Careerbilla News

 News > Telecommunication

Balesh Sharma to replace Naveen Chopra as Vodafone India COO

Admin| Feb 08, 2017 - 12:19 AM India

Balesh Sharma to replace Naveen Chopra as Vodafone India COO

NEW DELHI|MUMBAI: Vodafone Group is replacing its India Chief Operating Officer Naveen Chopra with Balesh Sharma, currently head of the Czech Republic, as part of major organisational changes to better tackle competitive pressures triggered by the entry of Reliance Jio Infocomm.

Sharma will take over from Chopra from April 1, a company spokesperson confirmed to ET. The COO since 2015, Chopra’s next role is yet to be announced. India’s no. 2 telco is further streamlining its structure by integrating its commercial functions with operations, both of which will be under Sharma, a move which will help the company be more agile and speed up decision making. As part of the change, Sandeep Kataria, who is the current commercial head, will now report into Sharma. Balesh Sharma has been chief executive officer at Vodafone Czech Republic since 2013.

He has been with the company since 2011. Previously, Sharma worked for Vodafone in Malta, Delhi and Bangalore markets. He worked with BPL Mobile and Xerox. The organisational changes come at a time of immense strife for the telco which has been struggling to deal with competitive pressures and a resultant brutal price war since the entry of Mukesh Ambani­owned Reliance Jio Infocomm. The challenges in the Indian market has triggered talks to merge Vodafone India with Idea Cellular, India’s No 3 telco, through a share swap to form an equal joint venture.

A Vodafone­Idea combination would have about 390 million users, exceeding current market leader Bharti Airtel’s 266 million. The combined entity will also be largest by revenue market share. Competition with Jio, and to some extent, demonetisation, dragged Vodafone service revenue down 1.9% to 1.45 billion (Rs 10,556 crore) in the three months ended December from a year earlier.

Despite challenges, Vittorio Colao, group chief executive, recently said the company, with 205 million subscribers in India, still sees long term value in the country.


Source :




Add Comment

No Comments Found.