Telecom major Vodafone Idea on Monday unveiled a new brand identity called Vi (read as ‘We’) and marked the successful completion of merger and integration of Vodafone and Idea.
In a statement, the telco said, “A brand with its eyes set on the future, it is built for and around customers. Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) communicated its new unified consumer brand identity and positioning through a virtual launch today. The integration of two brands is a culmination of the largest telecom integration in the world.”
Speaking on the occasion, Ravinder Takkar, MD & CEO of Vodafone Idea Limited said, “Vodafone Idea came together as a merged entity two years ago. We have, since then focussed on integrating two large networks, our people and processes. And today I am delighted to present Vi, a brand that will bring important meaning to lives of our customers.”
The brand integration not only marks the completion of the largest telecom merger in the world, but also sets us on our future journey to offer world class digital experiences to 1 Billion Indians on our strong 4G network, Thakkar added.
“VIL is now leaner and agile, and the deployment of many principles of 5G architecture has helped us transform into a future-fit, digital network for the changing customer needs. The new brand launch signifies our desire to not just deliver, but delight our customers, stakeholders, communities and our employees and signals our passion and commitment to be a Champion for Digital India. With Vi, we are confident of building a brand that continues to command respect and trust, and will be admired and loved by all,” said Ravinder Takkar.
Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Idea Ltd, said, “with our new brand – Vi, we stand committed to partner the Government to accelerate India’s progression towards a digital economy, enabling millions of citizens to connect to the digital revolution and build a better tomorrow.”
“As the integration of the two businesses is now complete, it’s time for a fresh start. That’s why we believe that now is the perfect time to launch ‘Vi’, one company which combines the strengths of Vodafone India and Idea. Vi’s focus will be to deliver to the citizens and businesses in India a superior network experience, better customer service and leading products and services,” said Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone Group Plc.
Shares of Vodafone Idea surged after the announcement. At 12.34 pm, its share price was Rs 12.54, higher by 4.41 per cent from the previous close.
The rebranding comes at a crucial time when the company is fighting for its survival, amid financial stress and huge AGR dues.
On Friday, the Board of Directors of Vodafone Idea had approved a proposal to raise up to Rs 25,000 crore through Global Depository Receipts(GDR), American Depository Receipts (ADR), non-convertible debentures, and other routes.
The development comes after the Supreme Court’s September 1 verdict on the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) issue, wherein the top court gave a 10-year timeline to the telecom companies to repay their dues, with an upfront payment of 10 per cent by March 31, 2021.
Market analysts have time and again said that Vodafone Idea would require raising of funds and may also need government support for its survival as it is already under financial stress. The AGR dues have further burdened the company.
According to an assessment by the Department of Telecommunications, Vodafone Idea owed a total of Rs 58,254 crore. As per the government, the operator now owes balance AGR dues of around Rs 50,399 crore.