“Together for Tomorrow”—the tagline for Vi, the new unified brand name for Vodafone Idea Ltd, is one of hope.
India’s No. 3 telecom operator is in a bind. Formed from the merger of the Aditya Birla Group’s Idea Cellular Ltd and Vodafone Group Plc’s Indian arm in August 2018, the struggling telco continues to lose subscribers—8 million in the last quarter—and revenue to its competition. Last month Vodafone Idea reported its ninth successive quarter in the red. Being the third wheel in a sector that several industry observers have described as a budding duopoly between Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd is hard.
In the 10th edition of Oversize last month, I had written about how Airtel, the second-largest telco in India, has been diversifying as it aims to transition from a traditional telecoms company into an enterprise technology and services provider. Airtel, as well as