Vodafone Idea Ltd, India’s largest telecom service provider, is born ‘A formidable company of international repute, scale and standards’

image-Vodafone-Idea-Limited-India's-Largest-Telecom-Services-Provider-Created-MediaBrief-1With the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, India now has its largest telecom service provider – Vodafone Idea Limited. With more than 408 million subscribers and a Network reach to 92% of the population plus enhanced coverage across 500,000 towns and villages, the birth of Vodafone Idea Limited is, as Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman – Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Idea Limited, described it, “truly a historic moment.”

Kumar Mangalam Birla

“Today,” Birla said, “we have created India’s leading telecom operator. It is truly a  historic  moment. And this is much more than just about creating a large business. It is about our Vision of empowering and enabling a New India and meeting the aspirations of the youth of our country. The ‘Digital India’, as our Honourable Prime Minister describes it, is a monumental nation-building opportunity. As Vodafone Idea, we are partnering in this initiative by building a formidable company of international repute, scale and standards.”

“Vodafone Idea will accelerate India’s progression towards a digital economy, enabling millions of citizens to connect to the digital revolution and build a better tomorrow. We will continue to offer a wide variety of digital services and solutions under both of our popular and loved brands (Vodafone and Idea),” Birla said, adding, “Services – including Voice, Data, Mobile payments, IoT, advanced enterprise offerings and entertainment – will all be conveniently accessible via digital channels and extensive on-ground presence of 15,000 branded stores and 1.7 million retail touchpoints across the country.”

Birla is Chairman of the new Board of Directors that has been constituted comprising 12 Directors — including 6 Independent Directors. The Board has appointed   Balesh Sharma as  CEO.

Balesh Sharma

Balesh Sharma, CEO, Vodafone Idea Limited, said, “As India’s leading telecom operator with two popular and loved brands, the company has the scale and resources to ensure sustainable customer choice and introduce new technologies. We are committed to offer both, our retail and enterprise customers, an excellent experience while fulfilling their evolving digital and connectivity needs via new products, services and solutions. We will offer them more network coverage, more value and more excitement.”

Both Vodafone and Idea brands, which have strong consumer affinity across metro, urban, rural and deep interior markets, will continue to operate.

The merger has changed the industry rankings. Vodafone Idea Ltd has dislodged Bharti Airtel from the top spot in ranking, revenue share, and subscribers. By FY 19, VIL is likely to touch a 43% revenue share in the market as against Bharti Airtel’s 33%. Importantly, the merged resources and strengths of Vodafone and Idea will now be able to face up to and challenge Jio’s ability to continue the aggressive onslaught it has persisted with for some time now. The telecom playing field will receive the levelling it has missed of late, and which should be to the advantage of both, the sector and consumers.

VIL, now the nation’s single largest telecom services provider, has  a pan-India Revenue Market Share  (AGR) of 32.2%  and a #1 position in 9 circles, plus a growing broadband network (3G+4G) with over 340,000 broadband sites  covering 840 million Indians. It has a large spectrum portfolio of 1850 MHz and an adequate number of broadband carriers to provide superior consumer experience across 2G, 3G and 4G platforms.

Vodafone Idea Limited’s arrival as India’s biggest telecom services provider gives broadcasters and content owners a powerful and viable alternative to Jio for their OTT platforms and to reach connected TVs across the country.  It will be recalled that as recently as around the 9th of August, the Subhash Chandra-promoted Zee Entertainment Enterprises had taken off more than 200000 hours of VoD content, along with 35 live TV channels from Relilance Jio after being unable to agree on price. They signed with Airtel some 10 days later. And here, just another 10 days after that event, is India’s biggest telecom services provider – VIL.
Vodafone Idea Limited’s arrival as India’s biggest telecom services provider gives broadcasters and content owners a powerful and viable alternative to Jio for their OTT platforms and to reach connected TVs across the country.  

VIL has the largest voice network with over 200,000 unique GSM sites to cover over 1.2 billion Indians — 92% population coverage. It also has the widest distribution reach with over 1.7 million retailers and 15,000 branded stores to service customers.

Vodafone India Ltd – financial highlights

The merger is expected to generate Rs. 140 billion annual synergy, including opex synergies of Rs 84 billion, equivalent to a net present value of approximately Rs. 700 billion.

The equity infusion of Rs 67.5 billion at Idea and Rs 86 billion at Vodafone coupled with monetization of  standalone towers of both companies for an enterprise value of Rs 78.5 billion, provides the company a strong cash balance of over Rs 193 billion post payout of Rs 39 billion to the DoT.

Additionally, the Company has an option to monetise an 11.15% stake in Indus, which would equate to a cash consideration of Rs. 51 billion.

As on 30  June 2018, net debt was INR 1092 billion6.

Kumar Mangalam Birla Chairman
Debnarayan Bhattacharya Non-Executive Director
Himanshu Kapania Non-Executive Director
Ravinder Takkar Non-Executive Director
Thomas Reisten Non-Executive Director
Vivek Badrinath Non-Executive Director
Arun Kumar Adhikari Independent Director
Arun Thiagarajan Independent Director
Ashwani Windlass Independent Director
Doug Baillie Independent Director
Tarjani Vakil Independent Director
Uday Khanna Independent Director


Balesh Sharma Chief Executive Officer
Akshaya Moondra Chief Financial Officer
Ambrish Jain Chief Operations Officer
Nick Gliddon Chief Enterprise Business Officer
Manish Dawar Chief Integration Officer
Sashi Shankar Chief Marketing Officer
Vishant Vora Chief Technology Officer
Suvamoy Roy Choudhury Chief Human Resource Officer
Kavita Nair Chief Digital Transformation Officer
Navanit Narayan Chief Strategy Officer
P Balaji Chief Regulatory & Corporate Affairs Officer
Kumar Das Chief Legal Officer
Rajesh Srivastava Chief Commercial Officer



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