Tata's telecom tower JV, Viom Networks, to cut up to 800 jobs


12 Jan 2012
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Tata's telecom tower JV, Viom Networks, to cut up to 800 jobs

Tata's telecom tower joint venture, Viom Networks, has initiated a process to cut 40% of its workforce across India. Viom, in which Tata Teleservices has a controlling stake, will cut upto 800 staff across functions after a report by consulting firm AT Kearney recommended the company would have to reduce costs dramatically to remain afloat.

The Kanoria family who are also the promoters of SREI Infrastructure and financial investors including IDFC, SBI-Macquarie, Government of Singapore Investment Corporation and Oman Investment Fund are shareholders in Viom Networks.

A spokesperson for Viom said in response to queries from NOW that the company does not comment on speculation.

Viom asked eight senior executives in the company to resign yesterday, two people briefed on the matter said. One of the executives asked to go was responsible for managing the Tata Teleservices account which happens to be a major client of the company while another was responsible for management of operations for the western as well as southern regions.

The planned headcount reduction is likely to impact functions including supply chain management, procurement, business excellence, technical, project management, operations, human resources and legal.

A person familiar with the contents of AT Kearney's report on the company said the cost reduction exercise has been recommended because of the huge hit that Viom may have to take on its revenues on account of potentially losing its biggest client, Uninor.

Uninor accounts for nearly 40% of Viom's revenues and the company's future is uncertain because of the Supreme Court of India's ruling that cancelled licences allotted to Unitech Wireless in 2008. Uninor is a joint venture between Unitech and Norway's Telenor.

Industry sources suggest Uninor itself is planning a huge headcount reduction exercise though the company has vehemently denied the same.

Viom Networks has been mired in controversy after its former company secretary, Arun Bansal, alleged that members of the company's senior management team and the Kanoria family entered into related party transactions and siphoned away funds from the company.

KPMG's forensic arm was called into probe the charges and the Kanoria's have maintained that they were given a clean chit post the investigation. However, sources close to the company suggest that Arun Kapur, the company's former CEO was asked to resign as a fall-out of the probe.

Viom's Chairman Subodh Bhargava also resigned recently citing the management's inability to initiate timely corrective action recommended by the KPMG probe.

Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/careers/job-trends/Tatas-telecom-tower-JV-Viom-Networks-to-cut-up-to-800-jobs/articleshow/12380445.cms
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