Vodafone Idea CEO Balesh Sharma resigned

Vodafone Idea today announced that its chief executive officer Balesh Sharma has resigned.
Vodafone Idea CEO Balesh SharmaBalesh Sharma, who became the first CEO of Vodafone Idea, the merged entity between Vodafone and Idea Cellular, will be taking up a new role with Vodafone Group.

The resignation is due to personal reasons, Vodafone Idea said in a statement on Monday.

Ravinder Takkar, currently Vodafone Group’s representative in India, will be the new CEO of Vodafone Idea.

Vodafone Idea has lost of its number one position in India in terms of mobile subscribers to Reliance Jio. Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Jio has 340 million subscribers. Reliance Jio is the number second telecom operator in the world.

Balesh Sharma has been the CEO of Vodafone Idea since the completion of the merger, and prior to that was chief operating officer of Vodafone India.
Vodafone Idea CEO Ravinder Takkar

Financial performance

Vodafone Idea’s revenue dropped 4.3 percent quarter-on-quarter to Rs 11,269.9 crore during the June quarter of 2019 as compared with Rs 11,775 crore in January-March 2019 quarter.

Vodafone Idea reported loss of Rs 4,873.9 crore for the June 2019 quarter. The company had registered a loss of Rs 4,881.9 crore in the fourth quarter of 2018-19.

The company’s subscriber base declined to 320 million in the first quarter of this fiscal, from 334.1 million in the fourth quarter of last financial year.

The company said the drop in first-quarter revenue was due to churn of mobile phone users who recharged with service validity vouchers in Q4, as well as Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) down-trading.

Credit rating agency Care has earlier downgraded Vodafone Idea to CARE A with negative outlook on account of weak financial performance.

Crisil, another rating agency, also downgraded credit value of Vodafone Idea.

Vodafone Idea said the downgrade was on account of deterioration in the operational and financial performance of the company during April-June 2019 period though the company was able to realise significant quantum of operational synergies post-merger which is much ahead than the expected timelines.

Ravinder Takkar

Ravinder Takkar is a board member of Vodafone Idea and Indus Towers responsible for all Vodafone Group interests in India since 2017.

Ravinder Takkar was the CEO of Vodafone Romania for three years and CEO of Vodafone Partner Markets in London. Ravinder Takkar has been with Vodafone Group since 1994.

Ravinder Takkar has been involved in the Indian telecom industry since 2007 when Vodafone entered the Indian market. He has held a number of senior roles in Strategy and Business Development and he was CEO of the Enterprise business.