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Bharti sends out takeover signals

New Delhi, Oct. 13: The Bharti group today signalled its decision to snap up its rival cellular companies in different circles — a move made possible by the recent cabinet decision to allow such takeovers — by forming a six-member board for its mobility business.

The company already has a cellular footprint in much of north India, except Uttar Pradesh (east) and Rajasthan. These could be the two states where it could pick up a licence or acquire an existing operator. The other area could be Bengal, where it operates in Calcutta, but wants to straddle the rest of the state — just the way it does in Mumbai and Maharashtra.

The new board will be headed by Manoj Kohli, president, mobility leaders. All the directors in the mobility team will be members of this board. The company terms this change as an initiative to carve up the mobility business into seven operating regions.

“We operate in a dynamic business environment, where it is a constant challenge to build a sound and robust operating capability. These strategic changes in our mobility management structure is our response to consistently deliver the best business results,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and group managing director of Bharti Enterprises.

All the changes have come into effect from Monday. The new structure will enable Bharti to leverage its national mobile strategy and convert it into effective local strategies. The board will develop business strategies, evaluate financial performance, detail tariff structures, evolve brand management mechanisms and focus on total quality and Six Sigma initiatives.

The company has already started the process of consolidation of its businesses with the decision to merge the circles of Mumbai and Maharashtra.

As part of the restructuring, Jagdish Kini has been promoted as CEO and director (mobility), south central region. He will also oversee the Maharashtra circle. Christopher Tobit has been transferred as COO, Maharashtra. He will be based at Pune and will report to Kini.

A new CEO has been appointed for the Mumbai circle and shall join soon. The CEO, Mumbai, shall report to Kohli.

Deepak Gulati has been promoted as CEO, eastern region. He shall be responsible for achieving leadership in the Calcutta circle. He will continue to report to Kohli.

K. Srinivas, COO (Andhra Pradesh), will now report to Kini. A COO for Karnataka, who will join soon, will report to Kini. Kini himself will report to Manoj Kohli, president, mobility leaders group, and will be based in Bangalore.

K Vijayraghavan, chief technology officer (CTO), South Central region, has also been given the accountability of the technical function for the Maharashtra circle in addition to his current responsibility. He will work from Bangalore and report to Kini. Operationally and functionally, he will report to Don Price, group CTO.

Sanjay Nandrajog, the chief operating officer of Delhi, has been made CEO and director-mobility, north central region comprising Delhi, Uttranchal and UP (West). Rajiv Jaitley, will be the new chief operating officer, Delhi. He shall be responsible for the sales, marketing and customer service functions of the Delhi circle.

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