PepsiCo veteran replaces Manoj Kohli as MD, Bharti Enterprises


Manoj Kohli

Bharti Enterprises — parent of Bharti Airtel, appointed PespsiCo veteran Rahul Bhatnagar as Managing Director & Chief Financial Officer, and said Manoj Kohli will step down.

Bhatnagar will report to Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises.

Rahul takes over from Manoj Kohli, who has assumed the role of Executive Chairman, SBG Cleantech – a JV between SoftBank, Bharti and Foxconn for renewable energy.

“In his new role, Rahul will build strategic business value proposition for Bharti’s non-telecom businesses. He will be responsible for further strengthening the financial management processes and governance of these businesses and also lead new business development for the group,” the group said.

Bharti Enterprises is present in industries such as telecom, retail, software and insurance. Kohli is a veteran of the group, and was for a long time, head of Bharti Airtel.

Kohli is seen as one of the key persons who built the Bharti group, and many consider him next only to Sunil Mittal in his contributions to the group.

Rahul is a CA from ICAI and an MBA from Wharton. He brings with him over 35 years of rich global experience spread across diverse industries. His experience spans Business Strategy and Execution, Financial Management and Controls, M&A, Taxation, Treasury, Marketing Intelligence and IT.

His last assignment was with PepsiCo, where he worked for over 19 years in various senior level positions across geographies. He was the CFO for the India business (1996 to 2003), CFO – Beverages and Snacks businesses for the APAC Region (2003 to 2009), and most recently he was VP – Business Services & CFO for WorldWide Flavors business for Ireland (2009 to 2015).

Prior to joining PepsiCo, Rahul was CFO for Seagram India (1994 to 1996) and before that he was the Financial Controller for Nestle India. He started his career as a Consultant with AF Ferguson and also worked with Touche Ross Consulting in the US.

Bharti Enterprises is one of India’s leading business groups with interests in telecom, agri business, financial services, retail and manufacturing.

Bharti Airtel Limited, the group’s flagship company, is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. The Company ranks amongst the top third mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers.

Other business ventures of the group include Bharti SoftBank – a JV between Bharti Enterprises and SoftBank Corp. for mobile internet.

Beetel Teletech – a JV between Bharti Enterprises and US based Brightstar, is India’s leading manufacturer and distributor of telecom and allied products. The group has a JV – FieldFresh Foods – with Del Monte Pacific Ltd, to offer fresh and processed fruits and vegetables in the domestic as well as international markets.

Bharti has JVs with AXA, world leader in financial protection and wealth management, for Life Insurance and General Insurance. The group has presence in the retail sector through Bharti Retail which operates multi brand retail stores in various formats under the ‘easyday’ brand.