New Delhi, 14th June 2022: COAI, the apex industry association representing leading Telecom, internet, technology, and Digital Services Companies, concluded its Annual General Body Meeting for the Financial Year 2021-22, with the announcement of its leadership for the term 2022-23.

We are proud to announce that Mr. Pramod K Mittal, President, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. who was Vice Chairperson of the industry body will now hold the position of Chairperson while Mr. P. Balaji, Chief Regulatory & Corporate Affairs Officer, Vodafone Idea Limited, will be the Vice Chairperson of the Association.

Mr. Pramod K Mittal comes with a rich experience of 42 years in telecommunications.  Before joining India’s leading telecom operator, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. as President, Mr. Mittal served in the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, for over 37 years.

Mr. Balaji is a member of the Core Leadership Team (CLT) of Vodafone Idea Ltd, a leading telecom operator serving citizens and enterprises across India. The CLT has successfully led the planning and execution of the world’s largest telecom merger, in a record two years. He leads the company’s Regulatory, Public Policy and Government Relations activities along with Industry advocacy, Corporate Communications, Reputation Management and CSR. He is a pioneer in the Telecom sector, joining the sector at its infancy in 1993. He has the unique experience of holding leadership positions in all three telecom verticals, with leading Technology, Devices companies and Telecom Operator. Balaji is the Chairman of ASSOCHAM National Digital Communications Council, and Member of National Council of apex industry chambers CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM and All India Management Association.

Lt. Gen. Dr. SP Kochhar, Director General, COAI, extended his heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Ajai Puri and Mr. Pramod K Mittal for their support and courageous leadership. The year 2021, has been a monumental year for the telecom industry with the announcement of structural reforms announced by the Union Cabinet at the time when the industry was facing various challenges. In the pathway to 5G, many initiatives such as Gati Shakti-National Master Plan, or PLI scheme have been instrumental in accelerating the growth for the industry. The year, 2022, started with further relief provided to the industry with the announcement of Gatishakti Sanchar Portal as the central RoW portal which ease the deployment of 5G in India.

Mr. Pramod K Mittal, President, Reliance Jio Infocomm and Chairperson, COAI, commented, “I feel privileged to take on this role as the Chairperson of COAI. The digital communications industry continues to keep the nation connected during these unprecedented times. At COAI we are deeply committed to working in collaboration with the government, policymakers, and regulators to materialize our long-standing dream of a ‘Digital India’ into reality. I would like to reiterate our commitment to support the government’s efforts to ensure that the benefits of connectivity are accessible to all. I would like to thank all the members of COAI for considering me worthy of this responsibility. I look forward to working closely with the members to strengthen the sector, especially for the launch of 5G to fulfill the vision of Honorable Prime Minister’s Digital India initiative.’’ 

On the occasion, Mr. P. Balaji, Chief Regulatory & Corporate Affairs OfficerVodafone Idea Limited, and Vice Chairperson, COAI, said, “It’s a privilege to take the responsibility as Vice Chairperson of COAI. I look forward to work with industry and the government to accelerate digitalization and suggest policy measure to drive more services to enterprise and consumer while strengthening the sector. The future is exciting as the industry is gearing up for 5G”.

Lt. Gen. Dr. SP Kochhar, Director General, COAI, said “5G is the future of the telecom industry which will open infinite possibilities to propel growth of each sector. Today, we stand on the threshold of a complete digital revolution wherein 5G is expected to make the vision of ‘Digital India’ a concrete reality. It is a roadmap to our country’s future growth and socio-economic development, which aspires to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025.

Along with the strong team, COAI is optimistic about the future of the industry and the opportunities ahead, as 5G and allied technologies get closer to commercial deployment. We are committed to work in alignment with the Government of India and together we can address other pending issues such as spectrum allocation, tax levies among others. Creating a hassle-free digitally connected environment for consumers is our ultimate goal”, he further added.