Bharti Airtel today announced an agreement to acquire about a 25% equity stake in Bengaluru-based technology startup, Lavelle Networks.
Bharti Airtel Diversifies Its NaaS Portfolio
Lavelle Networks, a homegrown startup, specialized in SD-WAN solutions, and it already has a range of industries in its customer base. Lavelle's platform has been used to connect thousands of Indian enterprises. As such, the move from Airtel looks like a step towards expanding its enterprise business by introducing SD-WAN solutions to its portfolio.
Apalak Ghosh, Associate Director and Head of ICT, Frost & Sullivan South Asia, said, "SD-WAN is the necessary arsenal for enterprises to transform and future-proof their network infrastructure in this digital age. Its market in India is expected to grow exponentially at a CAGR of 55% in 2022-2026".
Ghosh added, "as per F&S End-User Survey 2021, about 62% of enterprises plan to deploy SD-WAN across their organization in the next 1-2 years. Some of the major drivers which would contribute to this phenomenal run include the need for seamless management of Hybrid Networks, faster deployment of new sites, and network cost-efficiency".
Airtel Business already has a Network as a Service platform; it will cater to the Indian enterprise's increasing connectivity requirements. Therefore, acquiring a stake in Lavelle Networks will allow Airtel to offer SD-WAN solutions and co-create other solutions with Lavelle. This also aims to bring “Made in India” products & solutions for enterprises by offering cutting-edge technology and cost efficiencies.
On the occasion, Ajay Chitkara, Director and CEO of Airtel Business said, "we are pleased to support Lavelle’s growth journey and excited to collaborate with them to take their world-class solutions to enterprise customers in the fast-growing Indian NaaS market" Chitkara added, "with our end-to-end solutions play and brand trust, we are uniquely positioned to serve the needs of India’s fast-growing digital economy".
Also, Shyamal Kumar, co-founder & CEO of Lavelle Networks said, "Digital India's businesses are racing away to applications, cloud, and software. Connecting all of this together are our enterprise data networks. We are extremely excited that our product and early market success will now be massively accelerated by this transformational partnership with Airtel".