Touted to become India’s biggest telecom operator, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular merger which was announced a year back, is expected to enter its finale in the next few weeks. Both telecom operators have already secured all the required regulatory approvals for the merger. Post the merger, the new entity will have a new leadership team to command the business.

Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have now proposed its leadership team for the combined business. Experts from both companies are likely to join the new entity. This leadership will only come into effect once the merger between the two telecom operators completes.

Vodafone confirms Merger talks with Idea Cellular

Mr Kumar Mangalam Birla will be the Non-Executive Chairman of the merged Company. Balesh Sharma, who is the current Chief Operating Officer of Vodafone India will become the CEO of the new business entity. He will be primarily responsible for the combined business’s strategy and its execution as well as driving integration.

Other members of the Leadership team of Vodafone, Idea Merger
  • Akshaya Moondra, who is currently Chief Financial Officer at Idea will become CFO of the new business entity.
  • Ambrish Jain, who is currently Deputy Managing Director at Idea, will become the COO of the new company. He will be responsible for Circles Operations and Service Delivery.
  • Nick Gliddon, who is currently Director of Vodafone Business Services at Vodafone India, will be responsible for the Enterprise Business.
  • Manish Dawar, who is currently CFO of Vodafone India, will have overall responsibility for integration planning, governance and execution.
  • Sashi Shankar, who is currently Chief Marketing Officer at Idea, will be responsible for Marketing and Brand strategy for the consumer business.
  • Vishant Vora, who is currently Chief Technology Officer of Vodafone India, will have responsibility for networks and overall technology strategy.
  • Prakash Paranjape, who is currently Chief Information Officer at Idea, to be responsible for the company’s IT operations.
  • Suvamoy Roy Choudhury, who currently leads Vodafone India’s Human Resources, to be responsible for the Human Resources function.
  • Kavita Nair, who is currently the Associate Director, Commercial Operations, at Vodafone India, will lead digital transformation across all functions.
  • Navanit Narayan, who is currently Chief Service Delivery Officer at Idea, will be in charge of Strategy.
  • P Balaji, who is currently Vodafone India’s Head of Regulatory, External Affairs and CSR, will be responsible for Corporate and External Affairs.
  • Kumar Das, who is currently Vodafone India’s General Counsel, will lead the legal function.
  • Rajesh Srivastava, currently Chief Commercial Officer at Idea will hold charge of the Procurement Function.
  • Anil Tandon and Rajat Mukherjee, who currently Head of Technology and Head of Corporate Affairs of Idea will be full-time advisers to the merged business in their respective areas of expertise.

Himanshu Kapania (Idea Cellular) and Sunil Sood (Vodafone India) will continue in their current roles until such time as the merger completes. “The commercial, operational and strategic experience of Sunil Sood and Himanshu Kapania are extremely important to both businesses and their support will be invaluable during the initial phase of the integration once the merger completes“.

Sunil Sood will be moving to Vodafone Group AMAP Leadership Team and also help governance through Board memberships. Aditya Birla Group intends to nominate Himanshu Kapania as a non-executive Board member of the merged entity.

Prior to the merger, existing leadership teams of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular will continue to manage their separate businesses. They also are accountable for each company’s operational performance until the merger becomes effective. Once the merger is complete both businesses will stop competing or “will cease to operate as distinct and competing entities“.

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