The Telegraph
Thursday , January 14 , 2010
Since 1st March, 1999
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Singapore ally to aid Bharti’s Bangla foray

New Delhi, Jan. 13: Bharti Airtel is likely to leverage its Singapore connection in Bangladesh, where it has just picked up 70 per cent in Warid Telecom.

Singapore Telecom (SingTel), which is Bharti’s largest shareholder, holds a significant stake in Pacific Bangladesh Telecom — the fifth largest mobile operator in Bangladesh.

New Delhi-based Bharti yesterday acquired 70 per cent in Warid, gaining around 5 per cent of the Bangladesh mobile market.

Sources told The Telegraph that SingTel was open to the possibility of merging Warid and Pacific Bangladesh Telecom’s operations, giving stiff competition to GrameenPhone — the No.1 operator in Bangladesh with over 22 million customers.

A SingTel spokesperson said the company was “open to working with other operators if it enhanced shareholder value”. Though Bharti CEO Manoj Kohli ruled out a merger, he said Warid and Pacific Bangladesh Telecom might explore the possibility of sharing their networks.

Top-level rejig

Bharti Airtel today announced a reorganisation of its top management and created a new team to acquire companies outside the region.

Manoj Kohli, current CEO, will now head the international business group and lead Airtel’s global foray as CEO (international) and joint managing director. Deputy chief executive officer Sanjay Kapoor will replace Kohli as the head of the company’s operations in India and South Asia.

The new structure will be effective from April 1.

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