In a testimony of the growing Asian influence in the global telecommunication industry, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises was elected as GSMA Chairman for the two-year period from January 2017 through December 2018. He is the first Indian to head this global organization, which represents nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem. Bharti Airtel was the host of the inaugural GSMA Mobile 360 – India event in New Delhi this week, as well as a meeting of the GSMA Board.
A highlight of the week, GSMA Chair-elect Mittal led the GSMA Board delegation at a meeting with the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on Wednesday afternoon. In a broad-ranging discussion, the meeting highlighted the pivotal role of mobile in delivering the government’s Digital India vision of broadband as a utility for every citizen, bringing digital and financial inclusion to every corner of the country.
The GSMA also elected the new members of the 26-member Board and re-elected Mari-Noëlle Jego-Laveissiere, Executive Vice President, Innovation, Orange Group as Deputy Chair for the two-year period.
Sunil Bharti Mittal said, “I am delighted to be elected as Chairman of the GSMA, and look 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. 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. I am excited about what the next chapter holds for us, as we work to connect everyone and everything to a better future.”
“In my new global role, I am excited to support the ongoing mobile broadband revolution in India to boost the Government’s Digital India Program and its vision of broadband access for all”, added Mr. Mittal.
The first Indian to be elected as Chairman of the prestigious global telecom industry board, Sunil Bharti Mittal took over as Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) early this year. He already 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 GSMA’s Director General Mats Granryd also serves on the GSMA Board.