Vodafone Idea on Monday launched a new unified brand identity in India which will bet big on digital to attract customers and stem exits to rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio. Vodafone Idea, now VI, is renewing its focus after the AGR verdict a few days ago. Vodafone Idea is a joint venture between Britain’s Vodafone and India’s Idea Cellular, said it will go by the brand name “Vi”.
“In their various avatars, since the mid-90s, Vodafone and Idea steered the growth of the sector for over decades separately. Both Vodafone and Idea have set new benchmarks in network experience, rural connectivity, customer service, enterprise mobility solutions,” says Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Group, announcing the rebranding.
"New brand identity is a reflection of both brands, says Kumar Mangalam Birla" he further said.
Meanwhile, Nick Read, CEO, Vodafone Group said; "It is a time for a fresh start as Vodafone India and Idea Cellular complete the integration of the two entities and rebrand the unified company as Vi"
Over the last two years, the telco maintained its two different brands but a combined one is expected to bring in more subscribers, Vodafone Idea said. VI also said they will continue to partner with the government of India to push forward the digital economy mission.
"Vi is built to be strong, ever-dependable, agile, intuitive, and a brand in tune with the needs of the customers, in these ever-changing times. It is designed to help customers move ahead in life, for a better today and a brighter tomorrow. Vi is future-ready and is committed to dynamically serve and enable a digital society to progress in life," the company said in a media release.
Elaborating on the new brand, Ravinder Takkar, MD and CEO, Vodafone Idea said telco ready to take the first step to raise prices.
"Vodafone Idea came together as a merged entity two years ago. We have, since then focussed on integrating two large networks, our people and processes. A new tariff will help improve the telco's ARPU which is at Rs 114 compared to rival Airtel and Jio's at Rs 157 and Rs 140," Takkar said.
The brand integration not only marks the completion of the largest telecom merger in the world, but will also set the company on its future journey to offer strong digital experiences to 1 billion Indians on its 4G network, he said.
"VIL is now leaner and agile, and the deployment of many principles of 5G architecture has helped us transform into a future-fit, digital network for the changing customer needs.
"The new brand launch signifies our desire to not just deliver, but delight our customers, stakeholders, communities and our employees and signals our passion and commitment to be a Champion for Digital India," Takkar added.
The shares of Vodafone Idea soared 10 per cent to an intra-day high of ₹ 13.21. At 10:35 am, the shares were trading at ₹ 12.91, higher by 7.4 per cent, on the BSE.
On Friday, Vodafone Idea had said it would raise fresh capital of upto ₹ 25,000 crore in an effort to pay off the hefty dues it owes to the government. It plans to raise up to ₹ 15,000 crore through debentures and an equal amount by issuing shares and warrants. The upcoming fundraising will offer a lifeline to cash-strapped VIL, which has suffered massive losses, has been losing subscribers and Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), and faces outstanding Adjusted Gross revenue (AGR) dues of about Rs 50,000 crore.