After two years of the merger, Vodafone-Idea recently announced the creation of a new brand identity, Vi, with the tagline “Together for Tomorrow”.
Vodafone and Idea’s merger in June 2018 created India’s biggest subscriber base of telecom users, however, the branding was on hold.
Idea continued to cater the rural userbase, with customized plans and offerings, whereas Vodafone focused on the urban users, with new plans such as Vodafone Red.
Separate brand identities harvested no gain; both Idea and Vodafone continued to lose users, due to inadequate services and very poor network coverage.
And then came the world’s largest telecom merger, and branding integration with the alliance of the networks, billing, subscribers and branding of both Vodafone and Idea.
The new telecom brand is called Vi, denoting V from Vodafone and I from Idea and spelt as ‘We’.
Launching the new brand, Ravinder Takkar, MD & CEO, Vodafone Idea Ltd said, “Vodafone Idea came together as a merged entity two years ago.
We have, since then focus 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 the lives of our customers.”
Takkar further added, “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.”
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Vodafone Idea to raise Rs. 25000 Cr to revive
Vodafone Group Plc’s India unit said it plans to raise INR 25000 Cr ($3.4 billion) by selling shares, debt to revive its finances to surf through the cutthroat competition from bigger rivals Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. And Bharti Airtel Ltd., and regain its subscribers.
The board of Vodafone Idea Ltd. approved a plan to sell about 150 billion rupees of shares, the company said in a statement.
Vodafone Idea (Vi) is ready to expand its 4G coverage and further being the frontrunner to launch 5G connectivity in India, and meanwhile attracting a new base of users.
Will the brand regain its lost crown?
The pressing question remains unanswered.
Vodafone & Idea lost almost millions of subscribers over a year and the brand’s survival will be tough as nails.
Heavy capital expenditure or large equity is what the brand needs as a remedy to regain its market share.
Industry expert estimates a short-term debt of nearly Rs. 26,000 crore and gross debt of more than Rs. 1.15 lakh crore.
The carrier did get some help earlier this week when India’s highest court gave the carrier 10 years to pay the billions of dollars it owes the government.
The competition in the Indian telecom sector is likely to intensify in the coming time. Leading in the race, Jio has already raised around $20 billion from investors this year to boost the brand’s drive towards expanding its footprints in digital payments, online retailing and video space.
On the other hand, Airtel intends to focus on its platform, including film and TV streaming and an online meeting service via a partnership with Verizon Communication Inc.’s BlueJean service announced in July.
Vodafone Idea seems ready to jump in with its fundraising and is eyeing on a big piece of India’s digital space.
A statement given by Vodafone Group Plc CEO Nick Read reads, “This is an important next step to launch our new unified business under a new unified brand, Vi.
Back in 2018, the combination of Vodafone India and Idea created the new champion for the government’s vision of Digital India.
As the integration of the two business is 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 citizens and businesses in India a superior network experience, better customer service and leading products and services.”