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Airtel Zero May Not Be A Good Marketing Platform For Your Startup. This ROI Sheet Explains Why

Airtel Zero May Not Be A Good Marketing Platform For Your Startup. This ROI Sheet Explains Why

Following up on my article on the cost Flipkart may have to bear on Airtel Zero, I decided to extend it further by decoding the ROI effectiveness of the Airtel Zero platform.

Since there is a strong debate on how Airtel Zero is not violating Net Neutrality, I decided to look at this new “marketing platform” from a pure ROI perspective & let startups decide.

In one Twitter exchange yesterday, Anand from Airtel claimed that the platform might have 60% less cost per acquired user. (BTW, I really appreciate the effort Anand took to explain Airtel’s stand on this)

So I took to excel again & tried to create a simple ROI model:

airtel zero1

While in isolation, Airtel Zero doesn’t look like a good acquisition channel, I decided to simulate numbers for three different Apps with varied monetization models.

airtel zero2

This model is just to compare the overall ROI and in no way representative of an actual revenues you may make from this App base

airtel zero3

airtel zero4

Advantage Airtel Zero: Free Organic downloads + Higher Sessions but that’s where the cost starts to hit you ☺

Please Note, that the above model only takes into account the cost of month 1. Airtel Zero will continue to cost the startups based on usage so returns will further deteriorate.

I am including the excel sheet used to arrive at numbers above. Feel free to tweak the data, add your own numbers and see the returns. Download the sheet

I will be happy to hear your feedback on this. Feel free to comment here or tag me on twitter @deepakabbot or mail me at [email protected]

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.


Deepak Abbot


Deepak Abbot heads Mobile Growth at Times Internet. He has previously worked with companies like Paytm, Reliance Entertainment Digital, Zapak & Satyam computers. He writes about Mobile Marketing, Product & Data Analytics
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