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Bharti Airtel hires Adarsh Nair to head digital product foray

Bharti Airtel hires Adarsh Nair to head digital product foray
Photo Credit: Reuters

Billionaire Sunil Mittal-led telecommunications services company Bharti Airtel Ltd has appointed Adarsh Nair as chief product officer.

Nair will be in charge of Airtel’s digital products and platforms. He will report to Gopal Vittal, managing director and CEO for India and South Asia at Airtel, the company said in a statement.

The company had last hired a product chief in 2013. The position has been vacant since Anand Chandrasekaran moved on from Airtel in 2015 to Freecharge and then Snapdeal. Chandrasekaran is currently with Facebook.

Previously, Nair was vice president of product and head of growth at Seattle-headquartered Convoy Inc., a trucking services marketplace that matches shipments with carriers.

The Wharton graduate was part of the leadership team that grew the company’s valuation from $25 million to more than $1 billion, the statement said.

Prior to Convoy, Nair worked with mobile advertising analytics company Marchex, tech giant Microsoft and consulting firm McKinsey & Co, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Nair graduated from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, and completed his post-graduation in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Florida and MBA from The Wharton School.

The appointment comes at a time when India’s second-largest telecom operator has announced Airtel 3.0, its vision to become a next-generation digital platform.

The telecom operator has been looking for a larger pie of the digital wave on the fifth-generation (5G) platform through connected devices, smart home solutions and other initiatives in augmented and virtual reality. Vittal said Nair’s diverse experience will add “immense value” to the Airtel 3.0 vision.

Bharti Airtel, like much of the Indian telecom industry, has been going through a tough time ever since billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd launched operations two years ago with cut-throat tariffs.

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