Bhatia, Virat

As Chairman of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Communications & Digital Economy Committee, Mr. Bhatia currently leads the combined advocacy and policy reform efforts of nearly 150 members - representing mobile operators, domestic and long distance providers, ISPs, internet companies, social media, infrastructure providers, mobile device manufacturers, consultants, legal experts and related stakeholders in India’s ICT space. FICCI, India’s largest apex business organization, is regarded as the voice of Indian business and industry, with international linkages with over 200 industry chambers globally.  

Mr. Bhatia also serves as President, IEA, for AT&T in South Asia. He has responsibility for supporting all of AT&T’s businesses, corporate development activities, new investments and business strategies. He has been involved with India’s digital economy sector since 1994. During this period he has been engaged with efforts to build out India’s first mobile (1995) and internet (1999) infrastructure, which currently serves 850 million mobile subscribers, nearly 205 million internet users, of which 100 million are active on social media. He has been associated with the evolution of three National Telecom Policies - 1994, 1999 and 2012 – as well as India’s communication’s legislation - the TRAI Act 1997.

His main area of work remains public policy, economic and regulatory reforms, with a special focus on Access & Diversity, Emerging Issues, Multistakeholderism, Enhanced Cooperation and Cyber Security. He currently represents the private sector, as one of the 5 members, on the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UN-CSTD), Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation (WGEC).  In 2014 he was appointed to the IGF MAG. In 2012, he represented the private sector at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), hosted by ITU, in Dubai. He also serves as a member of the India MAG, and on several joint working groups involving the government and private sector in India, and co-authored the Guidelines for Protection of National Critical Information Infrastructure, released by the India NSA in 2013. He has attended all IGFs on site or as a remote contributor since 2008. He has been instrumental in hosting several successful international Internet Governance, Cyber Security and Digital Economy conferences and dialogues with government, think-tanks and multistakeholder groups in India. 

A frequent speaker at national and global ICT events, Mr. Bhatia is an alumnus of J F Kennedy School, Harvard University, USA. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Business Administration and has received Advanced Executive education at The Wharton Business School, Pennsylvania, and Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Chicago.