A gloomy picture of uncertainty looms large over the fate of Loop Mobile employees, following its acquisition by Bharti Airtel.

The buy, which involves Loop Mobile’s 3.2 million subscribers, 2,500 telecom towers and equipment (optic fibre), does not mention anything about employees. On Tuesday, Bharti Airtel announced the acquisition of Loop Mobile, ending a long-drawn speculation of a merger between the companies. Even though the companies did not disclose the financial details of the deal, industry sources pegged it at ₹700 crore.

550 employees

Loop Mobile has about 350 personnel on its rolls and another 200-odd working on contract, taking the total number of employees to about 550.

According to sources close to the development, the deal does not include the employees as Bharti Airtel has stationed a strong team in Mumbai for its operations. Bharti Airtel, which has about 19,014 employees in India as of December-end, does not provide circle-wise employee count.

Further, there has been no communication from Loop Mobile on the status, an employee working with the Mumbai-based service provider said.

Another employee confirmed this and said that they had received a mail on the “strategic acquisition” and it will be completed in the next two months. This includes changing of the company’s name, migrating customers to Airtel and other branding exercises. “Yes, there is a little uncertainty and that is the one question we have,” is all an employee, who requested not publish his name, at one of the Loop Mobile galleries would say. When contacted, company officials declined to comment.

Sources in the know said that a decision on employees would be taken in the next 30-45 days and most of them being 'valuable' in all probability would be staying with the company.

According to industry analysts, the acquisition of Loop Mobile, Mumbai’s oldest telecom operator, would help Bharti Airtel emerge as the leading service provider in the metro.

Assurance to customers

The employees also were seen assuring customers that the existing tariffs would continue, even after they were migrated to Bharti Airtel.

(This article was published on February 18, 2014)
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