Airtel Africa Appoints Ian Ferrao, Regional Director East Africa Region

Ian Ferrao

Airtel Africa, a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 14 countries across Africa, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ian Ferrao as Regional Director of its East Africa business and George Mathen as Managing Director for Airtel Tanzania PLC. The appointment will take effect on the 1st of October, 2019.


Ian Ferrao has more than 12 years of experience in senior management telecommunications roles in Africa. Prior to joining Airtel Africa, he was the CEO of Vodacom Tanzania PLC, the CEO of Vodacom Lesotho and Chief Commercial Officer at Vodacom Business Africa. He holds a First Class Honours Degree in BSc Management Sciences from the Warwick Business School.

While Mr. Mathen has more than 20 years’ of experience in senior management roles, with experience in the telecommunications and FMCG sectors. Prior to joining Airtel Africa, he was CEO – Homes, at Bharti Airtel In India where he designed and implemented the Airtel Home strategy. Prior to taking up the role, he has also been the CEO of various circles within the India business.

Before joining Bharti Airtel, George also spent ten years’ in Coca-Cola India in several capacities including Area General Manager and Sales Manager across various regions. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and has done his Masters in Business Administration.

George Mathen

Commenting on the appointments, Raghunath Mandava, Airtel Africa’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are excited to welcome Ian as Regional Director for East Africa, which includes Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda. He brings a wealth of relevant telecommunications and mobile money experience within the region and will be an asset to the business.

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He will be part of the Africa Executive Committee based in Nairobi and will focus on driving growth across voice, data and mobile money in East Africa. ”Also remarking on George Mathen appointment “We are excited to welcome George as Managing Director for Airtel Tanzania PLC. He will be responsible for the profitable growth of the business and help Airtel be the preferred telecom brand to bridge the digital divide and preferred partner to grow financial inclusion.

I would also wish to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Sunil Colaso, the outgoing Managing Director, leaving after 13 years’ of dedicated service to Airtel, including the last 6 years’ as Managing Director for Airtel Tanzania PLC. We wish him the very best as he starts a new chapter in his life.”

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