Kumar Mangalam Birla has stepped down as the non-Executive Director and non-Executive Chairman of Vodafone Idea with immediate effect.
Birla, the promoter of the Aditya Birla group, has been spearheading the group’s telecom business since he took over as chairman of the Aditya Birla Group in 1995, at the age of 28. Aditya Birla group has a 27 percent stake in Vi.
Birla, who has a net worth of $14 billion according to Forbes, has recently offered to hand over his stake in Vodafone Idea to India Government in exchange for a bailout package as the company is reeling under a debt of nearly Rs 1.8-lakh crore and a cash balance of Rs 350 crore.
Himanshu Kapania, who is currently a non-Executive Director, will join the board of Vi. Kapania was earlier the Chief Executive Officer of Idea Cellular before it was merged with Vodafone UK’s India business.
Vodafone Group Chief Executive Officer Nick Read said recently that the UK-based company will not add more equity into India.
Vodafone Idea has been trying to raise funds from investors over the last year but has not been able to close a deal due to tough market conditions in India.
Vi informed Bombay Stock Exchange that Sushil Agarwal, a nominee of Aditya Birla Group, will be appointed as an Additional Director (Non – Executive and Non Independent), in addition to Himanshu Kapania.
As of May 31, Vodafone Idea had 277.6 million wireless subscribers, a distant third to rivals Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, with 431.2 million and 348.3 million, respectively, data from India’s telecoms regulator TRAI showed.