Vodafone–Idea merger: Loss of jobs for thousands

The combined strength of Vodafone and Idea in March 2017 was around 25000, which will now come down to around 17,000 implying a loss of 8,000 jobs.


In the last one year, the mergers and acquisition in the telecom sector and closure of several services, have cost thousands of jobs. First, it was Aircel, Tata Telecom and Reliance Communication followed by the Airtel and Uninor merger, and then the Vodafone-Idea merger – all resulting in massive layoffs in this sector.

In the Vodafone-Idea merger, the process for the same started in March, 2017, and the total count in terms of job loss is expected to cross thousands. In March 2017, the combined employee strength of Vodafone and Idea was close to 25,000—with Idea Cellular possessing 11,784 permanent employees and Vodafone 13,187 employees in India.

It is learnt that the employee strength in the merged entity will drop to around 17,000 which will imply a job loss for more than 8,000 employees. It’s not certain as to how many people of the individual companies – Vodafone and Idea – have been asked to quit. However, all employees of the merged entity will now receive a fresh appointment letter.

There is no exact figure available regarding the number of employees from each company that were retained or let off post the merger. However, it is certain that all staff enrolled in Vodafone Idea will receive fresh joining letters.

The temporary staff as well as the employees on contract, have been impacted. Following the merger, both the companies have limited the hiring of new employees, while several have quit voluntarily.

Many Idea employees have also been accommodated by other companies of the Aditya Birla Group as part of the merger deal. But no such option was offered to the employees of Vodafone.

At this point, the saviour for people working in this sector has been Reliance Jio, which has hired a large number of people. However, that one company alone hasn’t been able to accommodate all the jobless.

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