has joined Bharti Airtel as executive director for the northern hub. His last assignment was with Coca-Cola as country manager and chief executive officer, Indochina. There, he was responsible for Coca-Cola operations in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, and also bore strategic responsibility for Malaysia. At Bharti Airtel, Safawi takes the place of Sanjay Nandrajog, who has been promoted as executive director, international operations and managed services. Safawi will report to Sanjay Kapoor, president, mobile services, Bharti Airtel.
Safawi's mandate is to play a key role in leading Airtel's initiatives in the North circle, including Delhi and NCR, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. He will focus on enhancing the organisation's positioning amongst its customers and key stakeholders and increase growth and revenue.
Safawi holds a Master's in business management from IRMA, and has an advanced management diploma from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA. Overall, he has experience of 19 years in general management, marketing and sales. He has spent more than 11 years working with Coca-Cola International across geographies in India and Asia. During his tenure at Coca-Cola, Safawi was responsible for conceptualising, leading and piloting a number of marketing forays for the company.
Before Coca-Cola, he handled key roles in the sales function with the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation and the TTK Group in India.
Commenting on the appointment, Sanjay Kapoor says, "Telecom in India is fast becoming as accessible and service focused as an FMCG set-up. Syed (Safawi), with a wealth of experience from his earlier assignments, will contribute significantly to taking Airtel to new heights."