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Bharti Retail and IBM Announce Strategic Collaboration for Enhanced Business and Customer Service Efficiencies

Partnership to Give Bharti Retail a Distinct Advantage by Providing On-Demand Scalable IT Services

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NEW DELHI, INDIA - 25 Aug 2008: Bharti Retail Limited and IBM India (NYSE: IBM) today announced a wide-ranging ten year strategic partnership under which IBM will provide technology and services that will enable the consolidation, transformation and management of a comprehensive IT infrastructure for Bharti Retail by IBM India. This collaboration is a progression of an existing four-year relationship between the Bharti Group and IBM. Further strengthening this relationship, Bharti Group's retail company, Bharti Retail will leverage IBM's worldwide expertise in the retail sector and introduce best practices and innovations

Vinod Sawhny, President and Chief Operating Officer, Bharti Retail Ltd., said, "In a dynamic and fast evolving retail sector, Bharti Retail's association with IBM will provide a distinct competitive edge that will assist the company's vision and growth plans. Our partnership lays the foundation on which future business functions can be supported in the course of the next 10 years. This alliance is in line with Bharti Retail's efforts to be a customer-centric and trusted retailer."

"We are delighted to further strengthen our relationship with IBM. The creation of the IT Community of Practice with IBM in 2004 has led to one of the fastest integrations of IT anywhere in the globe," said Dr Jai Menon, Director Bharti Airtel & Group CIO, Bharti Enterprises. "We look forward to replicating the unprecedented success we have had with them in the telecom sector by consolidating, managing and delivering business process transformation that will drive innovation and enhance value for all Bharti Retail customers."

The current scope of the deal includes Project Management, Infrastructure for Data centers, Applications, Security and Network, and Support for End-user Services. The scope of work will keep evolving as Bharti Retail's business continues to grow. This partnership will provide Bharti Retail with a differentiation in the market place including faster product to market and cost efficiencies. Bharti Retail will also draw upon IBM's global expertise and innovations in programming like the automated attendance terminals to help maintain a very low PC footprint (approximately 1 PC per 30 employees). These efforts will link into the core platform set up with technical support that Wal-Mart Inc. is providing to Bharti Retail under the franchise agreement between the two entities.

"This is a strategic win for IBM which is a testament to the trust Bharti places in IBM's cross-industry capabilities. Our collaboration with Bharti goes back over four years and our joint commitment to innovation throughout our business relationship continues to pay off. Our goal is to ensure that Bharti Retail has the support it needs to be a customer-focused retail enterprise committed to delivering high value to their customers," said Ashish Kumar, Vice President, Client Services, IBM.

This partnership will also help Bharti benefit from IBM's ability to leverage a cross industry play across Telecom - Insurance - Retail in providing ease of accessibility and differentiated service to Bharti clients.

About Bharti Retail
Bharti Retail is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bharti Enterprises, one of India's leading business groups in India. The company has launched neighbourhood stores in Punjab called Easyday and is expanding the chain with multiple consumer friendly format stores in India. These stores are 100 percent owned and operated by Bharti. Bharti Retail provides consumers great value with products at affordable prices, of great quality and a wider choice.

About IBM
For more information on IBM, visit www.ibm.com/services.

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