NEW DELHI: AirtelBSE -0.06 % Business, the enterprise arm of Bharti Airtel has rolled out a solution aimed to help small and medium scale entrepreneurs file their goods and services tax (GST) returns. Called Airtel GST Advantage, its features include a help desk to attend customer queries on tax returns, additional data of 18 GB over three months and access to tax filing services of ClearTax- one of the largest tax filing platforms in the country.
“The new GST regime is a landmark reform for the Indian economy and with Airtel GST Advantage, we would like to enable small businesses with free filing of returns, and free and secure data access. Airtel is also the data hosting and connectivity partner for the Goods and Services Network (GST)”,” said Ashok Ganapathy, director and CEO – Airtel Business.
GST is the new indirect tax regime rolled out pan India on 1st of July. All businesses with a yearly turnover of Rs 20 lakh and above are required to register under the GST network.
The Airtel customer can use ClearTax’s GST software and platform free of any subscription fee till March end of 2018, he can also access the knowledge bank put together by tax experts which will help him understand the various concepts under the next tax rules.
The largest telecom operator will not be the only one offering GST filing solutions to enterprise businesses. According to sources, Vodafone India is also tying up with tax filing firms that will allow their enterprise customers to file their GST returns. The telecom firm did not respond to ET’s queries at the time the story went to press.
India’s telecom operators have sensed that the enterprise market is service oriented and highly competitive, with high level of service commitments and robust infrastructure with backup and well defined turnaround time (TAT). Global telecom enterprise communications business is set to exceed $200 billion by 2020 and the Asia Pacific countries including India will overtake North America as the biggest revenue generator in enterprise mobility by 2017, according to ABI Research data.
A few other studies said global enterprise segment including India is growing at 13.7% annually, and Airtel, Idea and Vodafone are the top players. Indian industry estimates peg enterprise business at 10% of overall revenue, which grew about 13% in FY17 and is, expected to maintain a double digit growth in the next financial year to March 31, 2018, as well. Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) too had earlier said that it will concentrate on its enterprise segment of the business.
Besides wireline and wireless infrastructure solutions given to enterprises, Airtel has launched solutions for emergency response for governments or mobility solutions for traffic management and remote asset monitoring. The telco expected to enter home automation or smart home segment with its internet of things ( IoT) and machine-to-machine solutions.