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Harish Sharma, Regional Head, West, Aircel

March 29, 2013
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Harish Sharma, regional head, west, Aircel, has been associated with the company for over five years, previously as business head of the Rajasthan circle. Currently, he is responsible for revenue generation and profitability of the western region as well as conceptualisation and implementation of business plans.

Given the hypercompetition in the telecom market, and thin margins, he has a tough mandate to fulfil. “The biggest challenge before all operators is profitability,” he says. “One needs to constantly look out like a hawk for opportunities to maximise revenues and optimise costs. Aircel too is looking at a profitable growth model to deal with the high opex and increase profit margins.”

To this end, Sharma’s focus is on making Aircel the most preferred brand for customers through efficient value delivery. He expects data to contribute a significant share to revenues going forward, driven by the growing demand for data-led services. He attributes the growth in data demand to the increased availability of internet-capable mobile devices, and innovative data plans. The proliferation of social media has further fuelled data dependence, especially among the youth who want to be “always on”.

Sharma is a graduate in electronics and telecom engineering and a postgraduate in marketing. He has over two decades of experience and has previously worked with companies like Bharti Airtel, Motorola and Vodafone in senior leadership roles. He has expertise in branding, marketing and product management.

Looking back, Sharma feels that his job as head of the Rajasthan circle for Aircel was his most challenging yet exciting assignment. “We were the ninth operator to enter the Rajasthan market,” he recalls. “With Aircel’s innovative products and services, we were able to cut through the clutter. We captured the market within a year and a half and are currently placed fifth in the state.”

Sharma identifies commitment to work, focus on results and customer satisfaction as his key strengths. He sees himself as a team player. “As General Powell said: ‘The day your soldiers stop coming to you with their problems, that is the day you lose your battle as you have lost the trust.’ By respecting every individual, a leader can make his team outperform its own capabilities,” he says.

Family and fitness are two important aspects of life for Sharma. “I follow a vigorous workout regime. But family comes first and is my biggest stress buster. Richa, my wife, is the pillar of my life and is my biggest critic. My son, Vivaan, is a powerhouse of energy and joy, who keeps me constantly on my toes.”

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