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Updated on: Friday, August 13, 2021, 03:30 PM IST

Voda Idea CEO pens note to users, says telco committed to offering superior services, propositions

PTI
Billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla recently stepped down as chairman of Vodafone Idea Ltd, within two months of offering to hand over Aditya Birla Group's stake in the debt-laden telco over to the government |

Billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla recently stepped down as chairman of Vodafone Idea Ltd, within two months of offering to hand over Aditya Birla Group's stake in the debt-laden telco over to the government |

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Amid an existential crisis confronting the company, Vodafone Idea CEO Ravinder Takkar has reached out to consumers reaffirming the telcos' commitment to continue providing "superior services and best-in-class propositions".

Thanking users for their continued support as the company approaches first anniversary of ''Vi'' branding, Takkar noted that Vi came with a promise of a better tomorrow, bringing the best in technology, services and solutions for the Digital Indian and Digital Bharat.

The company will continue to deliver on this promise to keep users ahead, Takkar said in the mailer to consumers.

"Looking ahead, we reinforce our commitment to continue providing you with superior services and best-in-class propositions," he said.

Takkar, however, did not make any mention of the issues being faced by VIL, in his note.

He said that the past year saw the effects of an unprecedented global pandemic and tested the resilience of the human spirit.

"The year also saw the birth of the youngest telecom brand in the country - Vi - which in a short span of less than a year has become a brand you love," he said.

Looking back at the one year journey, Takkar said, the company accelerated and completed network integration across the country to ensure that users stay connected at all times.

"Our network warriors made heroic efforts in keeping the network running 24x7 through the lockdown, to ensure you and your loved ones can work, study, transact, and get the daily dose of entertainment from the safety of your homes," he recounted.

The VIL top honcho said that the company has built a 5G-ready network and incorporated technologies to cater to smart cities, smart machines and smart citizens.

"To help you do more, get more and get ahead in life, Vi collaborated with players in the areas of entertainment content, learning & upskilling, health and wellness, and business, to offer a bouquet of digital services," he said.

Kumar Mangalam Birla stepped down

The CEO's note to consumers assumes significance in the backdrop of Vodafone Idea's desperate struggle to stay afloat. Billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla recently stepped down as chairman of Vodafone Idea Ltd, within two months of offering to hand over Aditya Birla Group's stake in the debt-laden telco over to the government, in a bid to avert a crisis for the telecom company.

VIL AGR liability

VIL had an AGR liability of Rs 58,254 crore, of which the company has paid Rs 7,854.3 crore and Rs 50,399.6 crore is outstanding.

VIL's gross debt, excluding lease liabilities, stood at Rs 1,80,310 crore as of March 31, 2021. The amount included deferred spectrum payment obligations of Rs 96,270 crore and debt from banks and financial institutions of Rs 23,080 crore, apart from the AGR liability.

Earlier this week, Vodafone Idea filed a review petition in the Supreme Court, after the apex court recently dismissed its plea for rectification of the alleged errors in the calculation of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) related dues.

In its review petition, VIL has said it is "a travesty of justice" that the company is restrained from questioning the arithmetical errors/omission which are going to cost it about Rs 25,000 crore (Rs 5,932 crore of principal plus interest, penalty and interest on penalty).

Vodafone Idea has said that its contentions have been rejected by the order under review and added that this denial could result in the company going under and its about 27.3 crore subscribers being left "high and dry". Other fallouts include loss of investment in the business and an impact on livelihoods of employees, as well as distributor, retailers, and store staff.

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Published on: Friday, August 13, 2021, 03:30 PM IST
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