New CEO Ravinder Takkar ‘to revitalise’ Vodafone Idea

New CEO Ravinder Takkar ‘to revitalise’ Vodafone Idea in India

20 August 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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The new CEO of Indian operator Vodafone Idea is Ravinder Takkar, who has replaced Balesh Sharma, who resigned yesterday for personal reasons.

Takkar (pictured) has been with the Vodafone group for 25 years and was CEO of Vodafone Romania for three years before taking up his current role.

He has also spent two and a half years as CEO of Vodafone Partner Markets, based in London.

Vodafone Idea, the largest mobile operator in India, was created a year ago with the completion of the merger between Vodafone India and Idea Cellular. That merger was the final step in a series of mergers that consolidated the Indian market from 11 companies to just three, with Airtel and Reliance Jio competing against Vodafone Idea.

However the past year has not been happy for Vodafone Idea, with local reports suggesting it has lost 70 million customers – giving Takkar the challenge of revitalising the company’s offer in the face of Airtel and Jio.

The Vodafone group owns a 45.2% stake in Vodafone Idea and Aditya Birla group a 26.0% stake.

Takkar, who has been involved in the Indian market since Vodafone became a competitor when it bought a controlling stake in Hutchison Essar.

With a degree in computer science engineering from Loyola Marymount University in the US, Takkar’s early roles in Vodafone India included strategy and business development and as CEO of its enterprise business.