One of the most difficult markets and sectors to survive in today’s market is the Indian telecom service providers market. The reason is the meteoric rise of Reliance Jio. Since its inception in the mid-206, the competitors have been slowly thrown out of the market barring a few that sustained somehow. However, to sustain, these big players had to opt for methods that were often loss-making.
In a recent judgement, the Supreme Court of India upheld the central government order on Adjusted Gross Revenue of Airtel and Vodafone. According to an India Today report, the telecom players in India have been asked to pay around ₹92,641 crores to the government. Of this, around ₹80,000 crore has to be paid by just Vodafone and Airtel. Whereas, Jio also has to pay, but significantly less than the others.
Recently, Vodafone CEO, Mr Nick Read commented that Vodafone’s India business has been brought down to zero after the Supreme court judgement. The order of paying a huge sum of money in a time when the company is going through one of the most difficult times in its entire existence was not appreciated at all. Therefore, he states that the company might just withdraw completely from India very recently.
However, Nick clarified a day later that the comment was distorted and he apologized to the Indian government for the string and negative comments about the Indian telecom market, the supreme court judgement and misleading the public as well the business community regarding the Vodafone’s future in India.
This comes after numerous Indian government officials expressed displeasure regarding Read’s comments on the current situation. Read continued that he is happy with the remedies that the Indian government is working upon and is optimistic about the outcomes because the Indian telecom sector is in a very difficult situation.
ET also reported that a committee of secretaries has suggested reducing the annual license fee of the telecom player from the previous 8% to 5%. This would give them much relief needed and the committee also suggested to give the telecom players 2 years to pay back the spectrum dues.