whom are they aiming. They should be specific to Gender and most of import Age. Their rival Vodaphone have done really good in last few old ages because they have targeted the immature crowd in the market which has given them fantastic consequences. When aiming a Younger Audience their Ad should be Young in Nature so that the Particular Age Group is able to associate themselves to the Advertisement.
6. More Impetus on Research and Development
Airtel is good celebrated Telecommunication Company in India, and should invariably endeavor to make more Market Research to Update their Technologies, Promotion, Targeting consumer in the market. Airtel is passing comparatively low in R & A ; D when compared to its rivals which itself is a large reverse for them, even though Airtel is the Market Leader in most of the Circles they are present in.
7. Cohesive and Coordinated Approach to Decentralization
Execution of Billing and Order Management Systems and High-Quality Customer Service was a comparatively straightforward component of the solution. While the Comverse Kenan systems were in topographic point to run Airtel ‘s full concern utilizing a Two-Instances Charge and order Management platform for Postpaid and Wireline Business, De-Centralization made the Operations and Optimization – of these System more Challenging.
Under India ordinance, each circle was basically a separate Business Entity with Distinct Business Owners, therefore opening the door for Competing, and/or Redundant Processes. To back up this De-Centralized Organization, Airtel needs to deploy a Cohesive and Coordinated attack to Operating its Systems. Another challenge is to guarantee the Operator ‘s Longer-Term Autonomy by constructing a theoretical account that would non trust on Third Parties for Support. ( Comverse-making web stronger )
Information cognition Management System is the Backbone of an Organization. It must be integrated with all the Departments, so that the cognition can be transferred between the employees and from External Beginnings like Third Party and Rest of the World. More investings can be made in the Research and Development to develop New Technology and merchandises as per the demands of the clients. New engineering can be implemented in the bing merchandises to efficiently cut cost than developing new products.The Billing Software needs to be improved from clip to clip to do it Consumer Friendly and besides at the minute Each Circle is a Different Entity and when Government of India decides to unify all the Circles as one, the Software should be available to implement the same.
New Software should besides turn to to understate the Number of Billing Cycles for the Consumer within assorted Circles. The proposed Information Knowledge Management tools can profit the organisation. Trust can be developed from the Customers and Employees if they satisfy the demands of the Customers. Consumers are concentrating more on Customer delight so merely Customer Service in the Present Day and Age. Its really of import to do them experience particular, when it comes to Telecommunication Industry. It is the right clip for Airtel to do a move and do their CRM stronger. The Professional Services Team must run into all the Challenges and Goals by flexibly turn toing Unique Operator needs. The enforced services facilitate Revenue Growth and construct trueness by supplying users with Choice, Convenience and Control. The Gross saless and Marketing Teams need to Develop Schemes to significantly better Airtel ‘s competitory advantage at small to no extra cost by utilizing tools such as Rate Plans, Discounts, Payments, and Revenue. All this will make Loyalty among Consumers for Airtel with Choice, Convinience and Control.
( Beginning: Managing cognition in project-based organisations: A cultural perspectiveA By Mian M. Ajmal )