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Key movements in the telecom sector in March 2014

March 31, 2014
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RCOM appoints new CEO

Reliance Communications (RCOM) has appointed Vinod Sawhny as its new chief executive officer (CEO). Sawhny replaces Gurdeep Singh, who will now lead RCOM’s consumer business including the wireless, direct-to-home and broadband divisions. The change in leadership comes at a time when the operator is undergoing major organisational restructuring to drive future growth. Prior to this, Sawhny was heading Bharti Airtel’s handset manufacturing division, Airtel Mobility. In the past, he has also worked with Spice Telecom.

Key appointments announced for Airtel’s African business

Bharti Airtel has announced several key appointments for its African business, which it recently divided into four strategic business units (SBUs). V.G. Somasekhar has been appointed executive operations director of the SBU covering service areas of Zambia, Congo-Brazzaville, Malawi, Burkina, Niger, Chad, Madagascar and Seychelles. Somasekhar has been serving as managing director (MD) for Airtel’s operations in Uganda since December 2010. Following this appointment, Arindam Chakrabarty, who is currently chief commercial officer for Airtel

Uganda, will become the acting MD. Further, Christophe Soulet has been appointed executive operations director of the SBU covering Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Gabon, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Rwanda. Meanwhile, Segun Ogunsanya and Louis Lubala will continue to lead the company’s business in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of China – the other two SBUs of Airtel’s African operations – respectively.

Dilip Modi appointed as chairman of Spice Mobility

Spice Mobility Limited has appointed Dilip Modi as its chairman. Modi led the public listing of Spice Communications on the Indian bourses in 2007, followed by a merger with Idea Cellular. He is currently serving as director at Spice Mobility and as chairman of Si2i Limited, a company listed and headquartered in Singapore. During the past five years, Modi has focused on building Spice’s next-generation technology businesses – smart devices, technology retailing, mobile applications, online education and commerce – in India.

CommScope appoints Alamuri Sitaramaiah as MD for India and SAARC

CommScope has appointed Alamuri Sitaramaiah as MD of CommScope Enterprise Solutions for India and the SAARC region. In his new role, Sitaramaiah will be responsible for growth and expansion of CommScope’s business in the region as well as for strengthening its channel partner network. Prior to this, he was serving as director of CommScope’s channel sales for India and SAARC. In the past, he has held several senior roles in companies such as Fluke Networks, Tyco Electronics, CMC Limited and Bharat Dynamics Limited.

HCL Infosystems appoints two new independent non-executive directors

HCL Infosystems has appointed two new independent non-executive directors, Sangeeta Talwar and Kaushik Dutta, on its board. Sangeeta Talwar is a business leader and has held leading positions such as CEO and MD at Mattel India; executive director at Tata Tea Limited; president, South Asia, with the Tata Beverages Group; and as MD of the National Dairy Development Board. She has also served as a member on the board of directors for Tata Tea Limited, Tata Coffee Limited, Eight O’clock Coffee (USA), Oriental Hotels, and Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Private Limited. Kaushik Dutta is an expert on corporate governance at the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. He was associated with PricewaterhouseCoopers for over 22 years in various capacities including member of the India Leadership Team and the India Advisory Board; and leader of the International Financial Reporting Standards domain as well as corporate governance practice, besides other national and global roles.

Apurva Desai joins Vuclip

Vuclip, a leading mobile video and media company, has appointed Apurva Desai as chief financial officer. In his new role, Desai will oversee functions such as global accounting, financial planning and analysis, and legal and human resources. Prior to joining Vuclip, Desai was serving as vice-president, finance, Exponential Interactive, a global provider of advertising intelligence and digital media solutions. In the past, Desai has held leadership roles in the finance domain at Glu Mobile, Yahoo, and Intel Corporation.

Mixit appoints head for its India business

South Africa-based social networking application developer Mixit has appointed Sam Rufus Nallaraj to head its recently launched Indian operations. Nallaraj joins Mixit from Deloitte & Touche, where he served as vice-president. Mixit launched its operations in India in January 2014, its foray into a market outside Africa in September 2010, when it launched services in Kenya.

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