Airtel Managing Director Leaves Uganda

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Airtel Uganda former MD VG Somasekhar

Airtel Uganda managing director VG Somasekhar has left his position effective this month, the company has announced.

According to Airtel Uganda, Somasekhar is going back to India and he will continue to be associated with the Bharti Airtel Group, the parent company in an unmentioned capacity. No replacement has been announced so far.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa said “Soma has helped build Airtel Uganda Limited into a strong brand and into the company that it is today. He has been instrumental in rolling out our 4G across the country.”

The statement added, “he has demonstrated great maturity in dealing with all stakeholders and provided robust leadership to the team in Uganda.”

It is not clear why Somasekhar chose to leave especially when things were starting to look up for the entity, posting profits and having its subscriber numbers growing.

Somasekhar re-joined Airtel Africa in August 2017, after an earlier stint in Uganda between 2010 and 2014.

Under his watch, Somasekhar oversaw a transformation of Airtel from loss-making to a profitable entity overtaking market leader MTN Uganda. Airtel Uganda is the only profitable unit of Bharti Airtel in East Africa.

Bharti Airtel Africa report for 2018 shows Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda are making loses while in Uganda, Airtel saw its profits grow by almost 30 per cent from $65.6m in 2017 to $90.5m in 2018.

He is the one who sketched the buying of Warid Uganda which pushed the telecommunication company’s subscriber number numbers almost at par with MTN, which remains the leader.

He leaves when MTN Uganda and Airtel Uganda, the biggest players in Uganda, are competing favourably.

URN.