LONDON – OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network owned by UK Government, Bharti Global and other strategic investors, announces the appointment of Srikanth Balachandran as Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
Srikanth joins from Bharti Global, where he was CFO since Oct 2018 and prior to that, was CFO of Bharti Airtel for seven years. Under his financial stewardship, Airtel engaged in some intense M&A, grew its customer base five-fold to become the world's No.3 mobile operator in subscriber numbers and expanded its operations to 18 countries. He was closely associated with Airtel's successful launch and scaling up of the Satellite TV business in India and the rapid expansion of Airtel's Global Business across the globe.
An award-winning senior executive, Srikanth was judged the Best Telecom CFO in 2014 by CNBC TV18. He also held the role of Chief Human Resources Officer for 3 years at Airtel, driving a transformational people agenda impacting 20,000 employees. Airtel was among the 20 'Best Companies to Work For' in the Business Today surveys in 2016 and 2018.
Comments Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb: "Having had the opportunity to work with Srikanth in his most recent role as CFO of Bharti Global, the team at OneWeb has seen first-hand the wealth of experience and expertise he will bring to his new position at OneWeb. He will assume responsibility for helping us deliver our ambitious business plan, securing additional funding and establishing high standards of governance."
Srikanth Balachandran started his career as a management trainee at Unilever, where he spent 23 years across leadership roles in Finance, Supply Chain and HR in India and UK. He is a Chartered Accountant of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a Commerce graduate from the University of Madras.
Adds Srikanth Balachandran: "OneWeb has an unparalleled opportunity to create value for communities, businesses and governments. Our plans to create a telecoms network in space will be game-changing and will help realise OneWeb's vision of 'internet access everywhere, for everyone'.
"OneWeb has fantastic support from our new investors in terms of funding, market access and customer reach. We will invest responsibly for customer experience and profitable growth. I am truly privileged to be part of this exciting journey."