Bharti Airtel loses its three top executives ahead of key restructuring [India Business] [Times of India]
(Times of India Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel, the country's top mobile phone company, has lost three top executives ahead of the key restructuring that is slated to happen soon, where the company may combine its India and Africa operations under a single entity.
The latest to depart is the head of network operations for India and South Asia, Shankar Halder, who is leaving to start his own technology consulting firm, a company executive aware of the development said.
In late December, the company's supply chain head S Asokan, who was a member of the Airtel management board and had been with the telco for about seven years, put in his papers, two other company executives who declined to be named confirmed.
These executives also said that Bharti had roped in Moti Gyamlani, GE Energy's vice-president for its global supply chain function for a similar role here and to oversee the logistics involved in running the company's Indian and African operations.
Bharti Airtel, in an internal mail to top executives, said that it was consolidating the supply chain management across both continents under Gyamlani as part of its 'One-Airtel' strategy to create global synergies.
Last month, Bharti Airtel's director for IT (India and South Asia), Amrita Gangotra, had quit to join Vodafone's global team in London. Gangotra had been responsible for planning, implementation and strategy for all its IT initiatives across mobiles, fixedlines, braodband and DTH.
The Bharti spokesperson confirmed that all three top executives had left the company.
ET had recently reported that Bharti AirtelBSE 0.88 % was planning to carry out a significant restructuring by combining its Indian and African operations into a single business entity under a global CEO in the first half of this year. The report had also added that Manoj Kohli, the joint MD of Bharti and CEO of its African operations, could be the frontrunner to head the combined telecom business of the company across both continents
The world's fourth-largest telco by customers is currently organised into two separate units - India & South Asia, which accounts for 75% of revenues, and Africa, where it has operations in 17 countries. In August 2012, Bharti finished executing the One-Airtel structure in India and South Asia.
The India and South Asian operations is headed by Sanjay Kapoor. Both Kapoor and Kohli currently report to Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal, but under the new structure, that is slated to be taken up by the company's board soon; the chief executives of India and Africa will report to the global CEO.
In its internal mail on Gyamlani's appointment, the company also pointed out that it has already consolidated several key functions such as brand, finance, IT and innovation at a global level as part of its One-Airtel strategy aimed at bringing synergies and cutting costs.
For instance, Srikanth Balachander, its chief financial officer, has been overseeing this role for both the India and Africa businesses since mid-2011, and last year, the company also elevated Bharat Bambawale to its global brand director. Similarly, Bharti's erstwhile IT head, Jai Menon, now heads global innovation. These executives currently report to Mittal, but work closely with Kohli and Kapoor.
Gyamlani will be based out of the Airtel Centre at Gurgaon, but will report to Mittal. Bharti did not respond to specific queries on the proposed restructuring.
It is learnt that the telco's board will examine the possibility of rolling out the new structure in its meeting next month. The board is also set to look into evaluating Gopal Vittal, who joined Bharti from Hindustan UnileverBSE -0.91 % for the second time last year as director (special projects), to a prominent role.
ET had reported that Vittal could head either its Indian or African operations, with Sanjay Kapoor, heading the other territory. Vittal is currently spending a year in the Singapore and Australia operations of Sing-Tel, Bharti's largest shareholder.
"After leading the transformation of Information Technology within Bharti Airtel, Amrita Gangotra (Director, IT, Bharti Airtel - India & South Asia) has decided to move on due to family commitments overseas. Following their strong individual contributions to Bharti Airtel, S Asokan (Executive Director, Supply Chain Management, Bharti Airtel - India & South Asia) and Shankar Halder (Chief of Operations, Network Services Group, Bharti Airtel - India & South Asia) have also decided to pursue entrepreneurial interests outside the company.
We at Bharti Airtel support such entrepreneurial ventures and will be looking to actively partner with them in their future endeavors, as per company policy. Moti Gyamlani joins as Global Head - Supply Chain, Bharti Airtel and is based at Airtel Centre, Gurgaon," the Bharti Airtel spokesperson said.
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