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Micromax Appoints Former Airtel Ceo Sanjay Kapoor as Chairman

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A week after hiring Samsung India’s mobile chief, handset maker Micromax on Thursday appointed former Bharti Airtel CEO Sanjay Kapoor as Chairman, gearing up to become the country’s top smartphone player.
Kapoor, who resigned from India’s largest private telecom operator in May last year, also joined the promoter group of the nation’s second-largest smartphone maker.

“Sanjay brings with him a global experience, something which we at Micromax are looking forward to as we see the new age of high data usage and better technically equipped smart devices explode around us,” Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma told PTI.

Sharma added that it reflects the company’s vision of stepping up to the next phase of growth as Micromax continues the journey to become India’s number one smartphone player and the first Indian mobile brand to be successful globally.

Micromax intends to leverage Kapoor’s experience in building India’s biggest telecom services brand and his expertise from playing an active role in prominent industry fora such as GSMA, CII, COAI and Nasscom over the past 13 years, he said.

“I am excited as an entrepreneur to be a part of the promoter group and as a professional to lead the Micromax board and management. I look forward to adding value to all stakeholders leveraging my strengths in building scale, developing brands and understanding consumers,” Kapoor said.

Micromax is a very vibrant youth brand that has led the democratisation of technology for the masses, offering affordable innovations to the consumers, he added.

“Proliferation in data services and cutting-edge devices that make technology affordable for masses will be critical for next phase of growth and I am confident that Micromax will lead this transition,” he said.

Micromax last week roped in Samsung India’s mobile and IT business chief Vineet Taneja as Chief Executive Officer. In May, it appointed senior Bharti Airtel executive Badal Bagri as Chief Financial Officer.

The firm expects the moves to help it strengthen its position in the segment, which is witnessing explosive growth.

According to International Data Corporation, smartphone sales in the country grew almost three-fold to over 44 million in 2013, buoyed by affordable devices made by local firms such as Micromax and Karbonn.

(Also see: Micromax, Karbonn help push 2013 India smartphone shipments over 44 million mark)

In the first quarter of 2014, 17.59 million smartphones were shipped in India compared with 6.14 million in the same period of 2013.

Samsung maintained its leadership in the smartphone market with a 35 percent market share in Q1, followed by Micromax (15 percent), Karbonn (10 percent), LAVA (6 percent) and Nokia (4 percent), according to IDC.

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