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Ashish Malhotra takes over from Prasanta Das Sarma as new Airtel Kenya MD

Airtel Kenya has today announced the appointment of Mr. Ashish Malhotra as its Managing Director. Mr. Malhotra takes over from Mr. Prasanta Das Sarma who is moving to a new role as the Fiber Company CEO for Airtel Africa.

Mr. Prasanta has been the telco’s MD since January 2017 after replacing Adil Youssefi. He was instrumental in leading Airtel Kenya to become the fastest-growing telecom company in Kenya, growing its subscriber base from 5 million to 16 million, a statement from the company says.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Malhotra was the Group Head of Sales and Marketing at Airtel Africa, leading the function in 14 countries where Airtel is operational.

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

At the same time, Airtel’s board has also appointed Mr. Louis Onyango Otieno as Chairman. The new chairman brings over 30 years of extensive leadership experience in ICT across private and public sectors. Mr. Otieno serves as Chairman of Absa Asset Management Limited. He is also an independent non-executive director at Absa Bank Kenya Plc and Nation Media Group Plc.

“We wish to congratulate Mr. Otieno and Mr. Malhotra on their appointment and wish them success in their new roles. We look forward to working with them to take Airtel Kenya to the next level, as we continue delivering innovative and relevant solutions for individuals and businesses in the country,” the Board said in a statement.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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