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Lava Mobiles Reorganises Its Board

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Indian smartphone manufacturer Lava International restructured its bard of directors following the co-founder’s resignation. 

Lava International, one of the domestic smartphone makers, rearranged its board of directors last week. This followed after Hari Om Rai, the co-founder stepped down from the board. Two independent directors were appointed and two executives were elevated to the position. 

The indigenous smartphone brand has promoted Sanjeev Agarwal, its chief manufacturing officer, to a board member role. Additionally, Sunil Raina, the executive director, who was appointed as a whole-time director in November last year, has been approved by the board in February. It has named Anupam Srivastava, the former chairman and managing director of BSNL, and Ajay Kumar Singh, the former lieutenant governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Puducherry, as independent directors. The other board members include co-founders Shailendra Nath Rai, Sunil Bhalla, and Vishal Sehgal, resuming from earlier.

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In October 2023, Hari Om Rai was arrested by the ED on the charges of being involved in an Enforcement Directorate money laundering case against the Chinese company Vivo. He had been granted interim bail by the Delhi High Court earlier this year. However, recently an alleged fraudulent medical report at AIIMS has sent him to judicial custody. The extension of his medical bail has been refused, leading to fresh charges.  

Lava has faced business upheavals following Rai’s arrest. After the recast of its board, the country’s only surviving domestic smartphone brand aims to raise 50-60 million INR through private investments in the next fiscal. 

The company’s officials are confident that Rai’s arrest will not affect the fundraising plan. Sunil Raina has told the Times of India that currently they are focusing on the expansion of its smartphone segment, while feature phones continue to remain as their main area in terms of quantity. As a beneficiary of the governments PLI scheme, the company at present has the capacity of manufacturing 42 million units, and the Board plans on making use of it as well. Lava aims to combat Chinese smartphone brands dominating the Indian market with the fund, betting on the successful adoption of 5G in India. 

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