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Why Vodafone-Idea combine will have a tough time defending its turf

The combined entity will face tough competition from Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio, which plans to grab more than half the market in revenue terms

Kumar Mangalam Birla (left), chairman of Aditya Birla Group, with Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone Group. Photo: Reuters
Kumar Mangalam Birla (left), chairman of Aditya Birla Group, with Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone Group | Photo: Reuters

Can the combined entity of Idea-Vodafone continue to hold the number one slot in terms of revenues, despite the bruising challenge from Reliance Jio as well as Bharti Airtel? And will the merged entity be able to fight the battle more effectively than going it alone? Naturally, the two partners — Vodafone and the Aditya Birla group — think it will. That is why just last week it jointly took one more big step towards the merger, which is expected to be completed by June, when it announced the new top leadership team. Balesh Sharma, Vodafone’s current chief ...