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Acer Appoints Chandana Gupta As Associate Director Of Consumer Sales

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PC company Acer India today announced the appointment of Chandana Guptta as new Associate Director for its consumer sales division. She, along with her team, is entrusted with responsibility to strengthen and grow the consumer business in India.

Before joining the company, Chandana, with more than 23 years of experience in the IT industry, was working with Lenovo India as Head – Consumer Distribution Sales, where she was heading T1 and T2 distribution channel for Lenovo PC products in India.

“It gives me immense pleasure to welcome her to the team as our Associate Director for Sales. I am sure she is going to take Acer to new heights and prove to be a very dynamic leader in the organization,” said Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO and Consumer Business Head, Acer India.

Chandana Gupta, excited to be part of the team said “I am delighted to join Acer and start an exciting chapter in my career, it is only been few days and I could already see the vision, energy and determination of the team. I am looking forward to the challenge ahead and lead the team to drive the consumer business to even greater success”

R. Jeganath, Chief Sales Officer, Acer India, also commented on the appointment said, “I believe Chandana has brought along a great deal of experience and learning, which is going to benefit the organization in the long run. I welcome Chandana to the Acer family and hope that her tenure with us is going to be a long and successful one”.

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Ola Appoints Badri Raghavan As Chief Data Scientist

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Cab service provider Ola on Thursday appointed Badri Raghavan as its chief data scientist who will integrate machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics to the firm’s cab-haling platform.

Ola said Badri, a data scientist with over 20 years of experience, will also lead a world class Data Science team with cutting edge training in Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Decision Analysis, Pattern Recognition and related areas. This team will work across various business units and departments, to gain operational and business efficiencies, ranging from demand and supply prediction, driver behavior and performance management, location Intelligence, to name a few.

“As a company that holds vast database of drivers, customers and every single trip that takes place on its platform, Ola’s business is deeply rooted in data science and in drawing valuable insights to build innovative solutions, that resonate with the needs of Indian consumers and driver partners alike,” the company said in a statement.

Prior to Ola, Badri was the Chief Data Scientist and Founding CTO of FirstFuel Software, a leading energy and utilities analytics firm based out of Boston. Not only did Badri steer the development of the breakthrough energy analytics applications at FirstFuel, but he was also instrumental in establishing the overall technology vision and driving the firm’s growth in significant ways across three rounds of venture funding from leading VCs.

Badri was also working with IBM Research in New York as the Associate Director, Energy and Utility Analytics, where he helped set a framework for IBM’s analytics driven Smart Grid applications. Badri has worked in FICO for nearly a decade in leadership roles in analytics, product and operations. He was part of the founding team at FICO Bangalore, where he conceptualized, built and executed the strategy to develop Centre for Decision Analytics.

“Ola is moving on a much larger scale towards building technology based on deep insight into the Indian psyche, and for this, Big Data is a must. With a rich vein of expertise in data science and machine learning, Badri fits perfectly into Ola’s vision of building ground-up technology solution based on deep understanding of our customers, and build world-class innovative solutions,” said Ankit Bhati, CTO and co-founder at Ola.

“Badri’s experience in the field of Data Science across multiple domains will play a key role in driving Ola’s next phase of innovation based on richer and deeper understanding of Indian consumer behaviour and serve their mobility needs,” the company added.

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People Movement

Intex Appoints Arun Kumar As Advisor -HR

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In order to streamline its top leadership and bringing about a complete revival of the same Intex on Thursday appointed Arun Kumar as its HR Advisor.

Kumar comes with 35-plus years of exceptional experience in human resources, working from grass root to strategic level. He will be spearheading the gradual transformation in company’s policies aimed at enhancing employee engagement to deliver business goals. He will be working at the macro-level that will comprise of enhancing leadership capacity and building talent management of the company.

“Continuing to attract and retain the right people is essential as we consolidate our core skills and strengths across departments. Arun Kumar’s wealth of expertise in HR domain will be vital for Intex’s overall growth and perception by driving continuous improvement in HR policies and systems. I am confident under his guidance, the company will do whatever it takes to put the company in the right place with the right perspective,” said Intex CMD Narendra Bansal.

In the past Kumar has served in leadership positions in corporates like K.K. Modi Group, Escorts JCB Ltd, Hindustan Lever etc, where he has successfully brought people agenda to the forefront of business decision making process, partnering with business leaders and helping them realise their goals that are in sync with employee expectations.

On joining Intex Technologies, Arun Kumar said “I am honoured to take the challenging role at Intex Technologies, a leader on the high growth trajectory. Being a professionally-run organisation, it is our role to identify challenges and overcome them. It will be a long road and a continuous process to build an environment where issues are dealt humanely and with professional ethics. I look forward to being involved and contributing towards the company’s growth vision by establishing and strengthening best practices related to all aspects of HR.”

Arun Kumar has done Advance Management Program (AMP 175) from Harvard Business School, US and has done his Post graduation from Xavier Institute of Social Service in Ranchi.

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People Movement

Airtel Appoints Raj Pudipeddi As CMO, Director – Consumer Business

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Bharti Airtel on Wednesday appointed Raj Pudipeddi as Director – Consumer Business and Chief Marketing Officer for its India operations. He will take charge from February 6, 2017 and will be a part of the Airtel Management Board. Raj will report to Bharti Airtel MD & CEO (India) Gopal Vittal.

“In line with our philosophy to bring on board the best of talent from across the globe, I am delighted at the appointment of Raj to lead our Consumer Business. At Airtel, we are obsessed with our customers and I am confident that Raj’s wealth of experience will add fresh perspective to our initiatives to constantly innovate and delight customers. I wish him the very best for his new role and look forward to working him,” said  Mr. Vittal.

In his new role, Raj will be responsible for driving market share, strengthening the Airtel brand and driving customer centric innovations within the teams.

Raj has over 22 years of work experience with Procter & Gamble across various functions and geographies. In his last role as Vice-President – Oral Care (North America), he led a large team across functions and sites, including manufacturing plants with P&L responsibility for a multi-billion business.

Prior to this, he was the General Manager for Latin America and managed multiple categories across countries while dealing with challenges of competition, currencies and other turbulent factors. Earlier, as Country Manager in Philippines, he led the turnaround of operations through a successful deployment of a new go-to-market strategy.

Between 2000 and 2010, Raj worked in the USA on various category roles including Paper and Family Care. He also had a two year assignment as Associate Director in Procter & Gamble’s global Wal-Mart team, with responsibility for managing the relationship with their biggest customer with sales of over $7 bn.

Raj is an Engineering graduate from Andhra University and completed his MBA from Indian Institute of Management – Lucknow.

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Gorilla Glass Maker Corning Appoints Amit Bansal As India MD

Amit Bansal Corning

Corning Incorporated, the makers of Gorilla Glass, that physically protects your smartphone,  has appointed Amit Bansal as its new managing director for its operations in India. Bansal will be based in Gurugram, Haryana and spearhead the US $10-billion company’s growth and operations while contributing to strategic planning for Corning in India.

“Amit has been an integral part of the organization and has contributed to the company’s growth in the country over the past several years,” said Thomas Appelt, president of Corning International Emerging Markets. “India is one of our priority markets and we aim to expand our business and deepen our business engagement in the core sector. Amit brings in immense experience and I am confident that he will drive company’s growth plans for India.”

Bansal will drive synergy across the various commercial organizations to grow Corning’s business in the country. Additionally, he will oversee Corning’s manufacturing operations in the country, business development efforts with the science and technology organization, and pursue new global supply management opportunities. Bansal has also been appointed to the Corning Finolex Board of Directors.

“I am excited to be a part of Corning’s journey in India and witness numerous growth avenues explored by the organization,” Bansal said. “Corning is an iconic global brand and the projected plans for growth in India seem very promising. I am committed to take the company’s vision forward and utilize all of my skills to ensure an accelerated growth trajectory for the company across verticals.”

Bansal brings almost two decades of extensive business experience both internationally and in India. Before joining Corning, Bansal played a key role in leading various commercial, merger, and acquisition initiatives at Axygen, a California-based life science company acquired by Corning in 2009. Additionally, Bansal is a qualified chartered accountant and holds degrees in finance and accounting.

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Airtel Appoints Badal Bagri As CFO

Airtel Badal Bagri

Bharti Airtel on Wednesday appointed Badal Bagri as Chief Financial Officer for its India & South Asia operations with effect from January 16, 2017.

This will be Badal’s second stint with Airtel. He had previously worked with Airtel from 2010 to 2014 and was the Chief Controller for the Consumer Business as well as the Global Financial Controller. In his last role, Badal was the Chief Financial Officer at Aircel. Prior to this, he was the Chief Financial Officer at Micromax.

In his new role, Badal will lead the Finance teams across India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to drive Airtel’s growth strategy. He will report to Nilanjan Roy, Global Chief Financial Officer, Bharti Airtel.

“We are delighted to have Badal back on board with us. I wish him the very best for his new role and look forward to work closely with him. His leadership, deep knowledge and rich experience will significantly contribute towards further strengthening our finance team as we steer ahead in our growth journey,” said Commenting on the appointment, Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel.

Badal has over 22 years of work experience across telecom, FMCG, services and manufacturing having worked with leading conglomerates such as Genpact, GE, Coke and ICI. He is a Chartered Accountant and a Commerce Graduate from Calcutta University.

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Qualcomm Appoints Larry Paulson As India Head

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Qualcomm today appointed Larry Paulson as its India chief. This position had been vacant since October 2016 when the then India head Sunil Lalvani quit the company to explore other opportunities. Qualcomm India’s VP for Government Affairs Parag Kar was then appointed as its interim chief.

Larry Paulson has joined as vice president and president of Qualcomm India and he ill report directly to Jim Cathey, senior vice president and president of Asia Pacific and India.

Paulson has more than 20 years of experience in strategy, R&D, customer development, product marketing and technology creation. He joined the Company in 2013 as vice president of product management for Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD), a product of the semiconductor business, QCT. Most recently, Paulson led the QCT Platforms organization and has expanded the Qualcomm Reference Design platform from the low tier to all MSM chipset tiers and into new categories, such as virtual reality. Paulson and his team also established the Qualcomm Global Pass program, which has been launched successfully in Latin America, North America, Europe, India and South East Asia.

Prior to Qualcomm, Paulson was the executive vice president and chief marketing officer at BrightPoint. Before that, he held numerous positions at Nokia during his 20+ year career, including global senior vice president and general manager of Nokia’s worldwide CDMA device business with full P&L responsibility for all product and technology creation. He also oversaw Nokia’s ODM process with partners in China, Taiwan and Korea with responsibility for strategy, R&D, customer development and product marketing. Prior to that, Larry served as senior vice president, North America Business Development and president of Technophone (a wholly owned subsidiary of Nokia).

“Larry has a long history in the wireless industry and experience in building cellular phones and running large businesses, all of which will be instrumental in his new role,” Cathey said. “He will provide leadership and drive business growth for Qualcomm in the region, and will oversee the sales and business organization in India with responsibility for all QCT and QTL go-to-market activities.”

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People Movement

BICSI India Appoints Ninad Desai As District Chair

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Industry association BICSI has elevated Ninad Desai as District Chair of BICSI India. Earlier he served the premier ICT association as its secretary.

The organization, in a statement, said Desai will spearhead BICSI India in catalyzing the growth of the ICT industry and strengthening the professional community, while enabling the fulfilment of its future goals and aspirations. Desai will further drive BICSI’s strategic programs and related key initiatives to empower ICT professionals to excel in their field of operation by placing key emphasis on education & training for ICT industry professionals.

“I feel extremely humbled and delighted to be given this opportunity, especially at a time when the industry is on the threshold of an exciting new journey wherein next generation networks and collaborative disruption together have created exciting times for our community and there’s a greater demand to ensure consistency in enterprise & communications network standards and need for stricter adherence to Quality of Service (QoS) requirements,” said Desai.

“We at BICSI India remain committed to offer the highest quality of education and training to ICT professionals and help them build relevant knowledge, skills & experiences to continuously adapt to the current industry requirements.” Being at the helm of BICSI India, I will continue to drive greater engagement with the industry, government and academia to foster the growth & advancement of the ICT community through training, collaboration and information sharing,” he added.

Some of the key priority areas that Desai is expected to look at include :

Focused programmes to strengthen the ICT community in India and empower the industry experts and leaders adopt global standards, industry best practices & methodologies.

Draw up more synergies and create an ICT ecosystem that brings together stakeholders from across the communications industry spectrum.

Foster tie-ups with government, academic institutions, leading associations & industry bodies in developing relevant ICT skill sets by delivering programmes on ICT design & installation and generate more such opportunities. Such partnerships would help enable the industry map existing and future skills requirements and help plug its skills demand-supply gap.

Build industry specific programmes to enhance engagement in developed and emerging markets across the ICT ecosystem and showcase technology adoption, insights & knowledge about the latest industry standards & practices.

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People Movement

Airtel Payments Bank Appoints Dhiraj Sharda As Chief Digital Officer

Bharti Airtel  office vasant kunj

Airtel Payments Bank Wednesday appointed Dhiraj Sharda as its chief digital officer. He will be based out of Delhi and will report to the bank’s MD& CEO Shashi Arora.

In his new role, Dhiraj will be responsible for product development, digital delivery and development of digital marketing platforms for Airtel Payments Bank. He will also drive some of the proactive initiatives by Airtel Payments Bank to accelerate the adoption of digital/cashless payments across the country.

Airtel Payments Bank is the first and only payments bank to go live in the country and it has rolled out its services in four states – Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.

Dhiraj brings with him over 15 years of rich work experience with start-ups and large companies in Silicon Valley (USA). Dhiraj joins Airtel Payments Bank from IAC (the parent company of Expedia, Match and Tinder.com), where he was Sr. Director of Product. In the past, he has worked with Prosper, Visa, AT&T, Yahoo and Wipro. Dhiraj has done his MS from Stanford University, USA and Computer Engineering from Pune University.

Airtel Payments Bank is a fully digital and paperless bank and customers can access services over their mobile phones, including all feature/basic mobile phones. The company claims the bank will develop a nationwide digital payments ecosystem of over 3 million merchant partners that will include small kirana stores, shops and restaurants etc. These merchant partners will accept digital payments for goods and services from the Payments Bank customers over mobile phones.

“We are pleased to have Dhiraj as part of our leadership team. I am confident that his rich experience will add value to our endeavour to deliver world-class digital banking and payments solutions to every Indian through innovative products. I wish Dhiraj all the very best for his new role and look forward to working with him,” said Shashi Arora, MD & CEO – Airtel Payments Bank.

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Ex-Zomato Head Joins FreeCharge To Lead Strategic Initiatives

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Anand Sinha will leverage his experience to help FreeCharge scale up its merchant operations.

Digital Payments Company FreeCharge has appointed Anand Sinha as Director – Partnerships & Strategic Initiatives. Anand, who had co-founded PressPlay – India’s first Omni-channel entertainment platform and headed sales for Zomato, will help the wallet firm scale up its operations in India.

Anand brings to the table deep passion and experience of working in a startup landscape along with an intricate understanding of partnerships and consumer products. As the head of Strategic initiatives of FreeCharge, Anand will leverage his experience in leading both the online and offline partnerships to come up with new initiatives to take the company to new heights in the country.

Govind Rajan, Chief Executive Officer, FreeCharge expresses his delight with the appointment of Anand Sinha in this strategic role. He said, “We are absolutely delighted to have Anand on-board. At FreeCharge we are committed to elevate our services and products through infusion of a right mix of talent and experience in our team. We are certain that with his experience and business understanding, we will be seeing huge growth and success for the organization in the coming days.”

Even Anand Sinha shared his excitement about this new role. He said, “With a start in consumer shift towards digital money and a relentless focus of our Government on digital transactions, the payments landscape is at an very exciting stage. I look forward to the experience with FreeCharge and aim to deliver great success for the firm in these exciting times. I feel privileged and proud at having started this journey with FreeCharge.”

Anand, started his career with D.E. Shaw financial research team and is an alumni of Christ College, Bangalore.

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