Vodafone Idea merger completed, board constituted

Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have completed the merger of their operations in India, creating India’s largest telecom network with over 3.4 lakh 3G and 4G cell sites.

In comparison, Bharti Airtel has around 3.2 lakh wireless broadband cell sites and Reliance Jio has an estimated 2.5 lakh 4G base station.

In terms of subscribers too, Vodafone Idea leads with 408 mln subscribers, nearly twice that of Reliance Jio and higher than the 363 mln that Bharti Airtel has.

The company said it will continue to launch products under both its brands.

Vodafone Group has appointed three nominees to the 12-member board of directors of the merged company.

These are Ravinder Takkar, Vivek Badrinath and Thomas Reisten.

Ravinder Takkar has an overall work experience of 26 plus years, of which more than 22 years are with Vodafone. He is the chairman of Vodafone Group Services.

Vivek Badrinath is the CEO of Vodafone’s AMAP operations and oversees Vodafone’s operations in the Vodacom Group, India, Australia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, New Zealand and Turkey.

He was previously Deputy Chief Executive with Orange. Between 2000 and 2004 he ran the Indian operations of Thomson. He was a Board member of Nokia between 2014 and 2016.

Thomas Reisten is a member of the finance leadership team with Vodafone Group Plc, UK.

He has been appointed as Regional Finance Director for the AMAP region responsible for Africa, Middle East, Asia and Pacific.

He joined Vodafone in 1998 and has worked as CFO of Vodafone India and Vodafone Ireland.

Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla will continue as chairman and non-executive director of the merged entity.

Idea CFO Akshaya Moondra will be the Chief Financial Officer.

Two existing independent directors, Arun Thiagarajan and Tarjani Vakil will in the new company.

Himanshu Kapania, the CEO of Idea Cellular, will serve as non-executive director nominated by the Aditya Birla group.