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Vodafone, Idea Name Circle Heads for Merged Entity

Vodafone India Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd have announced appointment of nine executives each from their teams as circle heads for the merged entity, which is proposed to operate as Vodafone Idea Ltd, a person aware of the development said.

The announcement is learnt to have been made by Kumar Mangalam Birla, the non-executive chairman of entity resulting from the Vodafone-Idea merger, in an internal communication to employees.

From Idea, Rajendra Chaurasia will head Maharashtra and Goa circle, Sunil Tolani Mumbai, Sanjay David Odisha and Puneet Krishnan will be incharge of the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana circle, said the person quoted above.

The Kerala circle will be led by M.D. Prasad, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh by Rajesh Naik, Bihar and Jharkhand by Monishi Ghosh. Sudhir Pradhan will lead Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh while Sanjeev Govil will take charge of the Haryana circle.

Vodafone India’s Arvinder Singh is proposed to take charge of Delhi circle, Abhijeet Kishore Gujarat, Murali S. for Tamil Nadu and Chennai, Arvind Nevatia for Karnataka, Shivan Bhargava for Kolkata and rest of Bengal, Nidhi Lauria for Assam and North East, and Amit Bedi will continue as Rajasthan head.

Vodafone’s Nipun Sharma is proposed to take charge of UP East and Ashish Chandra of UP West.

Email query sent to Idea and Vodafone remained unanswered till the time of publishing this article.

According to the person quoted above, the designate circle business leaders will coordinate with the chief operating officer designate and the circle head designates to plan appropriately the details and timing of their induction in the circles.

On Monday, the telecom department approved raising the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in Idea Cellular to 100%, putting its merger deal with Vodafone on the fast-track for regulatory clearance.

Vodafone will own 45.1% in the proposed Vodafone Idea, while Aditya Birla Group and Idea shareholders will hold 26% and 28.9%, respectively.

Once the Vodafone-Idea merger is completed, the resulting entity will become the largest telecom operator in the country with around 430 million subscribers.

Both the companies have already announced the top leadership team that will run the merged entity. Kumar Mangalam Birla is the non-executive chairman and Balesh Sharma will be the new chief executive officer. Idea Cellular’s CFO Akshaya Moondra will head the financial operations of the new entity. Ambrish Jain (currently the deputy managing director at Idea Cellular) is set to become the new chief operating officer.

The Aditya Birla Group intends to nominate Himanshu Kapania (currently Idea Cellular MD) as non-executive board member of the merged entity with a significant assignment in the group, post merger. Vodafone India CEO Sunil Sood will join the Vodafone Group AMAP (Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific) Leadership team and also help governance through board memberships.

Manish Dawar, who was recently roped in as the chief financial officer of Vodafone India, will get the overall responsibility for integration planning, governance and execution at the merged entity. – Live Mint

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