Airtel rejigs Africa unit, appoints new MD, COO

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 19, 2018 Published on February 16, 2016

Bharti Airtel (Airtel) on Tuesday named Christian Defaria, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa, as the new Executive Chairman, Airtel Africa.

In his new role, Defaria will continue to support the vision of Airtel Africa and lead all matters relating to legal, regulatory affairs, shareholders as well as mergers & acquisitions, the company said in a statement.

Raghunath Mandava, who is currently Director – Customer Experience, India and South Asia, will take over as Chief Operating Officer, Airtel Africa. He will relocate to Nairobi and will be fully responsible for the commercial operations, it said.

“The appointment of Raghu will help leverage the platform and sharpen our market focus and strengthen the innovation pipeline. We remain fully committed to Africa and will continue to invest in the growth of our operations,” Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Airtel, said.

To further enhance the level of empowerment and enable faster decision-making as well as speed to market, Airtel also unveiled a new cluster-based organisation design.

Mandava had joined Airtel in 2003 and has served as Director – Operations (India); Chief Marketing Officer (India); CEO – Rajasthan Circle and COO – Tamil Nadu Circle. Prior to joining Airtel, he worked in Unilever in several sales and marketing roles. He is a BTech in Electronics from IIT-Kharagpur (1988 batch) and an MBA from IIM-Bangalore (1990 batch).

Meanwhile, the company also appointed Sarang Kanade as Director – Customer Experience, India and South Asia, who will report to Gopal Vittal, CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel.

Sarang, who is currently CEO, Delhi Circle, takes over from Mandava (appointed COO of Airtel Africa).

Airtel’s shares closed at ₹351.10 on the BSE on Tuesday, down 1.11 per cent from the previous close.

Published on February 16, 2016
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