Telenor’s India unit breaks even; appoints new CEO – Mobile World Live

Telenor’s India unit breaks even; appoints new CEO

08 JAN 2014

Uninor, the Indian unit of Nordic operator group Telenor, announced it achieved cashflow breakeven for the first time, as it appointed a new CEO.

The breakeven has been achieved after four years of operation and follows significant upheaval at the unit over the past few years.

The operator currently has 26 million customers across its six circles — which cover nearly 50 per cent of the country’s population — and secured new licences in November 2012, which it said will be “a strong platform for further growth”.

Its parent company set a top funding limit of INR155billion (US$2.85 billion) for its Indian unit shortly after it secured the licences.

In August last year, the company said it had broken even in three of its six operating circles and was on track to achieve the same for its remaining circles.

Morten Karlsen Sorby (pictured) has been nominated as the new CEO of Uninor, replacing Sigve Brekke who held the role on an interim basis following the resignation of Yogesh Malik in November last year.

Sorby has worked for Telenor since 1993 and been a member of the group’s executive management team since 2003. He was most recently executive VP for corporate strategy and regulatory affairs at the Telenor Group.

“When Morten Karlsen Sorby now steps into the role as CEO of Uninor, he will meet an organisation that is highly energised, market-savvy and possesses a tremendous innovative spirit,” said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, Telenor president and CEO.

Sorby’s nomination is subject to regulatory approvals with Sigve Brekke due to return to his role as head of Telenor Group’s Asia Operations.

Uninor was originally Telenor’s joint venture with local company Unitech and was transferred to a new entity controlled by the Nordic operator group at the end of 2012, when the partners went their separate ways.

Telenor subsequently announced a deal in which Lakshdeep Investments & Finance would buy 26 per cent of the company, which was named Telewings.

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Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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