Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) concluded its annual general body meeting for the financial year 2022, with the announcement of its leadership for the term 2022-23.

During the meeting, COAI announced that Pramod K Mittal, president, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited who was vice chairperson of the industry body will now hold the position of chairperson while P. Balaji, chief regulatory and corporate affairs officer, Vodafone Idea Limited (Vi), will be the vice chairperson of the association.

Pramod K Mittal comes with a rich experience of 42 years in telecommunications. Before joining Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited as president, Mittal served in the Department of Telecommunications, government of India, for over 37 years.

Meanwhile, Balaji is a member of the core leadership team (CLT) of Vi. 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 elations activities along with industry advocacy, corporate communications, reputation management and corporate social responsibility. 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 pperator. 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.

Commenting on the appointment, 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 materialise 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 fulfil the vision of Honourable Prime Minister’s Digital India initiative.’’

Further,  P. Balaji, chief regulatory and corporate affairs Officer, Vi, 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 digitalisation 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”.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Dr. S.P. 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.”