COAI elects Vodafone CEO as chairman, Airtel COO as VC

COAI, the Indian telecom industry association for GSM operators, announced its leadership for fiscal 2018-19.
COAISunil Sood, managing director and chief executive officer of Vodafone India will now hold the position of chairman of COAI.

Ajai Puri, chief operating officer of Bharti Airtel, will be the vice-chairman of COAI.

Airtel India CEO Gopal Vittal was the chairman and Sunil Sood was the vice-chairman of COAI during fiscal 2017-18.

Sunil Sood has been the chief executive officer and managing director of Vodafone India since April 2015. Sunil Sood served as the chief operating officer at Vodafone India since February 3, 2012 and served as its director of West Zone.

Ajai Puri is the chief operating officer (India and South Asia) at Bharti Airtel. Ajay Puri has been with Bharti Airtel since 2004 and has held several senior leadership positions including director – Market Operations, director and CEO – DTH, and CEO – Kolkata & West Bengal, Odisha.

The Indian telecom sector contributes 6.5 percent to the national GDP. The industry has a debt of INR 7.64 lakh crore. Telecom operators need an additional investment of INR 2 lakh crore over the next two years to connected India digitally.

“The National Digital Communications draft Policy 2018, recently unveiled by the DoT, holds significant promises for the industry that has been facing difficult times over the last few years,” Rajan S Mathews, director general of COAI, said.