Home / Companies / News /  Former Vi executive Sundeep Kathuria joins XiFi Networks

Former Vodafone Idea Ltd (Vi) executive Sundeep Kathuria has been appointed chief operating officer (COO) - India, at XiFi Smart Networks Pvt Ltd, a wireless technology company, effective 1 March, said a person aware of the matter on condition of anonymity.

Kathuria quit from cash-strapped Vodafone Idea in February, after spending 20 years at the telco on various levels. His last role was of executive vice president for regulatory affairs at Vi, before which he held multiple executive positions such as operations and business.

Kathuria’s exit from Vi adds to the several top level resignations that have taken place in the past few months. In December, Vi promoted marketing director Avneesh Khosla as the chief marketing officer (CMO), Mint had reported.

The Birla group company’s chief digital transformation and brand officer, Kavita Nair resigned around the same time. Nair led the rebranding exercise at the telco that is grappling with shrinking customer base and mounting debt.

Nair took charge as the telco's brand officer in August 2018. Prior to this, she was associate director—commercial operations for Vodafone India Ltd, which was merged with Idea Cellular Ltd in the same month.

In October, the telecom company’s chief technology officer (CTO) Vishant Vora resigned after a decade-long stint. He was replaced by Jagbir Singh, who worked with rivals Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd.

In September, the two brands under Vodafone Idea—Vodafone and Idea—were integrated to Vi, which so far operated independently and had separate advertising campaigns. Idea has been a mass rural-focused brand, whereas Vodafone has a premium urban appeal.

The rebranding decision was announced amid the company’s plans to raise 25,000 crore in a combination of debt and equity, even as it continues to lose millions of subscribers every month.

Vi is in active discussions with potential investors for the proposed fundraising, Vi’s chief executive Ravinder Takkar told investors in a post-earnings call on 15 February.

The talks with investors are “progressing well and we expect to conclude this soon". The telco is “very well engaged" with various potential investors, who have shown interest in the process, he said, without disclosing the timeline for fundraising to investors, he said.

During April-December, Vodafone Idea lost 34.9 million customers.

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