Telecom major Vodafone India has appointed Analjit Singh as its non-executive chairman. Singh is the founder and chairman of Max India Ltd, as well as its subsidiaries including Max New York Life Insurance Company Ltd, Max Healthcare Institute Ltd and Max Bupa Health Insurance Company Ltd.
Earlier, Singh was also the non-executive chairman of Indus Towers. At present, he sits on the boards of several leading Indian companies, including Tata Global Beverages, Hero MotoCorp and Dabur, among others.
Singh’s appointment will come into effect from February 16, 2012. He has also been a shareholder in the company since 2006, when it was branded as Hutchinson Essar. Singh became a shareholder, along with the then Hutchison Essar CEO Asim Ghosh, so that the firm could meet the FDI norms. Last year, he increased his stake by buying Ghosh’s holding.
Vodafone India is also looking at an IPO, which will help it participate in market consolidation after the much-awaited new telecom policy is announced this year. The IPO is expected to come by 2013.
The company has recently won a long-running legal battle against the tax department in the Supreme Court. The telco had challenged a $2.2 billion tax bill in the apex court after losing the case in Bombay High Court in 2010. Also, Vodafone is among the few telcos who have not been affected by the recent Supreme Court ruling that cancelled 122 2G telecom licences for mobile networks, issued during 2008.
“Analjit has been a long-standing, reliable and trustworthy partner in India,” said Vittorio Colao, chief executive of the Vodafone Group.
Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone’s Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific region, said, “Analjit brings a wealth of business experience and is one of India’s leading entrepreneurs. He knows our business well, having been the founder and chairman of Max Telecom, the business which has grown to become Vodafone India with nearly 150 million customers.”
Vodafone India is a member of the Vodafone Group, the world’s largest mobile communications company in terms of revenue with over 398 million customers in its controlled and jointly controlled markets, as on December 31, 2011. Currently, the company has equity interests in over 30 countries across five continents and more than 40 partner networks worldwide.