Rituraj Kalita, Circle Business Head, Gujarat, Telenor India

Rituraj Kalita has played a key role in setting up and expanding the operations of two international telecom companies in India. He joined Maxis-backed Aircel as zonal sales head for Assam in 2005 when the company started its operations in the country. And in 2009, he became a part of Telenor’s greenfield operations in the country, joining as the company’s sales and distribution head. He was later app­o­inted circle business head for the Odisha circle in 2011 and head of channel sales in 2013. A year later, he became head of distribution for Telenor Mya­n­mar, another greenfield market for the operator. Prior to these assignments, Kalita spent close to six years working with major consumer durables companies, including Onida, Panasonic, Philips and Samsung.

As the circle business head for Telenor’s Gujarat circle, Kalita is responsible for mana­ging the overall operations and profit and loss of the circle, including team management, sales and distribution, and mar­­­keting. “When I was given the responsibility of the circle in 2015, Telenor had a market share of around 6.2 per cent. Today, we have a market share of 7.3 per cent, which is a testimony of Telenor’s strategy of being the best in basic services and offering maximum value to our customers”, he says.

When asked about his most memorable assignment, Kalita says, “Even though I have worked in only two companies in the telecom domain, each of these assignments was unique and challenging in its own way. I really enjoyed my stint at Telenor Myanmar as it was a challenging task to adapt to the culture of the country and set up a distribution network and an operations team from scratch.”

According to Kalita, both the incumbents as well as new players, are under tremendous pressure. “All operators have been investing on spectrum ac­quisition and new service roll-outs, while revenue is under pressure. Going forward, the competitive pressure will continue. However, it will be a great year for consumers.” A strong believer in team work, Kalita counts his positive attitude in every situation as his biggest strength. “Howe­ver, I sometimes get a little impatient,” he says.

Kalita holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Assam Engineering College and an MBA with spe­cialisation in marketing from Guwahati University. He is an avid traveller, and a movie enthusiast, and likes to keep himself updated about the latest developments across the world. His family comprises his wife and their nine-year-old son.