Airtel Appoints Chitkara as Business Director & CEO, Expects More Global Reach

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The telco giant expects him to repeat his success story of his previous role where he led Airtel’s to expand on a global platform and become a billion-dollar business

Airtel Business Director, Airtel CEO, Airtel, Bharti Airtel, Bharti Infratel
Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Indian telecom company Bharti Airtel has announced the appointment of Ajay Chitkara as the new business director and chief executive officer (CEO) of Airtel Business. First appointed at Airtel, more than a decade ago, in 2001, Chitkara will continue to report to Gopal Mittal, managing director (MD) and CEO of Airtel – India and South Asia.

Success and growth of Airtel under Chitkara

Chitkara who was earlier leading the global operations of Airtel has been credited by the telecom giant in putting its name on the global portal and expanding the customer base in over 50 countries. His previous role required him to create business strategies for carriers, global enterprise and over-the-top (OTT) content and eventually applying them on the global platform via the regional teams. Doing this and under his leadership, Airtel’s business expanded to transform into a billion-dollar business and the Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) margins increased five-fold since 2013.

Future endeavours and strategies

In an official statement that was released following the declaration of Chitkara’s appointment, Airtel said, “In his new role, Ajay will spearhead Airtel Business as an integrated unit that will include both domestic enterprise and global enterprise operations of the company.”

Chitkara who was appointed in his new role after Ashok Ganapathy resigned, will play an important role in creating Airtel’s position in the telecom market that is raging with sheer competition especially from Reliance JIO. In this scenario, Airtel is making changes in its hierarchy so that the company can keep up with the fast developments brought by JIO especially in the consumer mobile segment.

In the financial year of 2017, Airtel Business contributed to most of the telco giant’s India revenues with 14.9 per cent coming from it. The revenues soared even higher with 17.6 per cent of Airtel’s India revenues coming from Airtel Business in the financial year of 2018. Airtel Business saw a revenue of Rs 11,322 crore – an increase of 3%, in 2018. Even so with the success, Airtel has a long road to cover in this fierce competition because staying consistent is always a challenge hence, the changes will serve a purpose.

Besides Chitkara, Airtel has declared the appointment of Pankaj Miglani as the CEO of Global Business of the telecom company as well. Miglani has moved from his earlier role as the chief financial officer (CFO) of Bharti Infratel. Miglani has also been with Airtel for a decade and among his many significant roles, one was that as the chief controller of Enterprise Business and Business Head – Global Voice Services. He will report to Chitkara.

Speaking about his views on Chitkara and Miglani’s appointment, Vittal said: “I am delighted at Ajay’s appointment to lead Airtel’s B2B business as an integrated entity, which will help us leverage our global reach and deep relationships in the enterprise segment. I am also pleased to welcome back Pankaj after his successful stint with Bharti Infratel. I wish Ajay and Pankaj the very best for their new roles.”

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