Airtel ex-CEO Sanjay Kapoor joins Micromax as chairman

Bharti Airtel ex-CEO Sanjay Kapoor has joined Indian smartphone vendor Micromax as chairman to give strategic direction to take its billion dollar business to the next level of growth and expansion.

Earlier, Vineet Taneja, ex-head of Samsung India Mobile business, joined Micromax, the second largest smartphone vendor, as its new CEO.

Interestingly, Vineet Taneja earlier worked with Bharti Airtel.

Sanjay Kapoor, who has been looking for entrepreneurial ventures, has earlier joined the board of directors of Times Group and PVR. Sanjay Kapoor left Bharti Airtel, #1 telecom service provider in India, after he was reportedly asked to move to head its African telecom operations as part of a major restructuring that saw Manoj Kohli shifting to India and Gopal Vittal taking over as the India CEO.

Micromax is aiming to become the number of smartphone vendor in India. On Wednesday, IDC said Samsung’s smartphone share reached 35 percent against Micromax 15 percent, Karbonn 10 percent, Lava 6 percent and Nokia 4 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

Sanjay Kapoor, former CEO, Airtel

Despite huge marketing budget and innovative product line up, Micromax could not take on the Korean electronics group Samsung. But Micromax became the second largest smartphone vendor pushing Nokia which is in the fifth position currently.

Also read: India smartphone share: Samsung 35%, Micromax 15, Karbonn 10, LAVA 6, Nokia 4

The Indian smartphone market which is known for budget phones is also becoming hot bed for brands such as Lenovo, OPPO Mobiles, Motorola, Alcatel OneTouch, etc.

Sanjay Kapoor, chairman, Micromax Informatics, said in a statement, “I look forward to adding value to all stakeholders leveraging my strengths in building scale, developing brands and understanding consumers. There is a potential for Micromax, a vibrant youth brand that has led the democratization of technology for masses, offering affordable innovations to the consumers.”

Micromax will be in a better position to utilize Sanjay Kapoor’s expertise in brand strategy and building larger teams. The local smartphone maker is also looking for global markets for further expansion.

Baburajan K