In what appears to be a step towards focusing more on value added services, Bharti Airtel has announced the setting up of two new divisions – M-Commerce and M-Entertainment, which the company is looking to develop as additional revenue streams. We do think that this is a good move, since both divisions needs a specialized approach. Also, we think that MChek is may benefit from Airtel’s M-Commerce rollout plans.

However, Airtel is unwilling to share any more details as of now; on being contacted, an Airtel spokesperson told MediaNama that M-Commerce and M-Entertainment will be two key areas of focus for Sanjay Kapoor, whom the heads of these divisions shall report to. The planning of these divisions is still in the formative stage, and Airtel has declined to comment any further until plans are finalized; nor date was specified for when plans will be finalized.

Some details that we were (and are) seeking:

— Whether this is just a restructuring of the VAS division
— Whether there will be additional hiring for these segments
— Investment and rollout plans for each division
— Whether these segments have been created given the recent announcement of MVNO guidelines from the government.

If you know, please do leave a comment. If you have any questions, do share those as well.

Sanjay Kapoor Made Deputy CEO: To Head Mobile, Telemedia & DTH

Sanjay Kapoor has elevated from President – Mobile Services to Deputy CEO, and will lead Mobile, Telemedia and DTH businesses, reporting to Manoj Kohli. Atul Bindal, who was heading the Telemedia business, has been made President – Mobile Services, while K Srinivas, who was Executive Director (East) for Mobile Services, and heading Airtel’s Sri Lanka operations, has been made Joint President – Telemedia Services.

Controversy Over Manoj Kohli’s Stake Sale

Speculation is rife Bharti Airtel CEO & JMD Manoj Kohli may be moving on – according to Airtels announcement, Sanjay Kapoor being made Deputy CEO, and Kohli is taking on more of a “strategy development, governance and organisation development” role. Things haven’t been helped by the fact that Kohli recently sold shares in two tranches — 70,000 shares on 9th March, and 53,000 on 6th March.

In a statement issued by Airtel to the NSE, Kohli has said –

“I have sold my current holding in Bharti Airtel Ltd for personal reasons. I continue to hold 180,000 options in the company, some of which I have already vested, and the balance will vest from time to time as per the vesting schedule. I am happy to confirm that I continue as CEO and Joint Managing Director of the Company. “