INTERVIEW WITH VICE-PRESIDENT CORPORATE AFFAIRS TELENOR PAKISTAN

TELENOR IS DETERMINED TO DEVELOP HIGH-QUALITY HUMAN CAPITAL

KANWAL SALEEM
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
Aug 9 - 15, 20
10

Aamir Ibrahim is Vice-President Corporate Affairs and Chief Strategy Officer Telenor Pakistan. He possesses strong local industry knowledge besides international experience in sales, marketing, and business development. As Chief Strategy Officer, Ibrahim is responsible for Corporate Strategy, 3G & Broadband, Government & Regulatory Affairs, Corporate Communications, LDI, Legal, as well as New Business Development.

Ibrahim has played a significant role in the development of Pakistan's mobile market, dating back to 1994. He has held various executive positions within Motorola, Mobilink, Ford Motor Company, Jaguar, and Land Rover. He holds an MBA from IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland, and has more than six years of international experience. In an interview with Pakistan and Gulf Economist (PAGE), Aamir Ibrahim said: "Telenor Pakistan is 100 per cent owned by the Telenor Group, an international provider of high quality voice, data, content and communication services in 14 markets across Europe and Asia. Telenor Group is among the largest mobile operators in the world with over 179 million mobile subscriptions (Q1 2010) and a workforce of approximately 40,000.

Telenor Pakistan is the country's single largest European investor, with investments in excess of US$2 billion. It acquired a GSM license in 2004 and began commercial operations on March 15, 2005. At the end of May 2010, Telenor had a subscriber base of 23.65 million, and a market share of 24 per cent making it the country's second largest mobile operator."

He said Telenor Pakistan acquired 51 per cent of Tameer Microfinance Bank in November 2008. In 2009 it launched 'easy paisa' to become Pakistan's first telecom operator to partner with a bank to offer mobile financial services across Pakistan. Telenor Pakistan continues to contribute to Pakistan's economy. It has created 2,500 direct and 25,000 plus indirect jobs and has a network of 24 sales & service centers, more than 250 franchises and some 150,000 retailers, thus providing a means to livelihood to thousands.

For 2009 it is estimated that Telenor Pakistan contributed Rs20 billion in various forms of direct and indirect taxes to the economy of Pakistan, he said.

According to him, Telenor Pakistan provides wide EDGE connectivity across the country. It has one of the largest data networks (GPRS) in Pakistan providing Internet services to customers. Telenor Pakistan has grown to become a leading mobile communications services provider of the country.

Telenor Pakistan's flagship corporate responsibility program, Khuddar Pakistan, aims to create dignified opportunities for persons with disabilities. The purpose is to become the most disabled-friendly organization in Pakistan in terms of employment, service, and community support, he said, adding "Through Telenor's Khuddar Pakistan program we aim to provide the disabled community of Pakistan with integration and inclusion opportunities. We believe that a platform like the Leadership Conference enables participants to devise ways and means to resolve the issues that they face. It is also an opportunity for government and corporate sector stakeholders to get a clear perspective on steps necessary to mainstream Persons with Disabilities."

He further said that Telenor Pakistan has taken and continues to implement a number of environmentally-friendly initiatives. These include mainstreaming energy efficiency and alternate energy solutions, and implementing occupational health & safety practices that comply with international standards. Our vision crystallizes our customer focus as the cornerstone of everything we do. Our values describe what behaviors are necessary to realize that vision. Our corporate responsibility mindset ensures that our vision and values nurture social concern and help us create shared value.

Talking about Telenor Pakistan Vision, Aamir Ibrahim said, "Our vision is simple: We're here to help. We exist to help our customers get the full benefit of communications services in their daily lives. The key to achieving this vision is a mindset where every one of us works together: Making it easy to buy and use our services; Delivering on our promises; Being respectful of differences; Inspiring people to find new ways. We believe in four core values i.e. Make it Easy, Keep Promises, Be Inspiring and Be Respectful.

He further said that Telenor Pakistan today is the fastest growing network in the country with a rich portfolio of products and services. We have introduced a number of industry-first products and provided customers with many convenient options of communication."

Our brand is truly customer centric. We believe in understanding our customers' needs-which are changing constantly-driving us to continuously innovate in our products and services, he said.

Answering a question, he said Telenor covers a total of coverage area in cities, towns and highways throughout Pakistan, making it the 2nd largest GSM service provider in Pakistan. Telenor Pakistan has more than 5,000 cell masts throughout Pakistan, making it the 2nd largest network in Pakistan. It has GPRS service and EDGE service across its network in Pakistan. Telenor has a strategic alliance with Nokia Siemens Networks for expansion in Pakistan.

Aamir Ibrahim said: "Telenor offers exciting and challenging careers with competitive pay, excellent benefits and exceptional advancement opportunities. We care about our employees and provide them with a relaxed and enriching working environment. Our training and further education programs ensure a high professional standard amongst our employees. We believe that a talented and loyal workforce plays a crucial role in the organization's ongoing business success. We strongly hope that after joining Telenor you will become an enthusiastic and valuable member of our family. Telenor maintains a policy of non-discrimination towards all employees and applicants for employment. All aspects of employment with Telenor are governed by merit, competence, suitability and qualifications, and will not be influenced in any manner by gender, age, race, color, religion, national origin or disability. Today, our workforce proves that; with 18 per cent women working at all levels in the organization, both foreign and local educational backgrounds."

He said Human Capital Division at Telenor believes in continuous improvement and is taking the standards of service to the utmost levels of excellence. We work like a family. From providing the best administrative support to facilitate employees work life to creating benchmark security solutions, we are a team of enthusiastic, energetic young people who are geared to perform the best always. We are committed to assisting employees in exploring, developing and maximizing their full potential, encouraging continuing education through internal and external training and development opportunities.

He further said Telenor Pakistan acts responsibly and respectfully towards the people and authorities in different societies and aims to contribute to social and economic development in the local market. "We take seriously the social, ethical and environmental impact of our products and services.

We place emphasis on making sure that the communities in which we operate see Telenor Pakistan's as a good citizen with genuine ambitions to contribute to social and economic development."

Talking about Telenor's Ambassador Programme, he said this program offers internship opportunities to students across Pakistan every year. Telenor Pakistan provides employment to 2500 direct employees and 25000 indirect employees. The company has also been voted the 'Most Preferred Employer 2009 by ROZEE.PK. Telenor Pakistan is committed to develop high-quality human capital through modern corporate practices, advanced trainings and international exposure. He also said that Telenor Pakistan pledges Rs100 million for flood affectees. He said, "In this hour of need, where millions have been affected by devastating floods across the country, Telenor Pakistan stands by its brethren. We will contribute through donating funds, offering our telecommunication services and volunteering our collective employee efforts towards the rehabilitation of the affectees. We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and the destruction caused by recent floods. We are sure that this humble effort will help those who need it most."