The Nation (Nairobi)

Kenya: Airtel Kenya Appoints Shivan Bhargava As New Boss After Rene Meza Exits to Head Vodacom Tanzania

Airtel Kenya has appointed Shivan Bhargava as new head for her Kenya's operation as immediate former MD Rene Meza moves to head Vodacom Tanzania.

Mr Bhargava who recently joined the telecommunications company as Chief Operating Officer will assume the responsibility of running the complete operation in Kenya.

Vodacom announced on Monday the appointment of Mr Meza as Managing Director for Vodacom Tanzania.

Until his appointment, Mr Meza was Director of Bharti Airtel's Kenya operations. According to a dispatch from Vodacom, Rene joins the company with over 12 years of international experience in telecommunications across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

"We're very excited to have Rene joining the team. He brings a wide range of experience from emerging markets as diverse as Paraguay, Pakistan and Kenya. He was also previously CEO for Millicom's (Tigo) operations in Tanzania which means that he'll be up and running in this new role very quickly," said Vodacom CEO for international operations Mr Johan Dennelind.

Rene replaces Dietlof Mare, who had requested to change roles after spending almost five years in Tanzania.

"Under Dietlof's direction, Vodacom Tanzania has grown considerably. It's now our second largest operation outside South Africa and has over nine million customers. Dietlof has led the business admirably and has been instrumental in the implementation of M-Pesa and other initiatives that have placed the company well for the future," added Mr Dennelind.

Who is Mr Bhargava?

Before his appointment as Airtel Kenya Chief operating Office, Mr Bhargava was part of the Bharti Airtel Group since 2003.

In a release to newsrooms on Monday, Michael Okwiri Vice President, Corporate Communications Airtel Africa said Mr Bhargava will be tasked with the role of leading Airtel Kenya to achieving the Group's vision and managing its operations.

"He has a proven track record in Commercial Operations for more than 16 years in Coca-Cola and Airtel. Mr. Bhargava has a broad educational background in both technical and marketing, with a Bachelor of Engineering in Telecommunications Engineering, coupled with post graduate qualifications in Business Management, specialized in Marketing," reads the release in part.

Airtel Kenya is the second largest mobile phone operator in Kenya offering its services to more than 3 million customers in the country.

Bharti Airtel is currently operating in 16 African markets after acquiring Zain Group in June last year and rebranding to Airtel.

Airtel has launched its mobile money platform, Airtel Money, strengthening its commitment to provide affordable and innovative solutions to all. The platform allows consumers and communities to take maximum advantage of the mobile commerce reality sweeping through the industry by enabling them to conduct a wide range of financial transactions quickly and easily across all Kenyan Mobile Networks.

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