Bharti Enterprises chief Sunil Mittal has been elected chairman of global telecom body GSMA for a two-year period starting January. In his new role, Mittal will oversee the strategic direction of GSMA as per the news reports.
Mittal, who is also the chairman of Bharti Airtel led a delegation of its board members to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In a broad-ranging discussion, the meeting highlighted the essential role of mobile in delivering the government’s ‘Digital India’ vision of broadband as a utility for every citizen, spreading digital and financial inclusion to every nook and corner of the country.
Delighted with the new position Mittal said, “I am looking forward to working closely with the rest of the board, the GSMA leadership team and our entire membership to address the critical issues facing our industry and our customers”. He further added, “In a relatively brief period of time, mobile has had a transformational impact on individuals, businesses, industries and societies, contributing significantly to local economies and improving the lives of billions around the world”.
Mittal also took over as Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) early this year. He also serves on the boards and councils of several reputed international bodies and think-tanks like the World Economic Forum (WEF), Telecom Board of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Broadband Commission, Harvard University’s Global Advisory Council – Board of Dean’s Advisors at HBS, International Advisory Panel of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Prime Minister of Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council. He is also a Trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and on the Board of Qatar Foundation Endowment.
The GSMA Board has 26 members, including 25 operator representatives from the world’s largest operator groups as well as smaller, independent operators with global representation. The board has also re-elected Mari-Noëlle Jego-Laveissiere, Executive Vice President, Innovation, Orange Group as Deputy Chair.
Mittal will take over from Jon Fredrik Baksaas, who will step down from the GSMA board at the end of 2016 after holding this position for the past three years. Baksaas was elected as a member of the GSMA board in 2008. “With nearly 4.8 billion individuals around the world subscribing to mobile services, it is the most pervasive and fast-growing platform of users ever built. It is now accessible to billions in both developing and developed markets, providing life-enhancing services and enabling new socio-economic opportunities for all,” commented Baksaas.