Bharti AirtelBSE 0.25 % will absorb about two-thirds of the roughly 6,000 employees at Telenor India and Tata TeleservicesBSE -1.13 %’ consumer mobility business after merging with both companies, people familiar with the matter said.
The Sunil Mittal-owned market leader may post about 15% of the employees from the two telcos overseas, mainly in Africa, they said.
“It’s inevitable in a post-merger scenario all employees will not find meaningful roles and, accordingly, will be provided complete support to deal with such an outcome,” an Airtel spokesperson told ET in an email.
“An exercise is under way to map the employee pool to the post-merger requirements,” the spokesperson said. Airtel will try to absorb as many employees as it can within India telecom business and “a few will be offered opportunities across its international operations and other group, associate companies.”
TTSL and Telenor did not respond to ET’s queries seeking comment.
TTSL’s consumer mobility business employed some 5,000 in October, while Telenor India had about 2,000. Although employees have left both companies, some at TTSL have been or are being absorbed in other roles within Tata group.
Airtel’s acquisition of TTSL’s mobile business on debt-free, cashfree basis, or effectively for free, which was announced in October 2017, needs clearances from the Securities & Exchange Board of India, National Company Law Tribunal and Department of Telecom. The Telenor India purchase, announced in February 2017, needs approvals from NCLT and DoT.
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“Pending completion of merger formalities, operations at Telenor and Tata Teleservices are continuing in normal course of business. There are firm plans to integrate the operations of these entities once the merger formalities are complete,” the Airtel spokesperson said.
Experts said Airtel, which has posted a drop in revenue and earnings due to competition, will be hard pressed to keep its wage bill to the minimum and would take in only what is absolutely required.
“About 15% of those absorbed by Airtel will be sent to Africa and most will be middle managers. Their international operations still have more space than the Indian section to take in employees,” said an HR expert aware of the developments in India’s largest telco.economictimes