Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Business of Tech

Airtel Kenya has a new MD

Article Image
Airtel Kenya has announced a new managing director, Ashish Malhotra, who joined on July 1, 2022 to replace long-serving MD Prasanta Das Sarma as the telco eyes its next phase of growth.

Malhotra has over 21 years' experience in the telecoms sector and was previously the group head of sales and marketing at Airtel Africa, leading the function in 14 Airtel operations on the continent.

Airtel's board said in a statement that Malhotra was instrumental in doubling revenues, streamlining pricing principles and building strong unique selling propositions across the countries.

He holds an MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (SIMS) in India and a Bachelor of Commerce from Sri Ram College of Commerce in India.

Next chapter for Das Sarma

Malhotra replaces Das Sarma, who has led Airtel's Kenyan operation since January 2017 and who left his role on June 30, 2022 to become the CEO of Airtel Africa's Fiber Co.

Airtel said he key to Airtel's fast growth in Kenya and helped increase the subscriber base from 5 million to 16 million during his tenure.

Airtel Africa operates in 14 countries in Africa, primarily in East Africa and Central and West Africa. In Kenya it is the second-biggest operator with about 25% market share, behind dominant Safaricom which has about 67% market share according to market research company Omdia.

Chairman change

The Board has also appointed Louis Onyango Otieno as its new chairman.

Otieno brings over 30 years of leadership experience in ICT across private and public sectors, with a proven track record as a board member in companies across industries, the board said.

New Airtel Kenya board chairman Louis Onyango Otieno.  (Source: Airtel Kenya)
New Airtel Kenya board chairman Louis Onyango Otieno.
(Source: Airtel Kenya)

He began his career at EEC Financial Services in New York, rising to the position of assistant VP. He joined Microsoft in 1997, leading the business in Africa in different capacities for 21 years.

Otieno holds an MBA from Long Island University, Brooklyn in New York and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry in New York.

Otieno serves on a number of boards including as chairman of Absa Asset Management Limited.

*Top image is of new Airtel Kenya MD Ashish Malhotra. (Source: Airtel Kenya).

— The Staff, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Video

Interview: Qualcomm execs on mentorship for African startups

Qualcomm Technology VP for Engineering, Sudeepto Roy, and Elizabeth Migwalla, VP for Government Affairs, join Connecting Africa for a video interview about Qualcomm's Make in Africa Mentorship Program.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Pan-African fintech KamaPay

This month's hot startup is pan-African fintech KamaPay, which helps individuals and businesses make cross-border payments on the continent.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

Story

Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.

Story

Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

London Tech Week
June 13-16, 2023
Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE
Cybertech Africa 2023
August 1-2, 2023
Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up