A couple of hundred employees of Loop Mobile face an uncertain future as the deal between the company and Bharti Airtel is silent about their fate.
Reportedly some employees would be laid off and they had expressed apprehension. Loop and Airtel officials declined to comment stating discussions were still on.
Loop has about 800 employees, including 350 permanent ones. It is still not known who and how many will face the axe.
Officials familiar with the deal said “the agreement does not involve employees. It is only for Loop’s customer and passive infrastructure acquisition. It is up to Loop to decide their (employees) fate.”
An official from Loop said the fears were unfounded as the deal was still in the making. On Wednesday The Hindu spoke to a number of Loop employees who remained unfazed.
“We have not been told anything so far. I am not worried. Even if the business changes hands, people will be required,” said an employee who has been with Loop for 14 years. Another employee who handles sales at Loop said he could easily find a job. “I am least bothered. There is no dearth of job in Mumbai for hard working people like me. We are only facing problem with retailers who are hesitant to sell our SIM cards fearing the company will close down,” the Loop employee who has been working for eight years said.
Business was usual at Loop Galleries in South and North Mumbai. Contrary to expectations, there was heavy rush of customers applying for new connections and recharging data plans.
On Tuesday, Bharti Airtel and Loop Mobile announced signing of a strategic agreement by which the former would acquire Loop’s over three million customers, its passive infrastructure and retail stores in Mumbai.
Loop will merge into Airtel after signing of a definitive agreement following receipt of all regulatory approvals.
Loop-owned Khaitan Holding Group will cease to exist before November 2014 when the company’s 20-year licence expires. Following the Rs.700 crore deal with Airtel, business will continue and customers will get uninterrupted services.