|History and Biodata
Karim Khoja, CEO,
Roshan Telecommunications, Kabul, Afghanistan,
Karim Khoja, Roshan’s CEO, is a South African-born (1958), British-educated Afghan. He helped set up Roshan in 2002, just months after the Taliban government was deposed by Western forces.
Khoja has served in senior management positions in national and multi-national telecommunications companies for over fifteen years. He has extensive experience in nurturing start-up businesses from infancy through development, and has led several GSM start-up companies into becoming major market players as President and CEO, including being the founding CEO of Mobilink (Pakistan), Director of Marketing, Strategy and Sales for ERA GSM, Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Board for CROATIAN Telecommunication HT, as well as founding CEO of T MOBILE, Croatia. Mr. Khoja has also been on the board of directors and in senior positions focusing on sales, marketing and strategy for companies such as Exi Wireless Inc, Spectonics Microsystems Ltd., and RAM Mobile Data Ltd.
Khoja's involvement in the telecommunications sector in Afghanistan began in May 2002 as a volunteer consultant to the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development in an initiative to install the nationwide private communications infrastructure. In January 2003, Khoja was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer for the Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd, t/a Roshan. Under his leadership, Roshan has grown to be Afghanistan's largest mobile provider and today is the largest company in Afghanistan with over 6 million subscribers.
Khoja is also Chairman of the Board of the Afghan Investment Climate Facility AICF and an advisor to the GSMA Development Fund.
Karim Khoja is married to Shainoor Khoja who until 2011/2012 was the managing director of Roshan’s non-profit, community-focused component.
“Roshan” is the brand name for wireless GSM services to be launched in Kabul by Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd. Meaning “light” in Afghanistan’s two most widely spoken languages, Dari and Pashto. The first telephone call, to begin the testing phase of Roshan’s state-of-the-art digital GSM wireless network, was made by Mohhammad Masoom Stanekzai, Afghan Minister of Communications on Thursday, June 26, 2003.
Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Limited (TDCA) is an Afghan company licensed by the government to provide modern mobile telecommunications services across the country. TDCA is owned by an international consortium formed by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), Monaco Telecom International (MTI), US-based MCT Corp. and worldwide telecommunications leader, Alcatel. AKFED holds 51% of the equity in the operating company, MTI 35% and MCT 9%. Alcatel has a 5% equity holding in the company and also provides financing for technical equipment.