Sunil Bharti Mittal will be the GSMA’s first Indian chair, as the organisation’s board elected new members for the two year period from January 2017 to December 2018.

Mittal, founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises, said he wanted to “address the critical issues” facing the mobile industry, and is “excited to support the ongoing mobile broadband revolution in India to boost the Government’s Digital India Program and its vision of broadband access for all.”

As GSMA chair, Mittal will oversee the strategic direction of the organisation, which represents around 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as some 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem.

GSMA’s current chair, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, will step down from the board at the end of the year while Mari-Noelle Jego-Laveissiere, executive VP – Innovation at Orange Group, was re-elected as deputy chair.

Mittal took over as chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce early this year. He also serves on the boards and councils of international bodies and think tanks like the World Economic Forum and the Telecom Board of International Telecommunication Union.

Bharti Airtel was the host of the inaugural GSMA Mobile 360 – India event in New Delhi this week where Mittal led the GSMA Board delegation at a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He also spoke at a keynote about the government’s plan to formulate a clear spectrum roadmap.

The GSMA Board has 26 members, including 25 operator representatives. Some of the members include Wolfgang Kopf, senior vice president, public and regulatory affairs at Deutsche Telekom, Kazuhiro Yoshizawa, president and CEO, NTT DoCoMo and Phuthuma Nhleko, chairman and acting CEO at MTN Group.

The GSMA’s director general, Mats Granryd, also serves on the board.