Vodafone Idea launched “Vi”, a unified brand on Monday, marking the completion of the merger between the two telecommunications companies. The move came after the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) arrears case and the board of directors of Vodafone-Idea nodded and asked the telco to raise up to 25 billion rupees to help the debt-laden company pay off its debts.
While Launching the new brand, Ravinder Takkar, Managing Director and CEO of Vodafone Ideas Co., Ltd. said: Idea Vodafone co. merged into one entity two years ago. Since then, we had been focusing on merging two large networks i.e our people and processes. I’m delighted to launch our Vi, a brand that will bring important meaning to our customers’ lives.
Ravinder Takkar stated that the unified brand “Vi” has a reliable and strong network that is made to meet the digital needs of customers.
Takkar further added: Brand integration not only marks the completion of the world’s largest telecommunications merger but also embarks on our journey to the future, which is to provide 1 billion Indians with a world-class digital experience through a powerful 4G network.
Photos related to the branding campaign have been displayed on Twitter, showing that the store has revamped with the new VI logo.
In August 2018, after the alliance, Vodafone and Idea continued their independent branding and advertising activities. “Idea” has always been a popular brand for rural areas, while “Vodafone” has a high urban appeal. However, telecom operators found that the urban and rural appeal of these two brands was diluted under Idea Vodafone.
Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Idea Ltd, commenting on the rebranding, stated that: India is the world’s second-largest telecommunications market and the largest data consumer. With 1.2 billion Indians accessing the world’s lowest-priced voice and data services across 500,000 villages, the ubiquitous wireless network is unmatched anywhere in India in terms of access and impact on people’s lives.
With our new brand ‘Vi’, we are committed to cooperating with the government to accelerate India’s development to a digital economy, enabling hundreds of ten thousand citizens to benefit from connecting to the digital revolution and creating a better tomorrow.
Nicholas Jonathan Read, CEO of Vodafone Group Plc.said: “This is an important next step in developing our amalgamate business under the new unified brand “Vi”. In 2018, the merger of Vodafone India and Idea formed a new champion for the government’s Digital India vision. After the integration of the two companies is complete, it is time for a fresh origin. This is why we believe that now is the best time to launch ‘Vi’, a brand that merges Idea and Vodafone India companies. Vi is now focused on providing a great online experience, better customer service, and leading products and services to citizens and businesses in India.
Vodafone Idea stock rose 10% this morning. After the announcement of “Vi” brand news, the company’s share price pared gains to trade more than 2%. The stock was trading at 12.29 rupees, up 2.25% on BSE.
Vodafone Idea’s board has endorsed the raising of funds up to 250 billion rupees, which is essential for the debt-laden company to reduce its debt and pay the additional burden of AGR dues in accordance with the Supreme Court’s verdict.
Fundraising will be done through the sale of stocks or non-convertible bonds. The upper limit for both fundraising methods is 150 billion rupees. The proposed fundraising activity still needs to be approved by regulators and shareholders. Vodafone Idea will consider the proposal at its annual general meeting on September 30.
Mobile operators need to more than double their average revenue per user (Arpu) in order to meet their AGR repayment obligations. Vodafone’s average revenue per user fell to 114 rupees in the sixth quarter from 121 rupees in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2020.
The company hopes that the single-brand strategy will reduce the price of maintaining two brands and enhance operational efficiency.
The company asserted: We believe that we will play a crucial role in the government’s goal of achieving a $5 trillion economy.