Bharti Airtel’s brand director Bharat Bambawale, credited with the company’s ongoing ‘Jo Mera Hain Wo Tera Hain’ campaign, has quit, joining a growing list of top-level executives who have exited the country’s top mobile operator in the last couple of months.
Bambawale had joined Bharti in August 2011 from JWT (London), where he was the global team leader for Unilever’s haircare portfolio.
He was not available for comment. A company spokesperson confirmed his exit.
Bharti Airtel, which has reported fall in net profit for 12 consecutive quarters now, has lost a number of senior officials in recent months.
Sanjay Kapoor quit as chief executive of Airtel’s India operations in January and has been replaced by Gopal Vittal. Prior to that Vittal was the company’s director for special projects.
Last week, Samsung India announced that it has roped in Vineet Taneja, Bharti Airtel’s former operations director for South India and Sri Lanka, to head its mobile and digital businesses here. Taneja was senior to Vittal by two batches at Hindustan Unilever where both began their careers as management trainees.
Banbawale’s resignation comes close on heels of Bharti restructuring its operations, leading to him reporting to Manoj Kohli, who took over as the managing director of the world’s fourth largest mobile operator by customers on March 1.
So far, Bambawale, who was overseeing the Bharti brand across India and Africa, as well as global finance head Srikanth Balachander and innovation head Jai Menon were reporting to executive chairman Sunil Mittal. Bharti had brought Bambawale on board just after the launch of its popular ‘Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai’ campaign in 2011.
Following its success in India, he extended campaigns that promote usage of data to all African countries where the telco has operations.
Bambawale is also credited with tweaking the ‘Har Friend Zaroori Hai’ and ‘Jo Tera Hai Woh Mera’ for African users. For instance, the ‘Padi Na Good Thing O’ campaign in Nigeria features a local unknown singer, Half Dollar, who is helped by his friends to land a lucrative recording contract.
ET recently reported that Vittal’s appointment as chief executive would force the company to reshuffle its top deck here and that K Srinivas, who was acknowledged to be the No. 2 position in Airtel’s Indian and South Asian operations after Kapoor, would be given a senior role outside its Indian operations. Srinivas was senior to Vittal when both worked at the Indian arm of Unilever as well as the latter’s earlier stint with Bharti Airtel during 2006-08.
Bharti has announced that Srinivas would be take over as director, special projects and be responsible for ‘evaluating potential investment opportunities and developing business case across various lines of business’. In his new role, Srinivas reports to Mittal.
Source:- Economic Times