Bharti Airtel names Soumen Ray as new CFO for India, South Asia
Telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Friday said Badal Bagri has resigned as chief financial officer of the company to pursue other opportunities and that Soumen Ray will take over the role with effect from December 21, 2021.
Ray, who has been named as the new CFO, will report to Gopal Vittal, managing director, and chief executive officer (India and South Asia) of Bharti Airtel, the company said in a statement.
Ray takes over from Badal Bagri, who has decided to move to pursue opportunities outside of Airtel, the statement added.
Ray is a chartered accountant with over 23 years of experience in financial planning, management accounting, factory commercial, treasury, and corporate accounts. He will be joining Airtel from Bajaj Auto Ltd., where he is currently the Chief Financial Officer.
Commenting on Ray’s appointment as the new CFO, Vittal said: We are delighted to have Soumen as part of the Airtel leadership team…I am confident his experience will add immense value to Airtel’s exciting growth journey as the company transforms into a digital services provider.”
In a regulatory filing, Airtel said “…we wish to inform you that on the recommendation of the HR and nomination committee, the board, in its meeting held today, has approved the appointment of Soumen Ray as the Chief Financial Officer (India and South Asia) and Key Managerial Personnel of the company with effect from December 21, 2021.”
The appointment has also been approved by the audit committee of the company, the filing added.
Airtel is in the midst of a Rs 21,000 crore rights issue, at a price of Rs 535 per share.
The rights issue – which opened on October 05, 2021, and is slated to close on October 21 – is expected to strengthen Airtel’s competitive positioning in the market, and provide the telco with the necessary ammunition for aggressive 5G rollout.
As such, the telecom sector got a shot in the arm recently with the government approving a blockbuster relief package that includes a four-year break for companies from paying statutory dues, permission to share scarce airwaves, change in the definition of revenue on which levies are paid and 100 per cent foreign investment through the automatic route.
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The measures, aimed at providing relief to companies such as Vodafone Idea that have to pay thousands of crores in unprovisioned past statutory dues, also include the scrapping of Spectrum Usage Charge (SUC) for airwaves acquired in future spectrum auctions.