COAI on Thursday said Ajai Puri, Chief Operating Officer of Bharti Airtel, has been re-elected as Chairman of the industry association for 2021-22.
Announcing the leadership for 2021-22, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said that Pramod Kumar Mittal, President of Reliance Jio Infocomm, will continue as Vice Chairman of the association.
“Ajai Puri, Chief Operating Officer (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel will once again hold the position of Chairman while Pramod Kumar Mittal, President, Reliance Jio Infocomm will be the Vice Chairman of the association,” it said in a statement.
COAI – whose members include telcos like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea – noted that the past year has been one of the most eventful and challenging for the Indian telecom industry.
The association “is optimistic about the future of the industry and the opportunities ahead, as 5G and allied technologies get closer to commercial deployment”.
The adjusted gross revenue (AGR) ruling of the Supreme Court added to the challenges posed by the pandemic, the nationwide lockdowns, and the multiple cyclones that battered India, COAI said, adding despite these challenges the industry has continued to serve the nation as an essential service.
COAI Chairman Ajai Puri said, “The digital communications industry has once again risen to serve India and has kept the nation connected during this unprecedented phase. On behalf of the industry, I would like to reiterate our commitment to support the government's efforts to connect and digitize the country at large as we emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Mittal said, “It's a pleasure for me to once again take the responsibility as Vice Chairman of COAI and continue to work with the industry to bring about the next level of reforms in order to uplift and strengthen the sector while initiating measures for the benefit of end consumers”.
COAI director general, SP Kochhar said the digital communications industry, with the support of the government, emerged as the economic and social backbone of the nation, keeping citizens connected and enabling the economy to function during the crisis period of COVID-19 and cyclones.
“As the industry continues to play its critical role, the future has a lot in store for us with the ecosystem gearing up for 5G. We are committed to playing an even greater role in achieving the Digital India vision,” Kochhar added.