COAI announces its leadership for the year 2018-19 at the AGM

COAI has concluded it’s Annual General Body Meeting for the financial year on 7th June 2018, with the announcement of its leadership for the term 2018-19.

Mr. Sunil Sood, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Vodafone India Ltd., who was Vice Chairman of the industry body for the last two years, will now hold the position of Chairman while the Vice Chairman will be Mr. Ajai Puri, Chief Operating Officer, Bharti Airtel Ltd,

Mr. Sunil Sood has been the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Vodafone India Limited since April 2015. Mr. Sood served as the Chief Operating Officer at Vodafone India Limited since February 3, 2012 and served as its Director of West Zone. Mr. Sood is a part of the senior leadership team at Vodafone India and is responsible for the day to day operations and the P&L management for all circles in the country. He also spearheads the new business development initiative of Mobile Commerce for the organization. He is a Telecom Veteran and has been in the industry for over 12 years. Prior to joining telecom, he has had a long career with Pepsi in various roles within India and abroad, he served as the Chief Executive Officer at Pepsi in Bangladesh. He has also spent four years in Nigeria where he was working to establish the market for Nestles’ milk and infant formulae in the country.

Mr. Ajai Puri is the Chief Operating Officer (India and South Asia) at Bharti Airtel Limited. He has been with Bharti Airtel since 2004 and has held several senior leadership positions including Director – Market Operations, Director and CEO – DTH, and CEO – Kolkata & West Bengal, Odisha. Prior to joining Bharti Airtel, Mr. Puri served as the Business Head – Foods at Cargill Foods India. He began his career with VST India Ltd, an associate company of British American Tobacco (UK).  

Mr. Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI, extended his heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Gopal Vittal and Mr. Sood, for their bold and courageous leadership over the last year, one of the most challenging periods in the history of India’s telecom sector. He further expressed confidence in their work to steer the Association and the sector towards long term health, sustenance and stability.

Mr. Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI said that“We would like to thank our leadership for their guidance and support during one of the most challenging periods in the telecom sector and further express confidence in their ability to steer the Association and the sector towards long term health and stability. The sector has been one of the primary drivers of India’s economic growth, contributing 6.5% to the national GDP. While, the industry is reeling under INR 7.64 Lakh crore debt and the additional investment of INR 2 Lakh crore is still required over the next two years to fulfil the dream of a Digitally connected India, we are sure the partnership between the Government and the sector will get stronger and these targets will be achieved.”

“The National Digital Communications Policy 2018, recently unveiled by the DoT, holds significant promises for the industry that has been facing difficult times over the last few years. This will also boost Government’s key initiatives like Digital India and SmartCities. New technologies like AI, Machine Learning as well as Robotics and Automation promise to make our lives much easier while significantly diversifying the revenue streams of the telcos and making room for significant differentiation and long term viability. It is also designed to place India at the forefront of the global Knowledge Revolution,” added Mr. Mathews.

The AGM was followed by an informative High Level Leaders Panel Discussion on ‘Going Digital – People, Places, Things’, which saw contribution from senior delegates from the Government and the industry leaders including Mr. N. Sivasailam, Special Secretary, DoT, Ministry of Communications; Mr. Sunil Sood, MD & CEO, Vodafone India and Mr. Nitin Bansal, MD & Region Head – India, Ericsson.

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