The Cellular Operators Association of India on Friday announced that it was appointing Lt. Gen. Dr. S.P. Kochhar as its director general. Kochhar will be replacing Rajan Mathews, who has been director general of the telecom lobby for over a decade. “The members of COAI thank Mr. Rajan for his immense contribution to the telecom sector in India and the Association during his tenure, and wish him the very best for his future endeavours,” COAI said in a statement.


Read: Our interview with Rajan Mathews


Kochhar was in the Indian Army for over 35 years, retiring in 2013 as Signal Officer in Chief, a role where he was responsible for planning, executing and operating all the army’s telecom and computer networks. He was the CEO of Telecom Sector Skill Council of India until December 2019. Kochhar has also served in an advisory capacity at Yes Bank until this February. He was also on the board of directors of RAAS Housing Finance (India) Limited.

On Thursday, COAI announced that Ajai Puri, Chief Operating Officer (India and South Asia) at Bharti Airtel would now hold the position of Chairman of COAI while Pramod Kumar Mittal, President of Reliance Jio would be Vice Chairman.