Nearly two years after a merger, telecom majors Vodafone and Idea on September 7 announced a new identity rebranding Vodafone Idea as Vi (read as We). Vodafone Plc's Indian arm had merged with Idea Cellular in August 2018 but the telcos had since maintained two separate brands.
"The integration of two brands is a culmination of the largest telecom integration in the world," CEO Ravinder Takkar said as he announced the rebranded entity. "It's time for a fresh start," he said.
The board of Vodafone Idea had approved fundraising up to Rs 25,000 crore on September 4.
Through the unified brand and a bigger bet on digital, Vodafone Idea hopes to attract fresh subscribers. The company's customer base has dropped sharply to around 280 million at June end from 408 million at the time of its merger with Idea. Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel had lost around 47 lakh wireless subscribers each in May 2020, according to TRAI data released in August.
Also read: Vodafone Idea shares surge 10% ahead of strategic announcement
Shares of Vodafone Idea surged 10 percent in morning trade before the announcement.
Vodafone Idea is making efforts to keep its business running in India, after the Supreme Court (SC) gave telecom companies 10 years to pay adjusted gross revenue dues (AGR) dues.
Vodafone Idea owes slightly over Rs 50,000 crore to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) as AGR-related dues.
The SC asked telecom companies to make an upfront payment of 10 percent of the balance AGR dues by March 31, 2021.
Also read: Vodafone Idea's board approves fundraising up to Rs 25,000 crore