Adani Airports appoints Ericsson veteran Arun Bansal as CEO in new management overhaul

Mumbai | New Delhi: Adani Airport Holdings has again overhauled its senior management, appointing Ericsson veteran Arun Bansal as its chief executive, several people familiar with the matter said.

Bansal, who spent 25 years with the Swedish telecommunications network company, was most recently its president for Europe and Latin America.

“The appointment will help strengthen the company’s digital transformation and growth agenda,” Adani Group Chief Human Resources Officer Vikram Tandon wrote in an internal memo, a copy of which ET has seen. “The goal is to improve the customer experience and provide new opportunities for growth and collaboration,” he said.

Bansal will be based in Ahmedabad and will report to longtime Adani Group veteran Malay Mahadevia, who is the airport company’s operations director.

Agencies

The Adani group has been reorganizing the general management of its airport activity for more than a year. In April, the company appointed Harshad Jain, former CEO of HT Media-owned Next Media Works, as CEO of Adani Airports’ non-aviation segment, replacing Ben Zandi.

Zandi, former CEO of Fraport, was appointed CEO of Adani Airports in January 2020. Prior to Zandi, there had been several high profile exits. Zandi has been appointed CEO of Adani Airports Aviation Business. In July 2021, the company said that RK Jain, a veteran of GVK Group, the former owner of Mumbai Airport, would replace Zandi as CEO of the aviation segment. Zandi was named CEO of non-aero before being replaced by Harshad Jain in April. Zandi has now resigned. RK Jain continues to lead the aerospace business.

Aero and non-aeronautical are two sources of revenue for an airport operator. The first includes revenues from airlines and air passengers. The other segment includes airport retail and real estate in and around the airport.

Adani Airports owns 74% of Mumbai International Airport Ltd and operates six other airports. Each of these airports is headed by an airport manager and these positions have also changed. Earlier this year, Hitarth Mankodi, formerly of Bahrain Airport Company, replaced BG Gandhi as director of Ahmedabad Airport. Gandhi, previously chief operating officer of Adani Port in Krishnapatnam, ran Ahmedabad Airport for just over a year.

Vishnu Jha, earlier at Mumbai Airport in the days of GVK, served as Jaipur Airport Manager for one year and three months, according to his LinkedIn profile. Nirav Shah, previously with another Adani Group company, MPSEZ, joined Mangaluru Airport in June 2021, according to LinkedIn. Prabhat Mahapatra, Thiruvananthapuram Airport Manager, left Mumbai Airport in August 2021. According to his LinkedIn profile, he is Co-President, Operations and Head of Operations Center of Excellence at AAHL. Balvir Singh joined Lucknow Airport in February this year. Utpal Baruah, former chief operating officer of Kannur International Airport, has been at the helm of Guwahati Airport since 2019.

Adani airports account for 25% of airport traffic and 40% of air cargo in India.

Prakash Tulsiani, former CEO of Allcargo, runs Mumbai Airport. The Rs 18,000 crore Navi Mumbai Airport, for which the company won the tender, is managed by BVJK Sharma, who previously worked for JSW Infra.

Bansal comes at a time when demand for air travel is increasing and the company is gradually ignoring the woes of the pandemic.

President Gautam Adani wants to quickly digitize his airport business and make it a connector for his business empire which covers electricity, ports, green energy, agricultural products, telecommunications and logistics.

In a speech, Adani had referred to “airports as the nucleus around which we can catalyze real estate and entertainment facilities, e-commerce and logistics capabilities, time-sensitive industrial ecosystems, aviation-related activities and put in place other innovative business concepts – many of which will be made possible by integrating digitalization into all aspects of business and our daily lives. »

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