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Industry moves: Snapdeal, Airtel and Helion

Snapdeal appoints Akhil Gupta as board member

SnapdealE-commerce giant Snapdeal has hired Vice chairman of Bharti Enterprises Pvt.Ltd, Akhil Gupta as an independent director to strengthen its board of directors, reports Livemint. Gupta has been with Bharti Airtel for over 20 years and has helped build the company ground up. He is responsible for helping Airtel raise millions of dollars in capital back when it was still a private company and later played an important role when the company went public.

This is the first high profile board member appointment by Snapdeal, as its board currently consists of only private equity backers and founders. The report also mentions Flipkart, Snapdeal’s biggest rival, is currently looking to hire independent board members.

Airtel divests African telecoms tower assets to Eaton Towers

AirtelTelecommunications services provider, Bharti Airtel Limited entered into an agreement with African telecom tower company Eaton Towers to divest over 3500 telecom towers from Airtel to Eaton Towers. According to the agreement, Airtel will sell and lease back the towers in 6 African countries under a 10-year contract. This will enable Eaton Towers to expand its coverage in Africa to 7 countries with over 5000 towers.

Airtel said the agreement will allow it to focus on its core business while reduce capital expenditure on passive infrastructure, helping debt reduction. The company currently offers 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, fixed line services, DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH and various other enterprise solutions in 20 countries across Asia and Africa.

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Helion announces organisational change at the top

helion_logoIndia-focused multi-stage venture fund Helion announced the promotion of Directors Ritesh Banglani and Rahul Chowdhri as Partners of the venture. Banglani was previously Vice President at IDG Ventures India, Director on the board of Ozone Media and an observer on the board of Kreeda Games at IDG Ventures India before joining Helion in 2010. Chowdhri on the other hand was Group Program Manager at Microsoft prior to joining Helion at its inception.

The company also announced the resignation of Senior Manager Director Kanwaljit Singh, who plans to pursue his interests in the consumer space. Singh will stay will the company till March 2016 to ensure a smooth transition.

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