Manoj Kohli, Country Head at SoftBank Group International

Manoj Kohli, Country Head at SoftBank Group International

Manoj Kohli is the Country Head – SoftBank India, SoftBank Group International and is supporting over 20 portfolio companies of SoftBank Group and SoftBank Vision Fund such as OLA, OYO, Paytm, Lenskart, Grofers, Snapdeal, WeWork, Katerra etc in India. He is responsible for addressing government, regulatory and public policy issues which help these companies to achieve their full business potential.

Earlier since 2015, Manoj Kohli was the Executive Chairman of the SB Energy – SoftBank Group, which plans to develop 20GW renewable energy projects in India and is already developing over 5GW of solar and wind projects in the pipeline. Previously Manoj was also the CEO and Managing Director of Bharti Airtel and his key contribution being building Airtel as no 3 telco in the world from 2m to over 400m customers. He led Bharti Airtel’s India operations for 100x scale-up before moving to International responsibility for 20 countries and was also responsible for leading the Africa operations which Bharti Airtel acquired in June 2010. Manoj was the Chairman of the Industry Association, COAI which deals with Government resolving all regulatory policy matters. Manoj started his career in 1979 with the DCM Shriram Group, where he initially led the HR function, followed by leadership positions in the Foods, Chemicals and Fertilizer businesses and assignments in Engineering projects, including Shriram Honda. He left as Vice President, responsible for the Air Conditioning & Refrigeration business unit of Tecumseh after a stint of 15 years. 

He subsequently worked for AlliedSignal / Honeywell as its Executive Director in charge of its new Industrial Park and operations in India and China. Manoj then joined Escotel, which he led for over 5 years as Executive Director and CEO, before coming on board at Bharti Airtel. Overall his 41 years of work experience is divided between the manufacturing, telecom and RE sectors. Manoj has worked in US, Europe, China, Japan and build business in 20 countries in Asia and Africa. Manoj was the Chairman, Public Policy Committee of GSM Association (GSMA). In the past, he was a Board Member of GSMA in 2008 and reappointed to the GSMA Board in 2012. Manoj is also associated  with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as Chairman of National Task Force for EVs & storage batteries. Prior to this he has held the post of Chairman – Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) National Committee on Telecom & Broadband. He was adjudged “Telecom Man of the Year” in 2000 by Media Transasia and “Telecom Person of the Year” in 2004 & “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2020 by Voice & Data.

He is a member of the Academic Council of the Faculty of Management Studies and has been awarded the “Best Alumni Award” by Shriram College of Commerce, Delhi University. Manoj is also the distinguished fellow of Asia Society Australia to build long term trade and commerce partnership of both countries. Manoj holds degrees in Commerce, Law and MBA from Delhi University. Manoj also attended the “Executive Business Program” at the Michigan Business School and the “Advanced Management Program” at the Wharton Business School