Balesh Sharma, Meet Vodafone-Idea’s New CEO

Vodafone and Idea today announced their new leadership team who will take care of the merged entity once the deal is closed. As per the new arrangement Kumar Mangalam Birla will be the Non-Executive Chairman of the merged company. Balesh Sharma has been appointed as the new CEO of the yet to be merged firm.

So, who is Balesh Sharma?

Balesh Sharma, at present, is the COO of Vodafone India. He joined this position exactly a year back – in April 2017.  Before joining Vodafone India as COO, he was the CEO of Vodafone Czech Republic for over three years. It is believed that he was asked by the Vodafone Group to leave Czech Republic and join the India team with enough time in hand to understand the India market.

However, India is not a new territory for Balesh as he had served Vodafone as COO of its Gujarat circle from 2006 to 2011. In the passt he also had served as CEO of Vodafone Malta.

Overall, Balesh Sharma has over 20 years of experience serving the British telecom major in different roles in multiple markets.

Besides Balesh, the composition of the proposed leadership team of the new company is as follows:

The following positions will report to the CEO:

  • CFO – Akshaya Moondra, currently Chief Financial Officer at Idea.
  • COO – Ambrish Jain, currently Deputy Managing Director at Idea, will be responsible for Circles Operations and Service Delivery
  • Nick Gliddon, currently Director – Vodafone Business Services at Vodafone India, will be responsible for the Enterprise Business.
  • Manish Dawar, currently CFO of Vodafone India, will have overall responsibility for integration planning, governance and execution.
  • Sashi Shankar, currently Chief Marketing Officer at Idea, will be responsible for Marketing and Brand strategy for the consumer business.
  • Vishant Vora, currently Chief Technology Officer of Vodafone India, will have responsibility for networks and overall technology strategy.
  • Prakash Paranjape, currently Chief Information Officer at Idea, will be responsible for the company’s IT operations.
  • Suvamoy Roy Choudhury, who leads Vodafone India’s Human Resources, will be responsible for the Human Resources function.
  • Kavita Nair currently the Associate Director, Commercial Operations, at Vodafone India, will lead digital transformation across all functions.
  • Navanit Narayan, currently Chief Service Delivery Officer at Idea, will be in charge of Strategy.
  • P Balaji, currently Vodafone India’s Head of Regulatory, External Affairs and CSR, will be responsible for Corporate and External Affairs.
  • Kumar Das, currently Vodafone India’s General Counsel, will lead the legal function.
  • Rajesh Srivastava, currently Chief Commercial Officer at Idea will hold charge of the Procurement Function.
  • Anil Tandon and Rajat Mukherjee, currently Head of Technology and Head of Corporate Affairs of Idea will be full time advisers to the merged business in their respective areas of expertise, working closely with Vishant and Balaji, respectively.

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