Press Release

COAI announces its leadership for the year 2024-25 at Annual General Meeting 2024

Abhijit Kishore is the new Chairperson, while Rahul Vatts takes over as Vice Chairperson of COAI

COAI, the apex industry association representing leading Telecom, internet, technology, and digital services companies, concluded its Annual General Body Meeting for the Financial Year 2023-24, with the announcement of its leadership for the term 2024-25, effective June 2024. Abhijit Kishore, Chief Operating Officer, Vodafone Idea Limited will be the Chairperson, while Mr. Rahul Vatts, Chief Regulatory Officer, Bharti Airtel, will be the Vice Chairperson of the Association.

 

Abhijit Kishore comes with a rich tapestry of experience of over three decades with the Indian telecom industry across functions, organisations and geographies. Prior to taking on the role of COO, he was heading the Enterprise Business of Vodafone Idea Ltd as the Chief Enterprise Business Officer, where he led the transformation for Enterprise business from a Telco to Techco. Under his astute leadership, Vi Business introduced some of the smartest and newest technologies such as Integrated IoT, Managed Services and Security as a service to serve businesses in the digital era.

 

Rahul Vatts is a telecom industry veteran with 29 years of experience and an expert on Telecom & Broadcasting Licensing, Economic Regulations, Spectrum Management and Regulatory Litigation. As the Chief Regulatory Officer of Bharti Airtel, Rahul heads the Government Relations, Policy and Regulatory interfaces across the company’s Business spanning mobility broadband, DTH, Data Center, Submarine Cables, its international Subsidiaries & all Digital lines of Business. He is chair of GSMA’s Spectrum Policy Working Group (SPWG), and a member of GSMA’s Global Policy Group, and Spectrum Strategy & Management Group (SSMG). Rahul is also a Governing Council Member of Various Telecom Standardization Bodies in India.

Lt. Gen. Dr. SP Kochhar, Director General, COAI, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Mr. P.K. Mittal for his support and leadership and welcomed Mr. Abhijit Kishore to COAI.

The year 2023 has been a monumental one for the telecommunications industry, marked by transformative initiatives and significant progress. Notably, the nationwide rollout of 5G has been a game-changer. Key developments include the historic Telecommunications Act 2023, the unveiling of the Bharat 6G Vision, and the promotion of renewable energy through the Green Energy Open Access initiative. Additionally, the amendment of the Indian Telegraph (RoW) Rules, 2023, and the launch of the Chakshu application are set to fortify the industry in the coming years. The abolition of the Wireless Operating License will further streamline regulations, facilitating faster network rollouts and boosting mobile broadband penetration.

Abhijit Kishore, Chief Operating Officer, Vodafone Idea Limited said, “I am honoured to take on this role as the Chairperson of COAI and would like to thank all the members of COAI for placing their trust and confidence in me to represent our industry, as we move to yet another era of growth The telecom industry is growing from strength to strength, and together, we are committed to driving innovation for a more connected, secure and inclusive world. On behalf of the industry, I would like to reiterate our commitment to support the government’s efforts to bridge the digital divide in the country and further catalyse India’s digital transformation. I look forward to collaborating with all stakeholders to address the challenges ahead to achieve our collective vision of a digitally empowered society.”

 

On the occasion, Rahul Vatts, Chief Regulatory Officer, Bharti Airtel reiterated, “COAI has been instrumental in the advancement of connectivity in the country, and I am thrilled to contribute to this evolution as I take over the role of Vice-Chairperson. The telecom sector is going through a transformative phase, and we would work in collaboration with Government & Regulators to address issues needing attention. I take this opportunity to thank the previous office bearers and looking forward to closely work with the members and bring innovative strategies and solutions to advance the telecommunications industry, enhance connectivity and uplift the citizens of our nation.”

Lt. Gen. Dr. SP Kochhar, Director General, COAI said, “We are in the thick of a digital revolution, with 5G playing the catalyst role in transforming the fabric of our society, economy and governance. As India heads into the third innings of the Modi-led government, we hope that the Digital India program and other progressive policies will further gather momentum and empower every citizen with access to digital resources and opportunities. Today India has firmly positioned itself as the global leader in the ongoing 5G revolution and has set its ambitious sights on 6G. These developments are a harbinger of the promising future of the telecom industry and COAI is optimistic about the opportunities ahead. We are committed to work in tandem with the Government to achieve a robust, inclusive and sustainable growth trajectory for the nation.”

About COAI

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) represents the leading Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) and telecom equipment vendors in India. COAI is dedicated to the advancement of mobile telephony and broadband in the country through development and provision of world-class infrastructure, products and services; for delivering the benefits of innovative and affordable mobile communication services to the people of India. The association works closely with Ministries, Policy Makers, Regulators, Financial Institutions and Technical Bodies towards these objectives. (www.coai.in)