Bharti targets south Asia with new offshore arm

Nicole McCormick
14 Jan 2010

Bharti Airtel has announced it will launch a dedicated offshore arm on April 1 to spearhead the group’s expansion into the south Asia region.

Manoj Kohli, who is currently CEO for India and South Asia will head the new group as CEO International, in addition to retaining his joint MD role of Bharti Airtel.

Deputy CEO Sanjay Kapoor will also take on the role of CEO India and South Asia for the firm. Both executives will report to Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman & managing director.

“We will be developing comprehensive plans for our journey to cover emerging markets beyond India and South Asia,” stated Mittal. “This new structure will leverage our management depth and build a strong platform for fulfilling our global vision."

The announcement comes a day after Bharti Airtel announced it had secured a 70% stake in Bangladesh cellco Warid Telecom. Bharti Airtel plans to invest $1 billion in Bangladesh over the next few years.

Twice in the last two years Bharti Airtel has been unsuccessful in its bid to merge with South African giant MTN.

The firm’s M&A targets reportedly now include Kuwait’s Zain Telecom and Sweden’s Millicom International Cellular.

Meanwhile, Indian government-owned operator BSNL has emerged as one of four contenders bidding for up to a 75% stake in Zambia Telecommunications (Zamtel), according to reports.

Russia’s Altimo Holdings and VimpelCom, which have bid jointly for Zamtel, have also moved onto the second bidding stage.

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