In Conversation with Mr. P BALAJI, Chief Regulatory and Corporate Affairs Officer- Vodafone Idea Ltd

Balaji is a member of the Core Leadership Team (CLT) of Vodafone Idea Ltd, a leading telecom operator serving citizens and enterprises across India. 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 Relations activities along with Industry advocacy, Corporate Communications, Reputation Management and CSR.

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 Operator.

Prior to joining Vodafone, Balaji was Managing Director of Nokia India and Sony Mobile. Over the years, he has held senior leadership positions in start-up and turn-around ventures of TATA group, AT&T, Ericsson, and Lucent Technologies.

Having started his career with Tatas, he has rich experience of over 30 years in Telecom & IT sector in diverse functions including sales, product management, marketing, strategy, and operations.

Passionate about local manufacture, R&D and skills/capacity development, he has been President of TEMA (Telecom Equipment Manufacturing Association), Founding Vice Chairman of TEPC (Telecom Exports Promotion Council) and is Founding Vice President of TSSC (Telecom Sector Skills Council). He has been catalyst for many industry innovations and initiatives and has served as member of several Task Forces set up by government. Over the years, these initiatives have resulted in introduction of cutting edge technologies into India, large scale creation of employment and economic growth in the country.

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.

In his conversation with Deepak Nanda from CSRBOX, he elaborates on the following questions:

1.    Can you walk us through the varied thematic areas that the organization intends to cover and impact under CSR? Also, how have these developed post the merger?

2.    How does your years of rich experience and exposure across some of the most crucial turning points in telecom and industry practices, align with your current position to enrich the on-ground efforts for these projects?

3.    Is the organization actively using its expertise in the domain of tech and telecom to strengthen last-mile linkages through its programs like MyAmbar and Smart Agri?

4.    Education as a domain has also undergone a phenomenal shift during COVID-19, making technology an integral part of disseminating learning. What measures has the Vodafone Idea CSR taken to fill this gap?

5.    Having such huge resources at your disposal, how is it that you streamline the same for on-ground efforts by adding strategic partnerships, systematic implementation, and sustainable vision alongside stringent assessment,t to create the impact that you envision?

6.    How do you see the efforts evolving over time, with regards to forging partnerships with the public or private sector, strengthening existing systems and bringing in best practices for everyone to benefit from?

Impact-Talk is a series of views and interviews of CSR heads, impact leaders and change-makers, addressing development challenges in India. If you have an impact-maker in your network, please suggest/share details at shilpi@csrbox


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