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Glad to see VIL's capital raise; India well served with three private operators: Bharti Airtel MD

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New Delhi, May 15 (PTI) Bharti Airtel Managing Director Gopal Vittal on Wednesday said he was happy to see Vodafone Idea raising funds and asserted that India will be well-served with three private players operating in the market.

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The comment assumes significance as Airtel's smaller rival Vodafone Idea recently raised Rs 18,000 crore pulling-off India's largest-ever follow-on public offering (FPO).

The fundraise is expected to arm VIL with firepower to improve its competitive positioning in the Indian telecom market, where it trails Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, by a wide margin.

Speaking at an earnings call of Airtel, Vittal fielded a question on how he sees competitive intensity in the market, post the capital raise by VIL.

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Vittal said he was glad to see that VIL has raised money, and that he wished them well.

"India will be well-served if it has three operators... three private operators working. (On) Whether we need to push harder, we are pushing hard everyday, so it is an ongoing effort... it is a brutally competitive market, ever since I have been around and ever since the company has been around," Vittal said.

The volatile telecom market sees its shares of ups and downs, Vittal said, adding, "you need to be on top of your game in terms of execution, for delivering sustainable performance".

VIL has been haemorrhaging subscribers month after month and fighting a desperate battle for survival, saddled with a debt of Rs 2.1 lakh crore and quarterly losses. With the mega capital raise, Vodafone Idea has said it expects to roll out 5G services in select pockets in 6-9 months of the issue. PTI MBI TRB

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