A pedestrian walks past a Bharti Airtel Ltd. store in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. (Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg)

Bharti Airtel To Lay Off Section Of Telenor Staff Post Merger

A day after government approved its merger with telecom major Bharti Airtel Ltd., a section of Telenor India’s employees are facing layoffs.

Employees got mails from Bharti Airtel asking them to attend a meeting with the HR officials to discuss “way ahead and next step”, an employee working for the Norwegian telecom company’s Indian subsidiary in Andhra Pradesh circle said. Confirming the move, Airtel said “not all people from Telenor India will find meaningful roles within Airtel”.

The Department of Telecom on May 14 approved the merger – a move that will make the subscriber base of Sunil Mittal-led firm almost twice the size of new entrant Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.. Both the companies had entered into an agreement for the deal in February 2017.

A Telenor employee said he attended a meeting with HR officials of Airtel after receipt of a mail yesterday. “They told me that post merger, they have no place for my position. They offered me five months salary and asked my resignation letter. I have not decided what to do,” the employee told PTI on condition of anonymity.

An Airtel source said Telenor India has around 1,400 employees and 700 of them had been absorbed. Airtel offered “good financial” package besides continuance of medical insurance and free calls to the dropouts, the source added.

Also Read: Bharti Airtel Completes Acquisition Of Telenor India

A spokesperson of Airtel said the company has already “on-boarded over 700 people from Telenor India and provided them growth opportunities” across its (Airtel) India and international operations.

It’s inevitable that in a post-integration scenario such as this, not all people from Telenor India will find meaningful roles within Airtel.
Airtel Spokesperson

“We are ensuring that these people get appropriate support such as continued financial and medical allowances along with the assistance of our placement partners”, the spokesperson said in an email reply.

The mail received by Telenor employees said “You must be aware that Telenor (India) Communications Private Limited has been integrated with Bharti Airtel Ltd. With regards to this legal merger, we invite you for a personal discussion with the Airtel Team to inform you about way ahead and next steps. Be available for the meeting as per the details below.”

Telenor India runs operations in seven circles – Andhra Pradesh (and Telangana), Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (East), UP (West) and Assam.

Also Read: Telenor to Sell Central, East Europe Units for $3.4 Billion

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