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

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Deepali.Gupta @times­group.com

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

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