Nominations for the  2019 Scholarship Programme are open  – NOMINATE NOW

Rahul Patel, General ManagerMarketing – Smile Communications

Rahul is currently General Manager, Marketing at Smile Communications. Smile delivers affordable, high-quality and easy-to-use broadband internet access and communications services to its customers across Africa. Rahul is responsible for all aspects of Marketing including consumer research & insight, strategy development, branding, advertising, CRM, digital & social media, and product development.

Rahul has over 15 years of commercial experience working across Telecoms, FMCG, Financial Services, Retail, Loyalty, Travel and Education sectors. He is adept at fostering strong international relationships having worked across Europe, North America, Africa and Asia Pacific regions. He has a reputation for delivering change and new propositions to market as it has been a recurring theme throughout his career.

Prior to joining Smile, Rahul was Head of Marketing at Avios, who operate travel and leisure reward programmes and collection opportunities in markets around the world including UK, Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. He was responsible for growing Avios brand globally, working collaboratively with airlines and partners such as American Express, Lloyds, Tesco, Shell and many more. He led the development and launch of Avios, a new shared travel reward currency for British Airways, Iberia and all future IAG-owned airlines. Leading to Avios winning Best Loyalty Programme of the Year Pan-EMEA 2013.

Prior to this, Rahul spent 7 years at NestlŽ in sales and marketing roles across the Confectionery, Group Sales, New Business and Nutrition divisions. Highlights included the launch of a new smoothies range, a 12-month secondment at Tesco Head Office and driving growth of brands such as Smarties, Milkybar, Yorkie and Aero.

Rahul is also an alumni of The Marketing Academy, a life-changing scholarship awarded to the rising stars of Marketing, Communications and Advertising industry. Providing unique access to a fantastic network of industry leaders including CEO’s, CMOs, entreprenuers and agency heads.

In 2009, Rahul joined The Mileage Company, the travel reward experts behind BA Miles and Airmiles. He is responsible for the Airmiles brand and advertising strategy and recently completed a secondment to the BA Marketing team. In addition to this, Rahul is also working on a key strategic project resulting from the merger of BA and Iberia.

Prior to this, Rahul spent 7 years at NestlŽ UK in sales and marketing roles across the Confectionery, Group Sales, New Business and Nutrition divisions. Highlights included the launch of a new smoothies range, a 12-month secondment at Tesco Head Office and driving growth of brands such as Smarties, Milkybar, Yorkie and Aero.

Rahul lives in Surrey with his wife and two sons, aged 2 and 1. When not playing daddy, Rahul enjoys running, cycling and trekking.

Rahul is working with Gwalior Children’s Hospital as part of Donate28.

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