In a new turn of events, Vodafone Idea CEO, Balesh Sharma has stepped down from his position, citing personal reasons. Balesh Sharma has been the CEO of Vodafone Idea Limited ever since the merger of Vodafone and Idea Cellular was complete and his decision comes at a time when the telco is struggling to compete with Reliance Jio in the market. In a press statement, Vodafone Idea said that the Board of the company has accepted Balesh Sharma’s request to step down as the CEO and it also announced the appointment of Ravinder Takkar as the new CEO of the merged entity. It’s also confirmed that Sharma will be taking up a new role with Vodafone Group which will be announced in a few days.
Ravinder Takkar Announced as the New CEO of Vodafone Idea Limited
In the same press release, the company has confirmed the appointment of Ravinder Takkar as the new CEO of Vodafone Idea Limited with immediate effect. Ravinder is an experienced global executive and a current Board member of Vodafone Group Interests in India. Previously, Ravinder was the CEO of Vodafone Romania for three years and CEO of Vodafone Partner Markets in London, the company has said.
“He has been with Vodafone Group since 1994 and brings a wealth of experience in the telecom industry having worked in several leadership positions across Vodafone’s operating companies over the last 25 years,” said Vodafone Idea in the press statement issued a few moments ago.
Furthermore, Ravinder has been involved in the Indian telecom industry since 2007 when Vodafone Group entered the Indian market. He has held a number of senior roles in Strategy and Business Development and he was also the CEO of Vodafone Enterprise business.
Talking about Balesh Sharma, he has been the CEO of Vodafone Idea ever since the completion of the merger. To recall, Balesh was the CEO of Vodafone India, and after the merger, he was announced as the first CEO of the merged entity.
Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Idea Limited, said, “I would like to thank Balesh for his leadership and the successful integration of the two businesses. Under Balesh’s stewardship, Vodafone Idea has realised a significant proportion of the synergies in a much shorter timescale than originally estimated. I wish him every success in his next role. I am pleased to welcome Ravinder Takkar as our new MD & CEO. Ravinder is well versed with the Vodafone Idea business context and I am confident that he will successfully steer the company through the next phase of development and help unlock its full potential.”
Vodafone Idea Struggling to Make a Mark in the Industry
Vodafone Idea merger was proposed back in March 2017, but the merged entity became operational from August 31, 2018. Vodafone Idea Limited started operations with over 430 million subscribers, and in a matter of three quarters, the subscriber base of the company came down by a massive 110 million to around 320 million. Not only in terms of subscriber base, but Vodafone Idea also did not make any major move in the industry to make the subscribers happy, which had hurt the telco badly.
It’s also expected that Vodafone Idea’ subscriber base will go even down going forward and it will be interesting to see how the telco plans to tackle this issue.