Vodafone Rejigs Commercial Team Ahead of Proposed Merger with Idea
Co said to have given meaty roles to those it feels must be retained after deal
Mumbai: Vodafone India is restructuring its commercial team, promoting some key people and changing the reporting structure, ahead of its proposed merger with Idea Cellular. “The objective is to give meaty roles to those Vodafone believes are people that must be retained (after Idea merger),” said a person close to the developments. “People have also been given promotions, keeping in mind their Idea counterparts.”
The country’s second-largest mobile operator has not found a replacement for former chief commercial officer Sandeep Kataria, who has joined Bata India as chief executive. Instead, it has promoted some team members who will now report directly to chief operating officer Balesh Sharma. Kavita Nair, who was executive vice president for retail and digital, now takes charge as associate director, commercial operations, handling customer service, retail, and digital for the company.
Her peer Aveensh Khosla takes charge as associate director, consumer business, handling voice, data and value-added services such as content aggregation. Both will now report directly to Sharma.
Siddharth Banerjee, executive vice-president brand and marketing, continues to handle the same portfolio, but will report directly to the COO. Vodafone declined comment. Arvind Nevatia, who was also part of Kataria’s team, he is being sent as Vodafone’s business head of Punjab circle.
This is the second time that Vodafone India has changed its reporting structure this year. In February, the company had inducted Sharma as its
chief operating officer and, among other changes, brought the role of chief commercial officer, who until then reported directly to the chief executive, under the COO.
Vodafone India is in the process of finalising a mega merger with Idea Cellular, which would create the country’s largest telecom operator in terms of subscription.
ET had earlier reported that mergers in telecom would result in nearly 25,000 jobs becoming redundant. A person familiar with the company said Vodafone is keen to retain high performers and has hence rewarded key people disproportionately this year to “keep the company shipshape until the merger and to retain proven talent”.
Vodafone India’s senior management team, who had been with the group for nearly a decade since it entered India, has seen unprecedented shuffle this year.
“Partly it is the need of the hour,” said the person quoted earlier. The company halted network growth and investments with approvals for the merger coming in much faster than anticipated, the person said.
In February this year, the company had inducted Sharma as its COO among other changes