KENYA – Airtel Networks Kenya Limited, a telecommunications services provider, has announced the appointment of Mr. Louis Onyango Otieno as Chairman and Mr. Ashish Malhotra as Managing Director, to steer the firm’s next phase of growth.

Ashish Malhotra as Managing Director, was previously the Group Head of Sales and Marketing at Airtel Africa, leading the function in 14 countries where Airtel is operational.

In this role, he was instrumental in doubling revenues, streamlining pricing principles and building strong unique selling propositions across the countries.

He holds an MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (SIMS), India and a Bachelor of Commerce from Sri Ram College of Commerce, India.

He takes over from Mr. Prasanta Das Sarma, who has held the position since January 2017, and was instrumental in leading Airtel Kenya to become the fastest growing telecom company in Kenya, growing subscriber base from 5 million to 16 million. Mr. Das Sarma is moving to a new role as the Fiber Company CEO for Airtel Africa.

The firm has also appointed Louis Onyango Otieno as Chairman. He brings over 30 years of extensive leadership experience in ICT across private and public sectors, with a proven track record as a board member in companies across industries.

He began his career at EEC Financial Services in New York, rising to the position of Assistant Vice President. He later joined Microsoft Corporation in 1997, leading the business in Africa in different capacities for 21 years.

Otieno holds an MBA from Long Island University, Brooklyn in New York and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry in New York, he serves as Chairman of Absa Asset Management Limited and is also an independent non-executive director at Absa Bank Kenya Plc and Nation Media Group Plc.

Airtel Africa launches SmartCash PSB

Airtel Africa has officially launched its wholly-owned subsidiary SmartCash Payment Service Bank (SmartCash PSB) to deliver secure and dependable financial services throughout Nigeria.

In addition to other banking services, it accepts deposits from individuals and small businesses, processes payments and remittances inside Nigeria, and issues debit and prepaid cards.

SmartCash PSB also permits international person-to-person payments and transfers. Currently, the service is accessible at specific retail touchpoints.

In an effort to expedite financial inclusion for all Nigerians, plans are in place to expand the innovative, technology-driven services to all regions of the country, including the most distant.

The debut comes after the Central Bank of Nigeria granted a licence. SmartCash already aims to reach the 36.8 percent of Nigerian adults who are unbanked, according to the Access to Financial Services in Nigeria study.

“Through SmartCash Payment Services Bank, we aim to bridge the financial divide by providing rural and urban Nigerians access to innovative, highly secured and reliable banking services that is powered by technology and is relevant to their needs,” Muyiwa Ebitanmi, the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of SmartCash Payment Service Bank, said.

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