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NRI, Arun Sarin


NRI entrepreneur and Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin appointed
as a member of the Business Council for UK

London, June 30, 2007
Darshan Kaur

NRI, Arun Sarin, chief executive officer of Britain's Vodafone has been appointed as a member of the Business Council for Britain by Prime Minister Gordon Brown to advise him on issues that affect enterprise, business and competitiveness of the economy.

Mervyn Davies of the Standard Chartered Bank will chair this Council and will be attended by the Prime Minister and Secretaries of State of the main economic departments.

The purpose of the Council will be policies and priorities,determine the future economic and will have the power to establish Special Commissions to make recommendations for reform

NRI, Arun Sarin, 49, chief executive officer of Britain's Vodafone

Arun Sarin, 49, chief executive officer of Britain's Vodafone, the world's largest wireless company is at the seventh place, while steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, chief of LNM, is listed as 15th among Europe's Power25 - the most powerful people in business, according to the latest issue of Forbes .

Vodafone last year generated 15 billion dollars in free cash flow, although it recorded a net loss for the year of 15.3 billion dollars, on revenue of 56.8 billion dollars, the magazine said.

"CEO for just a year, Sarin spent the first part of his career in Silicon Valley at Airtouch, InfoSpace, and former Baby Bell Pacific Telesis Group. He is part of an Indian diaspora that is rising to lead banks and tech companies in Europe and the US. But Sarin has the major challenge of bringing life to long-awaited 3G broadband service for mobile phones," the magazine said.

Arun Sarin was a director of AirTouch from July 1995 and was President and Chief Operating Officer from February 1997 to June 1999. He was Chief Executive Officer for the United States and Asia Pacific region until 15 April 2000, when he became a nonexecutive director. He was appointed Chief Executive after the AGM on 30 July 2003. Arun Sarin joined Pacific Telesis Group in San Francisco in 1984 and has served in many executive positions in his 20 year career in telecommunications. He has also served as a director of The Gap, Inc., The Charles Schwab Corporation and Cisco Systems, Inc.

Vodafone is a company driven by vision, values and goals. We aspire to be a great company – and central to that is being a responsible business.
We already have a clear compass. One of our four values is 'Passion for the world around us' and one of our six strategic goals is to ‘be a responsible business’. Our challenge now is to embed these values in Vodafone's culture at every level.

The business we are in touches people’s lives: our products and services help customers connect with friends, families and colleagues. These connections help build communities, create societies and make countries. With our operations spanning 26 countries, we have a significant impact on society and we must take our responsibility for the world around us seriously.

During my first year at Vodafone I have travelled around the business extensively and have had the chance to interact with several thousand of our employees. In every country there are great examples of how we are living our values.

For example, during a business trip to South Africa I visited Soweto to see how our associate, Vodacom, turned a regulatory requirement into a business model, providing 22,000 phones to under-serviced areas and uplifting communities across the country. Through Vodacom’s Community Service phone kiosks, housed mainly in customised shipping containers, local entrepreneurs were introduced to the mobile telecommunications business. Overnight these locations developed into ‘centres of commerce’ as they attracted other businesses, boosting the local economy by connecting it to untapped commercial opportunities and helping to lift local people out of poverty. This kind of work exemplifies what our business is all about: connecting people and enriching lives.

We are also taking firm action to implement our goal to ‘be a responsible business’, particularly when it comes to earning the trust of our customers and other stakeholders in areas of concern such as mobiles and health, supply chain and access to inappropriate content. For example, during 2003/04 we spent £23 billion with our suppliers, contributing to jobs and wealth creation for a lot of people. But a £23 billion supply chain also carries risks in relation to potential abuse of human rights and labour standards. We are already starting to manage these risks through our Code of Ethical Purchasing, which we are advocating to all our suppliers. We also participate in forums aimed at achieving a common industry method of assessing social and environmental supply chain risks.

These are just a few examples of how our Vodafone team is demonstrating a commitment to business responsibility every day of every year – and there are many more.

As a global leader in mobile telecommunications, it’s important for us to take a lead in setting standards for the way we go about our business. We have come a long way – and we have a long way yet to go – but Vodafone is committed to making a positive difference.

We said, we have, we will

Arun Sarin