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Vodafone Completes Merger With Idea, Creates India’s Largest Mobile Operator

Kumar Mangalam Birla is the chairperson of Vodafone Idea Ltd and Balesh Sharma is the chief executive officer. The combination will have all India revenue market shares of 32.2 percent and take the numero uno slot in nine telecom circles; it said adding that both Vodafone and Idea brands will continue.

Vodafone has completed the merger of its Indian mobile business with local rival Idea Cellular, creating the country’s biggest telecom operator with over 400m customers.

A new board has been constituted for the merged entity “Vodafone Idea Ltd’ with 12 directors (including six independent directors) and Kumar Mangalam Birla as its Chairman. The board has appointed Balesh Sharma as the CEO, the companies said in a joint statement.


The merged entity, Vodafone Idea Ltd, is India’s biggest telecom service provider with over 408 million subscribers. With this, the telecom market now has three private players – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio.

Vodafone Idea will retain Idea Cellular’s listing on the Indian stock exchanges, and will be chaired by Kumar Mangalam Birla, controlling shareholder of the Aditya Birla group, of which Idea Cellular was a unit. Balesh Sharma, previously chief operating officer of Vodafone India, will be chief executive of the merged business. Vodafone will own 45 per cent of the company and Aditya Birla 26 per cent.

In becoming India’s largest mobile company by users, Vodafone India succeeds Bharti Airtel, which had 345m subscribers at the end of June.

Balesh Sharma, CEO, Vodafone Idea Ltd, said, “As India’s leading telecom operator with two popular and loved brands, the company has the scale and resources to ensure sustainable customer choice and introduce new technologies. ”

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Vodafone Completes Merger With Idea, Creates India’s Largest Mobile Operator


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