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Ravinder Takkar appointed as the new CEO of Vodafone Idea replacing Balesh Sharma

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The Board of Vodafone Idea, has appointed Ravinder Takkar, who is currently Vodafone Group’s representative in India, as the new MD(Managing Director) and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) with immediate effect. Takkar replaces CEO Balesh Sharma, who has stepped down citing personal reasons.Ravinder Takkar

Key points

  • Sharma was the representative of Vodafone in the JV(Joint Venture) between British telecom giant Vodafone and Aditya Birla Group’s Idea that was formed to fight the onslaught of free calls and cheap data plans implemented by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio.
  • This move comes immediately after Sharma was announced as the chairman of the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) at industry association’s Annual General Body meeting held in june 2019.

Penalty on Vodafone and Airtel:

  • In October 2016, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) had recommended to the government that a penalty of ₹1,050 crore each be imposed on Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India, and ₹950 crore on Idea, for allegedly denying PoIs (Point of Interconnection) to Reliance Jio.
  • On July 2019, The Digital Communications Commission (DCC) upheld the TRAI’s decision to levy a penalty of ₹3,050 crore on Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone Idea Ltd for denying PoI ports to Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, when it started operations three years ago.

PoI: Point of interconnection in telecommunications means, the physical interface between media gateways of the two Telecom companies.

About COAI
♦ The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), is an industry association of mobile service providers, telecom equipment, internet service providers and other digital technologies’ companies and businesses in India.As of 2017, COAI has been (jointly) organizing the India Mobile Congress(IMC) with the Department of Telecommunications(DoT), Government of India.
♦ Headquarters- New Delhi.
♦ Director General– Rajan S. Mathews.
♦ Core members- Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea limited, Reliance Jio Infocomm.