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Tough time

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Unlike yesteryears, today technological disruptions like Artifical Intelligence (AI), Machine learning, Rob...

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Tough time


Unlike yesteryears, today technological disruptions like Artifical Intelligence (AI), Machine learning, Robotics are impacting lives in general and workforce in particular. Conversations around talent building, re-skilling and developmental needs of employees is gaining ground across industries. In this light, it is imperative for people and organisation to be more prepared than ever by taking proactive measures. Thus, as conglomerates gear up to make crucial business decisions, employees must take responsibility to keep their learning curves on and add value to their existing skill sets. 
 
With key task of employers revolving around future progression, employees can do their bit to stay relevant, be better prepared and hold their ground during tough times. 
                                                                                                                                                                                  
Remain valuable, thus employable
For a business to be successful, it has to recruit and retain talented people who consistently bring value to the organisation, and to its customers. The more value you bring to your job, the more you are required to your employer. You must keep track of latest trends consistently and work hard to build knowledge in these fields to stay updated. When you start keeping track of such trends, you start reading more on the subject, discuss it frequently and look for competencies to develop yourself further. In this way, the mind becomes attuned to find newer insights, never stops learning and thinks beyond existing frames helping you to become more valuable in the system. 
 
Shift from “I” to “WE”
Team work makes the dream work. However good and valuable you are as an employee; your success is defined on how good you are as a team player. In tough situations, companies look for team players who can create positive synergy, foster motivation and be good role models for others. As much as your work is integral to the success of your team, the success of your team is integral to your success. Collaboration at workplace is essential for driving engagement and it is a great tool to harness team bonding. Organisations value interpersonal skills with peers as a big trait to judge your candidature, so at work bonding with cross functional team is very important and you must spend substantial time in building this quality.
 
Introspect and Innovate
Due to ongoing technological disruptions, shifting organisational structures and unpredictable market demand, one needs to reinvent and acquire different skill sets. Being digitally literate, understanding emerging digital trends and analysing consumer behaviour around it can be the first step. To further drive change and enhance business competitiveness, you must Innovate and adopt it as a way of life. A need that triggers to solve problems with set of insights fuels innovation and this can be developed as a habit with practice. Learn savouring surprises that are happening around you, keep questioning them, collect insights on it and experiment on possible solutions till you get the best option. So your thinking needs to be evolved and you must be prepared to take risks without worrying about failures to make a difference. Going beyond domain and learning new models, building smart & cost effective solutions will always give you a competitive advantage over others. 
 
Improve networking skills and be responsible socially
Whether you are tech geek or a customer servicing professional, it is important to be well-connected and have good contacts within and outside your industry. Building a healthy network fosters community building of like-minded professionals and helps in sharing best practices, giving a fillip to your professional presence in the right social circuit. Not only do you develop your equity in the industry, you also get an opportunity to put forth your opinion, create valuable content for others to like and follow. You must remember that your network connections also follow the attitude you wear, hence it is important to choose your posts and preferences in social media. Stay away from controversial subjects and don’t have extreme opinions; showing flexibility in thoughts creates good vibe of you as a person which many companies look for. Use digital media to increase your presence exponentially and stay connected with important stakeholders of the industry.
 
Stay fit and be with positive people 
A fit and healthy body thinks fresh and delivers more at work. Focus on your own self – work on your skills but also take care of your mind and body. By managing energy more skillfully, it’s possible to perform better, in less time, more sustainably. This reduces absenteeism and enhances your productivity for the company. It's important to stay in the company of positive people as they recharge you mentally and show you the right direction always. Such people help you stay positive even in a negative situation and build your confidence substantially killing all negativities.
 
It's important to have a group of positive people to sail you through this difficult time. Surrounding yourself with positive people will help you stay positive when in a negative situation. Avoid the negative orientation people. They will kill your spirit and make you feel worthless. On the other hand, positive people will help you see the brighter side of life and give you a sense of hope.
 
Good organisations, departments, and leaders thrive during rough times because they learn to hone their skills consistently and with time they stay abreast with technology. They've discovered that it's the bad times that make them so much better during the good times.  A motivated employee and a team full of synergy can weather all storms and take the company to greater heights facing all adversities. Effective employee communications and engagement becomes important during this phase as it builds workforce to stay strong in all situations.  
 
Leaders need to add their personal touch and spearhead the bringing of positivity – through conversations and actions.

This article attributed to Sharad Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor India first appeared on 12th June, 2017 in Education Times, the leading career supplement from the house of The Times of India. 

http://www.educationtimes.com/article/26/2017061220170609185756609e412865d/Tough-time.html

Net Neutrality: Finding the be...

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Discussions around Net Neutrality draw immediate reaction as if freedom to access the internet is under thr...

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Net Neutrality: Finding the best solution in the interest of India's digital economy


Discussions around Net Neutrality draw immediate reaction as if freedom to access the internet is under threat and social media erupts in frenzy to justify diverse points of view.

Net Neutrality is back in news. It’s an emotive and important topic that needs to be debated in the correct perspective. Sometimes this gets compared with our fundamental rights like the right to speech and freedom of expression. Discussions around Net Neutrality draws immediate reaction as if freedom to access the internet is under threat and social media erupts in frenzy to justify diverse points of view.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had initiated a public consultation on the subject in January this year. The regulator is currently organizing open houses in multiple cities to engage with different stakeholders and get their opinion on the subject. Before we arrive at any conclusion here are few facts that need to be considered:

    Everybody including Telecom Service Providers believes in Neutrality of the Net. Reasonable traffic management only helps in better management of Internet traffic and prevents the services from degradation that will otherwise result in poor service quality experience.

•    A healthy and thriving competition is the only way to prevent any act of monopolization in a free market and it will not be an exaggeration to say that the telecom industry has more than its fair share of competition with average revenue per user is the lowest in the world.

•    From the CAPEX cycle getting reduced due to technology deployments, the evolution of new networks to rapidly evolving business models, we cannot afford to provide for more uncertainty in the business plans and include the cost of regulation in these stressful times.

Any straight jacket approach towards regulating Net Neutrality will only stifle the growth of the internet ecosystem. It will not only have a negative impact on businesses but will also be anti-consumer because:

•    The Internet ecosystem needs more investments in next five years than what has been put in last 15 years to reach this stage.

    It will only add to the business uncertainties, and, therefore, most likely discourage further investments. This will slow down the proliferation of next-generation networks to the masses.

Globally there are three kinds of approaches on Net Neutrality and has also been noted by TRAI in its consultation paper.

1.    Cautious observation: Most of the countries where Net Neutrality issues are under watch have taken this approach but no specific actions have been taken till date.

2.    Tentative refinement- Some countries have been light-handed and tweaked the existing regulation without any definite regime being mandated.

Active reforms: Countries such as Brazil has been proactive in framing regulations that prohibit certain behaviors by TSPs. The EU Regulator, BEREC, has also issued guidelines for the implementation of European Net neutrality rules by National Regulators. Some others like the USA had issued bright line rules as a guideline in the In view of above, a soft hand cautious approach will best serve India’s interests in these dynamic times. We can wait and watch to see how Net Neutrality is evolving in the developed world, and in the meantime, TSP’s can continue to follow the principles of No blocking, No throttling and No paid prioritization with reasonable traffic management to manage telecom networks. 

3.    past but the US Regulator FCC is now re-thinking the definition to preserve free and open Internet with the light-touch regulatory approach.

FCC Commissioner Mr. Ajit Pai has noted that Free data is helping consumers and new investments have also started to flowing-in for next generation communications networks. A public consultation has started in the USA to repeal net neutrality title–II regulation.

This approach will help us to learn best practices from other countries. We can evaluate what serves best interests of consumers as well as the industry in the long run. There will be more regulatory and business certainty going forward. There will be no show stoppers for any kind of innovations or innovative products. The flow of investments will continue and will help the Digital India initiative in taking Internet-based services to the masses.

Thus, a soft cautious regulatory approach is the best way forward in these times to protect the investments, promote innovations and preserve competitive free market. With all this in the background, I sincerely hope that Regulator will take note of these issues and take a call that will protect the interest of both the consumers and telecom industry.

This article attributed to Pankaj Sharma, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Telenor India first appeared on 16th June, 2017 in ET tech.

http://tech.economictimes.indiatimes.com/catalysts/net-neutrality-finding-the-best-solution-in-the-interest-of-india-s-digital-economy/2431

Feature phones refuse to die, ...

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Nokia caused a stir when it recently relaunched the iconic 3310 handset first offered in 2000

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Feature phones refuse to die, it's too early to write an obituary

 
Nokia caused a stir when it recently relaunched the iconic 3310 handset first offered in 2000

The telecom industry is witnessing some really interesting times. Even as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR), along with smart devices, are capturing the mindshare of the audience globally, Nokia caused a stir when it recently relaunched the iconic 3310 handset first offered in 2000.
Yes. It was like launching a vintage car in the era of driver-less vehicles. The move brought back memories of the first "mass market mobile phone". But more than nostalgia, the launch of the feature phone indicated a trend that refuses to die. 
In fact, if analysts and market reports are to be believed, there is lot left in the feature phone segment.
According to a report by Strategy Analytics, global feature phone shipments reached 396 million units in 2016, and account for 21 per cent of all the mobile phones shipped in the year. Closer home, IDC and Cyber Media Research forecast a dip in smart phone sales and an increase in feature phone demand in the year 2016-17.
Similarly, a study by eMarketer suggests that feature phones will continue to account for a significant share in the Indian handset market till 2019.
If you think there is something wrong in the way data has been presented, take another look at the numbers. India is not only the second-largest mobile phone market in the world but is also the second-largest in terms of the smartphone market, internet subscribers and social media subscription.
However, it is also true that our country still has a thriving 2G network along with the more modern 3G and 4G networks. A recent study conducted by the Mobile Marketing Association, a global non-profit trade body, reveals that out of the total population of Indians having a mobile phone, 56 per cent still use a feature phone. In some cases, the same user might be carrying both a smartphone and a feature phone.
Why is that? Indians love to talk and, though we want to be updated on the latest technology, we do not like spending too much on handsets. So, there is a large segment of population (over 70 per cent) that is still keeping away from smartphones and data networks, and are happy with feature phones or basic smartphones.
The lack of an ecosystem of quality local applications in regional languages is adding to users continuing with their feature phones. The general perception is: What can I do on a smartphone, with an English menu, which I cannot do on a feature phone?
Moreover, feature phone users do not all come from the low-income category. The eMarketer study suggests that only 25 per cent of feature phone users were from the lower income group. And the usage is not limited to just voice and SMS. Half of the users consume music and one-third watch videos and play games. The study also reveals that feature phone users prefer to access basic internet (2G) through their handsets, as against a desktop or a laptop.
The liking for feature phones is not limited to tier II towns but is visible in tier I towns and mini metros too. The charm of the feature phone lies in affordability and ease of use. Touch-screens, apps and high resolution cameras are great, but it is the battery life that swings the game in favour of feature phones, making them popular among first-time users and senior citizens.
When smartphone users plug in their mobiles multiple times for the juice and carry a separate battery bank, feature phones can boast of nearly 24-hour of talk-time, over 36 hours of music play-back and multiple days of standby time. They are good as back-up phones, can be picked up in emergency situations such as theft or loss, and are easy to operate by seniors. Most importantly, they are affordable.

In July 2015 we saw the ambitious Digital India mission launched and the same year, in October, India hit the billion mark on its mobile phone subscriber base. Digital, of course, is the way forward -- but we cannot ignore the millions that are still taking time to come up to speed.
Feature phones are not being ignored by developers. The recent money transfer app launched by the government -- BHIM -- can work on feature phones too. Similarly, mobile wallet providers have their versions for feature phones. Technology like USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) is making financial transactions easier on feature phones.
Feature phones are here to stay. Smartphones may overtake and dominate shipments in the next few years. But there will always be a demand for low-cost communication devices that provide all the essential services. So, hold the obituary. It will be a while before we can really write them off.


This article attributed to Sharad Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor India first appeared on 18th May, 2017 in Business Standard as a result of IANS flash.
 

http://www.business-standard.com/article/technology/feature-phones-refuse-to-die-it-s-too-early-to-write-an-obituary-117051800238_1.html

Journey Towards a Pollution Fr...

Khaga,

The Government of India has set the target to provide affordable and environment friendly 24x7 Power for al...

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Journey Towards a Pollution Free and Green Environment

The Government of India has set the target to provide affordable and environment friendly 24x7 Power for all by the year 2019.

The Paris Agreement on climate change has set the tone for stricter norms to be followed by countries to limit their greenhouse gas emissions and contain the impact of global warming. While cities contribute to over 70% of the worldwide greenhouse emissions, they are also the epicenter of where green innovations are happening collaboratively through public private partnerships and usage of various low carbon solutions. According to World Bank, air pollution and other environmental degradation costs India $80 billion per year which is about 5.7% of the country’s GDP.

This can only be controlled if proper and stringent measures – both on ground and in policy governance -- are taken on time.

Green Telecom landscape in India
By 2020, ICT is expected to account for 3% of global greenhouse emissions worldwide and for around 0.8 % of global CO2 emissions. Though the share of greenhouse gas emissions from Fixed and Mobile ICT network is still below 2%, the increasing energy requirement of ICT seem to be a concern as they contribute directly towards carbon emissions.
As per the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), CO2 emissions from the sector has gone up due to increase in power consumption as the operators race to meet the demand for better coverage and better network quality.
The grid power availability has improved due to the progressive actions undertaken by the Government in the past few years. Telecom equipment is distributed across the geography of the country and typically consumes 8 - 15 KW per location. But the grid power availability is still not up to the mark especially in rural & remote areas and compels TSPs to use alternate sources of energy including diesel powered generator sets. The non-availability of uninterrupted grid power is a key reason for carbon emission from the telecom networks. As a result, only around 20% of the 4.5 lakh telecom sites are diesel free.
However, going green is a necessity for the sector as energy costs constitutes almost 25% of network op-ex. Clearly more needs to be done and the road ahead is not easy. But in an intensely competitive market where every penny counts to keep the business profitable and running, cost will be a consideration while going green.

Innovation in Technology taking the lead
Telecom operators have started modernising their network infrastructure with state of the art power efficient equipment. As part of the Telenor Group Climate Change Strategy, we intend to reduce the carbon intensity of our global operations by 40% by 2017 compared to 2008 level. Telenor has implemented several successful initiatives that have helped reduce energy use, emissions and costs. Large scale rollout of solar power supplies across our Asian business units will help us reduce yearly operational costs at each base station by 25-30%. In India, as our contribution towards sustainable telecommunication networks, we have modernised majority of our network sites. The new equipment deployed are the state of art and environment friendly which consumes 30% less power, provides better quality of coverage with higher spectral efficiency.
Additionally, measures like Environmental Management System have a huge focus towards controlling CO2 emissions. Today, it’s possible to have outdoor network sites which don’t need air conditioners. As per an estimate, in a base station around 50% of the power is only consumed by ACs. Non-AC sites can save significant power. We converted 5200 sites from Indoor to Outdoor in India, which eliminated the requirement for ACs. This resulted in reduction of 1.04 Lac ton of CO2 emissions. At this rate, around 130 GWHr of power can be saved, which is adequate enough to provide power to almost 4300 houses in rural India for an entire month.

Government’s role as a helping aide
The Government of India has set the target to provide affordable and environment friendly 24x7 Power for all by the year 2019. In view of such progressive developments towards 24x7 power availability in next 2-3 years, mandating to adopt alternative source of power such as renewable energy will be an additional avoidable cost for the telecom sector. The solar power generation has recently achieved the 10GW milestone and green power tariff are at record low. TSPs should not be mandated to implement the Renewable Energy technologies as these small capacity deployments have far less efficiency as compared to the mega deployments being undertaken by the government through mega solar or wind farms. Instead, choice for selection of technology to reduce carbon emission should be left to TSPs.
Like former President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam said, “Energy efficiency is the fifth fuel after wood, oil, nuclear and green source.” And, we are all committed to handover a greener and cleaner planet earth to our next generation.

This article attributed to Sharad Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor India first appeared on 5th June, 2017 in BW Disrupt.

http://bwdisrupt.businessworld.in/article/Journey-Towards-a-Pollution-Free-and-Green-Environment-/04-06-2017-119458/

The learning never stops: Tele...

Khaga,

Understanding the constantly changing consumer behaviour and being nimble enough to tweak the deliverables ...

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The learning never stops: Telenor CEO Sharad Mehrotra

The learning never stops: Telenor CEO Sharad Mehrotra

Understanding the constantly changing consumer behaviour and being nimble enough to tweak the deliverables to serve them better.

The Job
Understanding the constantly changing consumer behaviour and being nimble enough to tweak the deliverables to serve them better. I get to work with highly motivated and passionate people, which helps in reaching innovative solutions and best practices. Of course, the learning never stops. I strongly believe in today’s dynamic world that “it’s not the big beating the small; it’s the fast beating the slow”. I dislike when we slow down in any manner across the value chain.
The Weekdays
My day starts with a morning rejuvenation session. Post this, I enjoy my cup of tea with a glimpse of global happenings over digital channels. This sets the tone for the day. At office, I spend time interacting with the various cross-functional teams and take valuable feedback for improving the customer experience and work culture. Lots of ideation, discussion and experience sharing takes place with teams to maximise efficiency, enhance productivity and fostering positive engagement for workforce.
The Weekends
I keep my weekends simple as it hovers around fitness and spending quality time with family. Post the rejuvenation sessions, I enjoy listening to Hindi songs of yesteryears. The rest of the day is all about my family, wife and daughters. Sometimes we connect to places we love the most and at others, it is about engaging discussions on emerging trends, current affairs and planning short vacations among other things.
The Toys
My running shoes and iPhone loaded with a variety of latest apps are a must for me. Between these two, I can keep myself engaged for many hours.
The Logos
I am quite loyal to brands like Park Avenue, Florsheim and US Polo Assn. But this does not stop me from experimenting and trying other brands. I like to keep myself updated on latest trends and keep experiencing newer versions.
Click here to view the online version:
http://www.financialexpress.com/industry/the-learning-never-stops-telenor-ceo-sharad-mehrotra/649904/
This personal profile of Sharad Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer at Telenor India appeared first in Financial Express, Brand Wagon on 2nd May, 2017.

Why Digital India Needs To Pay...

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The year 2016 saw one of the biggest ever breaches of financial data in India when 3.2 million debit cards ...

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Why Digital India Needs To Pay Serious Attention to Our 'Right To Privacy'

Data privacy matters.

The year 2016 saw one of the biggest ever breaches of financial data in India when 3.2 million debit cards of various leading banks were misused at a remote location in China. Closer home, in December 2016, the electronic medical records (EMR) of over 35,000 patients held by a Maharashtra-based pathology lab were leaked. Alarming, isn't it? In this highly connected world, the line between what is private and what is public is getting blurred.


Let's have a look at the numbers. India surpassed the US to become the No. 1 country in terms of Google Play downloads in 2016. There are over 300 million smartphone users using umpteen apps on their phones. On an average, users have 15-20 apps on their phones. And while we click on the "I agree" option to terms and conditions with the blink of an eye, we may be sharing our personal data with them. For any type of service that we use these apps for—from booking a cab, chatting, to ordering food online—there is an immense amount of digital data that is being created using complex algorithms to know the patterns and preferences of users. While the data can be used by advertisers to target a particular set of consumers, it may also be sold to new app developers or even be shared with law enforcement agencies for threat-profiling. But what if this information leaks or is hacked and reaches the wrong hands?


With the government seeking to develop a digital economy, it is extremely crucial that there is a law in place that protects the personal information of an individual. 


It's not just popular chat apps and social media pages that are vulnerable to breaches. People tend to save their bank account numbers, usernames and passwords as part of their contact list or just in the common notes area. Once they use third-party apps, all these details could potentially get uploaded onto the app's cloud. What if an app you download on your Smartphone wants access to your contact list, notes or any other data and you unknowingly agree to allow it?


The core progressive vision of Digital India is central to ensure that all citizens and users reap the benefits of technology and the Internet. It is a very bold step forward to connect the unconnected residing in the remotest parts of the country as well as driving the agenda of financial inclusion via digital transactions. Data privacy will play a very crucial part in building trust amongst users, while ensuring a digitised economy.


Data Privacy, as it is today


While incidents of data hacking or leaks indicate the lack of adequate safeguards to protect sensitive information, a recent report by Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy analysed the current rules and norms in place for data protection. The results of the report said that Indian data protection laws are inadequate and only address some of the security, privacy and other issues addressed by similar laws in other countries. From biometrics-based Aadhaar data to EMR (Electronic Medical Record)-based medical data, this includes sensitive information which can not only be sold to third party vendors for advertising but can have disastrous consequences if someone breaches the data and invades the privacy of users. Privacy being fundamental to the core of a digitised society, we need to re-look at this aspect as a whole rather than in conjunction with other aspects of information technology.

 

The need for separate data privacy legislation


Talking about the laws on privacy, the Supreme Court concluded in the year 1963 that Article 21 of the Constitution includes "right to privacy" as a part of the right to "protection of life and personal liberty". The context in the said judgment was more of physical privacy. Then, Section 72 of the IT Act deals with protection of data and thereby privacy of data. After an amendment in 2008, personal data was also brought under this section. The IT Act outlines sensitive personal data and transfer of such data under a contract with other entities and imposes due diligence on corporates to provide for data security. However, on the ground, the Act needs to be implemented and a practical approach to redressal of privacy concerns should be formulated.


Privacy being fundamental to the core of a digitised society, we need to re-look at this aspect as a whole rather than in conjunction with other aspects of information technology. 


With the rapid growth of digitisation, India needs to come out with laws and regulations to ensure every stakeholder—consumers, corporates, government—benefits from this shift towards a digital lifestyle without tripping on privacy issues. At this point of time, when the government is seeking to develop a digital economy, it is extremely crucial that there is a law in place that protects the personal information of an individual. The regulations need to define the privacy rights for citizens and security rights for governments. There should be flexibility around where network elements will be hosted to take advantage of scale and should give freedom to get consumer insights using data analytics.


The laws should be drafted to protect all forms of personal data, such as passwords, financial information, health conditions, medical history, biometric information along with a requirement to seek consent of individuals before collecting any personal information. If an app needs the personal information of the user, then that data needs to be destroyed soon after its use. This is the age of mobility and there is a substantial change in the way people access the internet. Hence, there is an intrinsic expectation that data be protected.


The most important thing is to educate the end user and simplify the language as much as possible. Legal jargon confuses users and they tend to ignore the fine text. End user agreements need to be simpler and specific. The exclusions should be highlighted to show which data will be shared and which will not be. The user needs to be specifically informed about where and how his or her data will be used (purpose) and the data collected will be limited to the declared use solely.


It is also important for all users to be made aware of any data breach incidents, allowing them to change their username, passwords or take other measures to protect their digital assets. There is an increasing need to set up a nodal agency to reach out to for reporting any privacy breach or misuse.


Protection of data privacy is important to strengthen the digital ecosystem and the mobile environment of India. It will form the foundation of realising the Digital India dream and protect users from any kind of cyber harm. It is crucial to have in place an effective regime for the protection of personal information—only then can we win the trust of the users in our country and can witness more people becoming a part of the digital journey.


This article attributed to Sharad Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor India first appeared on 26th April, 2017 in Huffington Post 

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/sharad-mehrotra/why-digital-india-needs-to-pay-serious-attention-to-our-right-t/


 

India - The new digital countr...

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Be it smart cities, rural broadband, cash less economy or financial inclusion, everything now needs a telec...

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India - The new digital country

India - The new digital country
Be it smart cities, rural broadband, cash less economy or financial inclusion, everything now needs a telecom network to be carried to the masses. With over 1 billion mobile connections, wireless networks are going to power the ‘Digital India’ projects to cover the entire population of the country.

With the excitement around the state elections getting over and the government machinery coming back to their regular work, the buzz around bigger economic reforms getting a serious push is now getting louder. If the media reports are to be believed and the activity in the corporate world is an indication, then it would not be wrong to infer that a move like Demonetization was just the trailer. GST is going to be implemented now by 1st July and more should follow soon. In anticipation, every industry has started preparing their wish list and the telecom sector in particular has a lot to look forward to.
The telecom industry is at the centre of the digitization agenda of the government. In fact, telecom come second only to media in the list of sectors expecting moderate or massive digital disruption over the next 12 months, according to a 2015 cross-industry survey of senior industry leaders. Be it smart cities, rural broadband, cash less economy or financial inclusion, everything now needs a telecom network to be carried to the masses. With over 1 billion mobile connections, wireless networks are going to power the ‘Digital India’ projects to cover the entire population of the country.
So what do we need do to take the next big step to fast forward India as a digital country. The work has already started with the pace of licensing and regulatory reforms for the telecom industry getting accelerated during 2016. But still a lot to catch-up needs to be done for better financial health and overall growth of the sector. Some of the issues that the authorities now need to iron out are as follows:
Taxes and levies – Rationalisation of taxes is one of the most important reforms required to boost the financial health of the telecom sector today. Twenty two years after the first call made on a private network and even after being classified as critical infrastructure, the industry are reeling under heavy taxes. On every rupee earned approx 30 paise goes as taxes to the government. Telecom Service Provider (TSP) pay around 14 paise as license fee which includes 5 paise for social obligation fund (USO). Another 15 paise goes towards service tax (this may go up to 18 paise once the new GST regime is implemented). Then there is corporate tax that is levied if you cross the earning threshold. In most countries, total taxes on utilities like telecom are below 20% and we should also start moving in this direction. Since spectrum is now being allocated through auctions, the first step can be to reduce the license fees and the other levies including LF, SUC and USO fund should be around 5%.
Service tax on spectrum auctions – India is the only country in the world that imposes a service tax on spectrum auctions. This tax comes as double whammy as spectrum brought auctions come at a very high price. In spectrum pricing India is arguably one of the costliest in the world and operators are required to pay service tax over the bid price. Even if it comes under the purview of CENVAT (Central Value Added Tax), it puts severe constraints on the cash flows and most of the players are forced to carry this on their balance sheet. Moreover, service tax also applies on the license fee and spectrum usage charges. There is an urgent need to do away with service tax on spectrum purchased in auctions. Abolishing this tax will not only make telecom services more affordable, it will also ease out some financial pressure on the operators.
Spectrum trading - Spectrum trading guidelines are seen as a positive step towards optimal utilization of the scarce resources and has already triggered few deals in past few months. However, there are few flaws that need to be corrected. The principal amount received from the trading deal has been made a part of AGR (adjusted gross revenue) for the purpose of levying license fee and SUC. This means tax on the principal as well as the gains. This double taxation anomaly should be corrected and at-least the principal amount should not be included as part of the AGR.
Spectrum sharing – Any spectrum sharing pact between TSPs attracts additional SUC of 0.5% on the AGR of both the parties. This is a regressive step and goes against basic principles of resource sharing. The government will anyway get more taxes in case revenue of the operator grows due to spectrum sharing. This clause is one of the reasons why till now we have not seen a single sharing agreement among the operators. If this anomaly can be removed, spectrum sharing will take off and we will see improved efficiencies in the sector.
M&A guidelines – The lock-in conditions in the license are linked with the rollout obligation which needs to be fulfilled prior to any sale of equity by an operator. When spectrum trading guidelines were notified, a provision was made to transfer the unfulfilled portion of the rollout obligation from the seller to the buyer in case of full spectrum trade. However, a similar provision is yet to be incorporated in the M&A guidelines and thereby making it inconsistent with other guidelines. Such parity in M&A policy will facilitate effective market consolidation in the sector.
Digital regulations – Keeping pace with the demand for a digital lifestyle, telecom companies are changing their business focus and are ensuring availability of high speed internet along with relevant digital content, applications and services. The legacy regulations are unable to address the changing market dynamics and are often ineffective to meet the economic and social objectives for which they were designed. Lack of clarity on regulations when it comes to ‘digital’ services, adds to the cost of doing business and often discourages innovation. The technology and consumer behaviour changes warrant a fresh look at the existing regulations. The future will require a more technology-agnostic and flexible approach, where regulations do not slow down the pace of creative thinking to create a digital eco-system.
As an Indian, I can’t help thinking but urge the government that “Yeh Dil Maange More”.
This article attributed to Pankaj Sharma, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Telenor India first appeared in ET Telecom on 10th April

Read more: http://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/tele-talk/india-is-the-new-digital-country-telenor-s-pankaj-sharma/2272

 

Lower Mobile Termination charg...

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This article attributed to Pankaj Sharma, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Telenor India first appeared in ...

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Lower Mobile Termination charges- why relevant for Indian market?

This article attributed to Pankaj Sharma, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Telenor India first appeared in Communications Today in the March issue

Digital Workplace: Getting rea...

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Steve Jobs once said that creativity is just connecting things. Being a tech visionary perhaps he had envis...

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Digital Workplace: Getting ready for a new era

Steve Jobs once said that creativity is just connecting things. Being a tech visionary perhaps he had envisaged how technology will shape our lives way before he died in 2011. Today we are living in a world where being connected is the new normal. We are on social platforms, we play and shop online, use e-cash. At times it seems like if you are not connected, then perhaps you are not alive. A mobile phone is the most personal and valuable possession for anyone of us. While these might be exaggerations to an extent, the fact remains that technology is disrupting the way we live and more so the way we work.
For the millennials, Wi Fi connected lap tops (not even desktops) as workstations define an office space. But for the slightly older generation memories of paper files, rotary phones and fax machines are still fresh. It is not only the new age start-ups or IT companies that are trying to make their offices a fun place but even the old economy companies are embracing technology to change. Working from cafés or home is no more a taboo and, in fact, is encouraged as an employee friendly initiative. The phenomenon of digitization has revolutionized HR practices right from recruitment to employee engagement and collaboration at workplace.
Further with globalization, the need to be connected across multiple locations is stronger than ever before. Collaboration and sharing best practices has become an important strategy towards success. All this is being fast tracked by embracing digitalization and new tech platforms. As we usher in the digital era, the social and Internet-based tools are facilitating better engagements with customers in real time. The approach is more integrated with cross functional teams leveraging the distributed expertise to extract efficiencies and get profitable growth.
Digitization is no longer just a way to lower costs and boost productivity, but a means to provide delightful and compelling digital experiences across all channels leading to real top-line growth. However, the transition requires a shift in the mind set of people first. To put it simply, as businesses become digital, people and cultures must become digital too.


Going digital at workplace

As the workplace becomes digital, the new and effective ways to communicate and collaborate is paving way for better knowledge sharing across the organization. The ability to pool in productive business relationships beyond the natural work groups is unlocking new avenues to work together or ways to reach out to the last mile. For example, for the consumer facing companies, the smart phones has put the office in the hands of on-the-street sales team. A single app is making day to day retail operations simple and is facilitating cost savings in the retail chain of the company. Now real time status of the stock available with the retailers, logistics details and customer usage trends and more can be collected, viewed and analysed on a phone. All this is introducing nimbleness in the strategy making process and is reducing the go-to-market time.
Within the office premises, the personal social behaviours are being integrated with productive and collaborative tools. The age-old Intranet has also gone through multiple iterations over the years. Companies like Facebook have come out with their enterprise version called Workplace to connect employees in a multi-location environment. Telenor was the first telecom operator to adopt this new way to engage with its 36000 employees spread across Europe and Asia. Before Workplace, Yammer made news as an enterprise social networking service. It was later acquired by Microsoft and its CEO Satya Nadella uses it to connect with employees and broadcast his messages to the whole company.

 

Transforming employee experience

The recent TimesJobs study said that open, transparent and responsive communication both on formal and informal channels is key to success. The digital tools have made the workplace more transparent and open specially when it comes to information sharing between leadership and employees or customers. The connect is direct and engagement levels are higher. A connected and digital workplace also makes employees more aware of the larger role they play within the organization and in turn, making them feel an important part of organization.
Additionally, active use of digital media, social networks and company review sites play a major role in ensuring an attractive employer brand.

Embracing the change

Amidst such digital disruption, the question is what next? One thing is clear that this is just the beginning. The real disruption is yet to arrive. The way Internet of Things, data analytics, virtual reality and augmented reality has hit the world with the recent example of Pokemon Go going viral, the future is eyeing options galore. Various organizations are working to build cloud based visual workplaces that act like seamless collaboration platforms.
As organizations gear up to become digital, it is also crucial to skill the current work force for the digital era. The businesses that will be successful in the future will be those who tear down the divide between people, technologies and the workplace. If there are no barriers dividing the workforce, everyone will be empowered to do their job, to be creative and productive wherever they are. So let’s be a part of this digital transition and enjoy the transformation of workplace.

This article attributed to Sharad Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor India first appeared on 1st March, 2017 in Times Ascent

 

 

Bridging the Digital Divide wi...

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As spectrum gets more scarce, software and algorithms will help push efficiencies to keep mobile services r...

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Bridging the Digital Divide with technology innovation

As spectrum gets more scarce, software and algorithms will help push efficiencies to keep mobile services relevant and affordable for rural markets


With over a billion subscribers, India is the second largest telecom market in the world with only China ahead in numbers.  However, a closer look at the 80% tele-density reveals that it is the urban areas that have been pushing the numbers. The rural market at 50% penetration still has a long way to cover. The cities have almost 1.5 mobile connections for every person. Business drives telecom service providers to offer latest technologies and services to these areas. But when Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks about Digital India, this segregation is not there. For the government if Digital India vision has to be achieved it has to be inclusive and the benefits needs to reach every village of the country.

Mobile internet is a potent tool to deliver basic citizen services like healthcare, education and banking to remote corners of India, which can help them live fuller, better lives and join the worldwide economy.   As per a recent report by Deloitte, by expanding internet access in developing countries to levels seen today in developed economies, we could increase productivity by as much as 25 percent, generating $2.2 trillion in GDP and more than 140 million new jobs, lifting 160 million people out of poverty. Internet penetration across India can increase the rate of GDP growth to 110%.

While it has been established that in most of the cases mobile is going to be the first network and screen to connect a user, the challenges are getting pronounced and noticed now. it is not difficult to get affordable handsets or design low tariff products to attract users. Operators are faced with a situation where the lack of spectrum is impacting network experience. Reports show that India has 0.10 MHz of spectrum available per million of population, advanced countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium have 20.0 MHz available for every million population.

Now spectrum or airwaves that enable wireless communications, is a finite natural resource. It cannot be manufactured or stretched beyond what the laws of physics permit. Given the gap in supply and demand of spectrum, during auctions the price, though determined by market forces, is very high. On the other hand, the competitive nature of the market does not allow the operators to increase the tariffs to match the high spectrum acquisition cost. So the only way to be in the game is to be more efficient and keep the cost of operation as low as possible.

In the past operators have planned their businesses on an outsourcing model that helped in lowering the operating cost and pass on the cost benefit to the customers. Sounds simple but the matter gets complicated as the number of subscribers goes up and the demand for data services increases every day.

Too attractive to let it go

The lure of the Indian market refuses to subside and it remains one of the growth markets. After all 50% of rural India is still waiting to be connected to a telecom network. For an operator like Telenor with operations in 13 countries, India contributes nearly 25% of its subscriber base. Riding on its affordable and value for money proposition it has clocked the fastest 50 million customers within six years of starting operations. It is carrying an ambition of Internet for All which is similar to Digital India and aims to take the benefits of mobile telephony to every one. However, to continue offering affordable digital services to customers within the constraints of spectrum, technology innovations have to be incorporated on the networks.

Lean GSM for improved efficiency and additional capacity

Innovations in technology can actually help address several challenges that exist in developing markets, but for operators or other ecosystem players to implement such innovations it is important to realise that rural areas can be as profitable as urban areas and usage can be as intense. Our growing data subscriber base is a testimony to this. Operators have often been reluctant from investing in remote corners of the country considering the high cost of investment and low returns on investment but this is actually a myth. There are several examples from non-telecom sectors like e commerce, FMCG, where companies have based their business models around mass market and reaped huge benefits.

As part of the modernisation plan of the entire 25,000 sites, one such innovative implementation has been of Lean GSM. The industry first deployment by Huawei on Telenor India network maximizes spectrum efficiency and increases coverage. This solution uses GPS-based synchronization and automated interference management based on real time network measurement. This improves network capacity by over 30% using the same spectrum resources and provides superior voice and data experience. In the regions where Lean GSM has been deployed, not only has data speed gone up but also voice quality has improved and call drop has reduced by almost a third.  Not only this, this efficient utilisation of spectrum has also helped improve energy efficiency up to 30% making the network green by reducing carbon footprint.

The additional capacity freed by Lean GSM deployment can be utilized in spectrum re-farming for LTE introduction. While a full LTE or 4G deployment needs 5 Mhz spectrum, Narrow Band LTE (NB LTE) can be introduced on as low as 1.4 Mhz of spectrum. Telenor is doing a pilot in Varanasi with NB LTE to deliver mobile broadband and the results have been encouraging.

While in urban areas, smart phone penetration is pushing consumption of heavy multimedia content, such as streaming video, music and online gaming. In rural areas, however, smart phone penetration is low and the first time Internet users are experimenting with social media, messaging apps and music, etc. Telenor has successfully catered to this demand on its 2G network and the introduction of NB LTE will satisfy the need for high speed Internet till more spectrum is allocated and relevant 4G services are launched even in rural areas.

Creating digital awareness

Besides tech innovations, it is also important to bridge the digital divide by creating more awareness amongst the masses around the value mobile Internet brings to their lives. The benefits are beyond just entertainment or e-governance. Mobile can help extend the financial security cover or offer banking services to the unbanked. Telenor is offering free life insurance by using a mobile only enrolment initiative. With nearly 21 million customers have enrolled and 8 million policies issued, we are the world’s largest single policy holder. Initiatives such as Internet on Wheels which takes the retail shop to customer’s door step or Grahak Siksha Kendra – customer education centres -- with dedicated executives to resolve complaints and queries have been well received. At these GSKs and mobile vans, customers can understand ways to make their Internet usage safe and prevent cyber frauds.

With government support such initiatives can remove the scepticism around use of technology. Efforts like Mobile Connect – a initiative by GSMA and telecom operators -- to make the mobile number a digital identity for authentication of transactions will make it simple and add to the confidence of customers. A more collaborative effort by all the players in the telecommunications ecosystem can fast forward India’s progress towards inclusive growth and help it become a digitally connected and empowered society.
This article attributed to Tanveer Mohammad, Chief Operating Officer, Telenor India first appeared in Connect World in the month of March, 2017

 

Inclusive growth: Setting the ...

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India women have come a long way in terms of establishing themselves as leaders, decision makers, bread ear...

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Inclusive growth: Setting the bar higher with technology

India women have come a long way in terms of establishing themselves as leaders, decision makers, bread earners, company representatives and entrepreneurs. These leaders are encouraging women to have a transformed lifestyle. We’re seeing women rising the ranks in business, technology and government from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. There’s been no better time to be a woman in India than right now. By and large, women are safer, more prosperous and have more opportunities than they ever had before.
Recently when the world was showering praises on ISRO’s feat of launching 104 satellites, the untold story of the “Rocket Women” of India was also unfolding simultaneously. These brilliant women scientists have taken the Indian space programme to new heights. And they are not the only ones who have broken the glass ceiling to reach for the skies, literally, but every sector is witnessing an increasing presence of women in the boardroom. A case in point will be the banks or the technology companies where women now dominate the top roles.

Women have never had it so good

Long gone are the excusable days that women are not part of the corporate composition. According to the World Economic Forum, more than a quarter of a billion women have entered the labor force in the past 10 years, up from 1.5 billion to 1.75 billion worldwide.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 of the United Nations 2030 global agenda specifically sets out to achieve gender equality and female empowerment. And according to ADB, a tenant to the achievement of SDG 5 is the use of Information and Communications Technology. SDG 10 – Reducing Inequalities connects in equal measure to the active inclusion of women and girls in educational, social and economic spheres. It’s an inclusion that ICT effectively drives.

Women have come a long way, still a long walk
Despite accomplishments of women leaders from Asia, there are many hurdles to be crossed. For example, India has among the worst levels of gender wage disparity — men earning more than women in similar jobs — with the gap exceeding 30 per cent, according to the Global Wage Report 2016-17 released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in December 2016.
Further at a regional level, Asia loses between US$16 billion to US$30 billion annually as a result of gender gaps in education and then employment. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) and ADB, the region reportedly loses between US$42 billion to US$47 billion annually due to women’s limited access to employment opportunities.
Clearly, if more women were active participants in the economy, we all benefit. Eliminating gender disparity in the region would increase per capita income for all by 70% in roughly 60 years and that’s something everyone should be able to get behind.
Women need to feel empowered and supported by their companies in order to put themselves forward for senior positions. Without this commitment and backing from the business community, the current imbalanced situation which the corporate sector is facing won’t change. According to the TimesJobs Job Outlook Survey 2016–17, an increased number of corporates in India will have a larger focus on gender diversity in 2017. Nearly 70 percent of organizations said they would be hiring more women in 2017 and 20 percent said that they would hire women professionals for CXO roles in the years to come.
Technology to empower Indian women

A 2016 report done by KPMG found that communications technology, including mobile phones, promotes entrepreneurial activity of women, improving business practices overcoming gender barriers. This is corroborated by two thirds of working women who reported that having a mobile means they have, or would have, greater access to business and employment opportunities (GSMA).
Over 110 million Indian women are active users of internet and it is growing at a rate of 46% every year, according to a report by Internet and Mobile Association of India and IMRB International. The internet’s ability to enable access and reduce cost barriers for such young female pioneers is essential in a world where remuneration inequalities still exist.  With the right knowledge, a world of opportunity is at their fingertips—a world of female-empowered initiatives and gender neutral marketplaces—where outputs are judged solely on quality and void of predisposed discrimination.

The steepest, but surest climb is in India
The issue of women empowerment has never been more relevant in India. As one of the world’s fastest growing economies, in India, the creation and growth of digital economies and women empowerment should go hand-in-hand.
Telecom companies should provide the power of digital communication, enabling its female customers to improve their lives, build societies and secure a better future for all. Empowering women in societies and creating a positive local impact should be at the core of all actions.

Digital innovation has the ability to bring more women and disenfranchised into the fold. It gives an opportunity to promote inclusive growth and rewrite society’s gender code now. The rise of female inclusion through digital innovation around the world will provide more gender neutral opportunities and mute, if not completely extinguish, the age-old – and frankly no longer acceptable – narratives of “before”.


This article attributed to Sharad Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor India first appeared in Business Insider on 7th March, 2017
http://www.businessinsider.in/heres-how-technology-will-empower-women-set-the-bar-higher/articleshow/57512595.cms

 

How the mobile can power digit...

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Using the cell phone as e-wallet will help digital payments go mass market. But it needs policy tweaks and ...

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How the mobile can power digital India

The call for digital cash or going cashless has never been as loud and clear as it has been in the past two months across the country. One of the positive impacts of the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes by the government has been the exploration of alternate methods of payment such as credit & debit cards, online money transfer & payments, use of e- wallets, digital transaction apps like BHIM etc.  The various means of digital payments have made life a little easier.

However, each of these have one common challenge - low penetration. As per Reserve Bank of India a little over 2% of Indians have a credit card and around 59% have a debit card but even these are not accepted at all merchant establishments. In cities, the acceptance of cards is high but as we move towards rural India the acceptance of plastic money becomes scarce and challenging. On the banking side, over 47 crore citizens have an account of which 26 Crore are Jan Dhan accounts. A large number of these bank accounts are dormant for want of financial literacy. E- wallets need a smart phone to operate and these are not inter-operable with other wallets. These wallets work as islands, it means transactions from one wallet to another are not possible and users need to manage multiple Digital wallets. It is also natural to weigh these options on the parameters of user trust and security.

Financial inclusion, a major social reform, driven by the government can only be built on a transparent digital platform which is easy to use. While there are multiple ways to achieve digitization of payments but by using Mobile as E-wallet and by leveraging on the mobile user base of over a billion subscribers, the digital payments ambition can be realised across majority of the population irrespective of smart phones or feature phones or SIM enabled devices. Mobile phones and its retail distribution are spread across India with far deeper penetration than any other retail distribution infrastructure.

Thus, a simpler option is to allow mobile operators to offer Mobile as E-wallet, wherein the mobile top-ups can be seamlessly transferred to E-wallet for making small value daily transactions. This small value E- wallet can be offered as a bundled service to 1 billion subscribers, thus eliminating the need for customer education (payment literacy). There will also not be any language barrier or interoperability challenge  since everybody knows how to do a mobile recharge. In fact this will be complementary to all other forms of Digital payments, as this small value E-wallet will act as a stepping stone to the world of digital payments.

As per the exisitng regulations of RBI, mobile top-up  are closed wallet and can only be used for the services offered by the respective mobile service providers. This restricts purchases or payment of utility bills, ecommerce shopping or any other digital purchases  for third party products and services. By allowing the telecom wallet to transact with third party products,  the government can facilitate small value transactions by linking the buyer and seller through mobile phones in a secure and reliable manner. Mobile networks have a global standard of security and therefore mobile top-up wallets are highly secure. Accuracy of telecom (minute) transactions is a testament to their technical capabilitues to handle volumes. Lets not forget, our telecom networks handle about 13 billion outgoing minutes per day i.e, 13 Billion Billied Transactions in One Day.


The reach and easy availability of a mobile phone in the hands of nearly every citizen, whether urban or rural, has overcome the digital literacy barrier. Mobile is clearly positioned to deliver on the goal of financial inclusion. All we truly need is to allow mobile phones to act as Digital wallets for carrying out small value transactions say upto Rs 1000 daily. With more than 100 Crore mobile subscribers, this has a potential of delivering nearly INR  100 billion in digital cash every day into the retail system of the economy. The process is simple and hassle free.

Today, the mobile industry has an unparalleled distribution network supported by all possible payment mechanism viz. cash, select ATMs, mobile wallets, internet banking etc. The mobiles can also be linked with their bank accounts subject to eKYC verification. A mobile wallet can be loaded from a bank account or any other electronic means currently used for mobile recharge. Moreover, the extensive retail & distribution network of telecom operators is also available for those who may not have a bank account. Currently, the closed wallet with telecom operators is an opportunity lost to make our society truly a less cash society.

This digital payment solution will be ready to use from day one. It is reliable and secure and at the same time scalable and inter-operable on the strength of the Telecom infrastructure. All the mobile operators already have pre-paid Intelligent billing systems and they can make mobile E- wallets interoperable as well with a little hard work.

In order to enable digital payments the following four regulatory changes are required to be done:

1.    Unified License scope of service should be expanded to include financial services
2.    RBI should allow mobile phone top-up as semi-closed e-wallet
3.    Each mobile phone to be used for digital transaction should be verified through eKYC process.
4.    As of now, all mobile revenues are subject to the revenue share regime (Licence Fee & Spectrum Usage Charges). Finance Ministry and Dept of Telcom need to re-tune this process and remove digital mobile transactions for third party purchases from revenue share regime to service tax  regime only. Industry can differentiate between voice/ data consumption and digital transactions revenues by maintaining two different wallets. Closed wallet for telecom services and semi-closed wallet for retail transactions.

Though the National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2012 identifies the role of mobile phones in financial inclusion, but till now the focus has been to provide connectivity to enable delivery of financial products. Here is an opportunity that will bring financial inclusion in true sense to the mass market. The line dividing rural and urban market will disappear and the country will see true digital empowerment of one and all in the shortest time.

This article attributed to Sharad Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor India first appeared on 10th February, 2017 in The Hindu Business Line
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/cellphones-less-cash-india-and-digital-empowerment/article9535111.ece

 

Telenor to expand its narrowba...

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What are your views on the Indian telecom industry?

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Telenor to expand its narrowband-LTE services in ten new towns: Tanveer Mohammad

Telenor to expand its narrowband-LTE services in ten new towns: Tanveer Mohammad

What are your views on the Indian telecom industry?
India has a huge telecom industry. After China, it is second in the world in terms of subscription and in terms of internet users it is also the third biggest in the world

We are also seeing more than a billion subscribers in India. It also has around 80% of teledensity. But, looking into these big figures, something might not be very clear because as you go into the deep rural areas we also see that penetration is merely at 50% so there is still a lot of untapped opportunities which are lying in the Indian market.

What we are also seeing is that internet is definitely growing and the demand for internet is also growing but at the same time there is lot of voice demand which is still there in the country. It's a big market, it's a market for opportunities, and it's a market where at this moment both the voice and data are still in highly demand.
Please share Telenor's learning being a rural telecom operator in India.

What we always wanted to be was be relevant in the rural market. When we started our operations we wanted to offer the basic services to customers. At that time, voice was the basic need, and we stretched ourselves to make sure that we can offer voice at best possible prices or cost to the customers.

As I said, we always wanted to be the operator that provides basics to our customers. We also found that gradually data has also started becoming a basic need for our customers. In 2014, we started offering basic data to our customers as well. But this is very interesting - what is basic today specially for data, tomorrow that very definition of basic can also be changing. So what we found that many of our customers who had first internet experience with our network may in terms of some messaging applications like WhatsApp or Facebook, over time their basic need also started evolving and they started demanding some sort of video possibilities with our network. Then we started exploring what can be done so that we start meeting the demand. In many of our circles, we have spectrum holding of 5 to 7.2 Mhz of spectrum. Then using this limited spectrum what can be the solution for offering internet to our customers, we really started engaging with different stakeholders like vendors, partners and many others. We also realised that there are certain new technologies which has started coming into the world - one of the example is lean GSM. We took a big initiative to modernise our network so that we can start implementing some of these very new technologies.
The lean GSM helps you take care of basic voice requirement in more efficient way.

If you have 5 MHz to take care of GSM need, what we have found that if you can really modernise the network and implement these new features, it's possible to take care of the same demand using less spectrum - 3.5 Mhz. In the process, you are freeing up some of the spectrum which can be used for something else. Another new technology which became available was narrowband-LTE. What we have seen that in in most of the case 5 mhz was being used for LTE application. As a part of narrowband LTE, we also found it's possible to use 1.4 or 3 Mhz of spectrum for LTE applications.

Using a combination of Lean GSM and narrowband LTE, we found opportunities to launch LTE in circles where we operate. In circles, where we have only 5 MHz of spectrum, we could free up 1.4 Mhz for narrow band LTE and in circles like AP we could free up 3 Mhz of spectrum for LTE application.
Our journey has been progressing in the way so that we are able to meet our customer demands in terms of both voice and data applications in the most efficient way possible.

We started with voice, then we started basic data, then we expanded ourselves with the launch of narrowband LTE. Now, we are in a position wherever we have launched LTE we can take care of video demand as well. This is so far the internet journey of Telenor India.


How has been the uptake of Telenor's narrowband-LTE services?

Our first city was Varanasi where we launched LTE service. We launched LTE with 1.4 Mhz of spectrum. It has already been more than six months and customers are still getting around 1 MBPS of throughput. These customers are mainly small screen users. For video services like Youtube in small screens is working perfectly with no buffering. In cities like Vizag, where we have launched LTE with 3 MHz spectrum, customers are getting 3-5 mbps and the experience is even better.
Our number of customers is growing. Recently we exceeded 5 tera-byte of data consumption per day in our LTE towns. We have already launched 27 towns and 10 more are in the pipeline.

Our LTE is giving a perfect solution to customers for applications and content that are available in the market.
How crucial pricing of 4G services is for Telenor India?

We offer both the GSM and LTE services - GSM works with feature phones so the entry barrier is quite so it is very much possible for them to buy cheap handsets and start using the voice and basic data. For LTE, supported devices are required. Worldwide we are seeing good price development in terms of LTE devices. Once they overcome the device barrier, then definitely whatever kind of plans and different products are available in the market that's very important. We have always ensured that there has to be a good value for the money for our customers in terms of products and offering. So we have tailor made our offerings in terms of customer need so that they don’t need to spend big amount of money to avail our different products.

In Indian market, pricing is really important because services have to be good but at the same time it needs to be affordable as well. Only when you create right kind of equilibrium, it will be customer friendly and things will start growing.

How do you look at the competition?

Competition is exciting in the Indian market, especially after the new entrant it has got newer dimension. But, India is a vast market with huge population and huge subscription base. One size will never be fitting all the needs in the market. There are different segments of customers, hence different needs of customers. We want to be best in segments where we operate. Despite of having different competition, we are trying ourselves even more efficient. We are trying to make ourselves even more applicable to segments we operate in. It is giving us even more push to become even more competitive. The competition is there but at the same time we are also seeing enough traction for services and products we offer. We are still very relevant and will continue to be relevant in circles where we operate.

Does Telenor plan to develop its own digital content to back 4G services?

We want to really make sure that our offerings are creating best value for customers. The telecom ecosystem is so huge that for Telenor India it will never be possible to take care of everything by the company itself.
It's about partnerships and providing right kind of access to different content and services that are available in the market. our strategy will always be to be relevant and continue to make sure how to bring different content services in best possible way. It could be through partnerships or in terms of doing something on our own.

We ventured into the spaces like micro insurance, and also ventured into creating mobile applications through which customers can take care of their regular needs. We have also got into giving small loans to customers whenever they find it difficult to recharge.
Many things we are doing by ourselves, but at the same time we are taking advantage of whatever is available in the market.
Which are the new initiatives being planned for customer acquisition?

We want to grow in circles where we operate, but it has to be in a most viable kind of way. We are always evaluating different options. In future, you will be seeing new different initiatives which will make our position even stronger in the market from where we are.
You served as a CTO of Grameenphone Bangladesh before coming to India. How do you compare both the markets?

Both the markets are growing markets, yet there are a lot of similarities, but a lot of unique characteristics and challenges as well. In Bangladesh, i worked with Grameenphone which is the market leader, while Telenor India is really setting up new trend in terms of how to really run a network in a very efficient way.
In both the markets, we are trying to bring new things and want to be pioneer in terms of bringing innovative services to customers. But the uniqueness in Bangladesh operations is that most of the things are in-sourced, while in India we are working in a hybrid model of in-source balanced with outsourcing.
Both the markets have got tremendous growth opportunity, and have huge youth population. Both markets have a hunger for internet services.
The Interview with Tanveer Mohammad, Chief Operations Officer at Telenor India first appeared in Economic Times on 19th Decemebr, 2016

Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/56063315.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

 

 

A New Policy Framework Needed ...

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With proliferation of digital platforms and the booming smart phone market, the ‘apps era’ has ...

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A New Policy Framework Needed for Digital India

A New Policy Framework Needed for Digital India

With proliferation of digital platforms and the booming smart phone market, the ‘apps era’ has exploded, bringing in a digital tsunami.
The Digital India program has the potential to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. It envisages providing digital infrastructure as a utility to every individual, delivering governance and services on demand, and enabling digital empowerment of citizens. While the process of digitization might come across as a part of the natural cycle of evolution propelled by technology, the speed of change has been overwhelming, especially for non-millennials.
Specific to the telecom industry, this not only means a sudden surge in data consumption but also adjusting the business model to serve a data-centric market. Today, every service is available or can be accessed from smart phones through apps. As services like communication, banking, e-commerce, e-wallets, utility bill payments, etc., converge on the digital platform, it requires the support of a suitable regulatory framework for a level playing field.
The current telecom regulatory framework aptly caters to the traditional telecom networks, imposing additional cost and regulatory levies for digital services. There have surely been reforms to reflect the changes in technology and innovation but the speed of such reforms has been very slow.
Managing the Digital Tsunami
With proliferation of digital platforms and the booming smart phone market, the ‘apps era’ has exploded, bringing in a digital tsunami. Telcos are surely catching up fast and are investing to leverage the 4G ecosystem. Eventually, it is the quality and speed of executing innovative ideas that would matter for winning this race. But the new business environment also warrants a collaborative approach among various stakeholders to unleash the power of digitization.
Next year, the National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2017 will be unveiled. It is the right opportunity to incorporate elements of digital regulations in the policy. Here are some areas that can help fast track the transition:
Re-structure licensing agreements. The unified license agreement that governs telecom operators is a 170-page manual. The agreement is a remnant of the license raj regime. Though it is very comprehensive, it needs a relook to meet the requirements of new-age businesses. The vision of Digital India requires a crisp and precise framework that removes confusion and brings in efficiency.
Take a global approach. Digital world transcends boundaries – political and geographical. Hence, we need to take a global approach while formulating digital regulations. There are areas where policy flexibility is required. However, mission-critical areas such as privacy, rights of the citizens, and security of the nation should be non-negotiable. There should be enough scope in the regulations to allow hosting of network elements across geographies while taking advantage of economy of scale. There should be freedom to get consumer insights using data analytics to serve the markets of the future.
Same service, same rule. The current sets of digital regulations were formulated for vertical functions but today with convergence of services, horizontal ecosystems are emerging fast and there is no unified set of regulations to govern such new ecosystems. There is a need to rewrite these rules based on services and functionality. These should be applicable equally to all players operating in the digital domain. This will also ensure a level playing field for all.
One-step approval. Lot of progress has already been made in terms of going paperless – biometric SIM activation, e-verification, and online approval of licensing agreements to name a few. However, the digital journey has just begun. The department of telecommunications, as the enabler of Digital India, is actively engaging with the industry to make the regulations simple and easy to understand and implement. The government should now focus on providing the right digital policy framework and tools to accelerate the process of digitization. One of the key tasks will be pro-active collaboration with the finance ministry, RBI, and TRAI to drive the common digital agenda with common minimum levies on all players in the digital ecosystem.

We are at the cusp of transitioning into a new world of digital opportunities that can transform consumer lives. A little encouragement and support from policy makers and regulators can help ‘massify’ Digital India and achieve the desired result of inclusive growth by creating a conducive and competitive environment.

This article attributed to Pankaj Sharma, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Telenor India first appeared in Communications Today in December 2016
Read more: http://communicationstoday.co.in/index.php/perspective/6450-a-new-policy-framework-needed-for-digital-india

 

Making The Internet Safe For O...

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I am often asked at what age children in India start using the internet and a definitive answer is expected...

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Making The Internet Safe For Our Children

Making The Internet Safe For Our Children
I am often asked at what age children in India start using the internet and a definitive answer is expected of me. However, in a country that has over a billion reported mobile subscribers and more than 400 million internet users, both the question and the answer become irrelevant. Parents today take pride in giving a mobile phone to even a toddler to watch cartoon films and videos. At school, teachers and parents create messenger and social network groups to share homework and discuss study material. The fact is there is no age barrier to start using the internet today.
With the increasing use of internet and smartphones, cybercrime and cyber-bullying have emerged as major concerns in India.
Studies and surveys show that the majority of children in the age group of 8 to 16 years are not only using Internet but are also using social media networks. Over 93% of 1402 students sampled across seven cities access the internet every day according to a Student Online Behaviour Report by HT Digital and IMRB. We should be happy that the next generation has started early on their digital journey. The internet is a repository of information that opens up treasures of knowledge. But then there is a dark side to it too.
Young minds may be exposed to harmful content and online behaviour that might leave them scarred for life. Every day we read about our children falling prey to cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking and online abuse; they may be exposed to obscene content. With the increasing use of internet and smartphones, cybercrime and cyber-bullying have emerged as major concerns in India
Due to their immaturity and inquisitiveness, children are more likely to fall victim to cyber-attacks. According to research by Telenor Group, 53% of children in the age group of 8 to 17 years who are currently using the net have faced some form of cyber-bullying at least once. As a result, parents in India fear online bullying more than physical bullying for their children, even though compared to their global peers, Indian parents are 20% more likely to limit their children's online activities.
But is limiting online activity a remedy for online threats? No. What is essential here is to create awareness—among the children, as well as parents.
Creating safe internet
The lack of awareness about potential cyber harm and how to avoid is what makes young people vulnerable. Such instances can have long-term negative impact and may cause extreme psychological damage. While it is almost impossible to completely erase content once posted online, it is important for us to not blame or shame children if they are entrapped into sharing offensive content. They are only victims and need to be counselled in such a case.
Parental control and filters are good, but it's even more important to create filters in the minds of our children.
Parents and teachers should be vigilant enough to identify the signs of cyber-bullying or a child suffering from cyber harm. Parents must talk to their children on the basic steps of safety while surfing the net. These steps include not becoming over-friendly with strangers, never sharing personal information with anyone online, creating a strong password and not sharing it with anyone.
The government is also working to keep a check on child pornography and online trolling. The Home Ministry recently announced the setting up of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (IC4) at the national level to deal with all types of cybercrime. It can be utilized for investigation of child pornography and online violence. With a budget of ₹400 crore, IC4 will act as a nodal point to fight against cybercrime as well as an early warning system for law enforcement agencies with active cybercrime monitoring. In addition, the Minister of Women and Child Development launched India's first hotline to report images and videos of child sexual abuse online. The portal is available in both Hindi and English.
There are numerous apps developed with the sole purpose of giving parents peace of mind with regard to the cyber safety of their children. These applications are basically cloud-based browsers that monitor websites every day to prevent children from opening inappropriate pages. Every time a child browses the internet, these apps will make sure that he/she is not able to reach the wrong places. These apps are beneficial for parents as they help them keep a tab on which sites are being viewed by their children.
It is very important that the right set of protocols are implemented for online safety of children. Various telecom companies have been considering offering self-censorship to consumers, especially after the government recently imposed a short-lived ban on pornographic websites. Telenor also has a child abuse filter that blocks mobile and computer access to content that is related to child pornography. Under Telenor's WebWise program launched two years back, workshops have been organized in 72 schools across 14 cities to make more than 40,000 children learn how to use internet safely. The pre- and post-workshop surveys show that the attending children lacked awareness about the importance of passwords and where to go in case they face any cyber-harm. Teachers and parents are now more conscious about identifying signs of problems among their children before it is too late.
The need of the hour
Taking a cue from various initiatives towards safe internet awareness, it would be good if the government includes the topic in the school curriculum. A few years back, when the world was grappling with the fear of global warming and ozone layer depletion, the government made environmental studies a compulsory subject across all education boards. It is time the same is done for safe internet practices. Parental control and filters are good, but it's even more important to create filters in the minds of our children.
The article attributed to Sharad Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer at Telenor India first appeared in The Huffington Post on 7th October, 2016.
Read more http://www.huffingtonpost.in/sharad-mehrotra/making-the-internet-safe-for-our-children/?utm_hp_ref=in-blog

 

Digital solutions for critical...

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Two students from India are all set to showcase their innovative projects at the Telenor Youth Forum in Osl...

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Digital solutions for critical problems

Digital solutions for critical problems



 
Two students from India are all set to showcase their innovative projects at the Telenor Youth Forum in Oslo.
Ideas and opportunities are aplenty, but how many innovative minds go on to making it big in the global arena and get to unleash their creativity at making the world a better place? It is to bridge this gap that the Telenor Youth Forum (TYF) encourages young leaders to present their ideas that can effect change. This year, Paridhi Rustogi from New Delhi and Sharad Sagar from Patna are all set to represent India at the TYF at Oslo, Norway, in partnership with the Nobel Peace Centre.
This year’s theme is Digitisation for Peace. Sharad, a graduate in International Relations from Tufts University, U.S, and the CEO of Dexterity Global, a startup, explains what helped him reach the finals. “I founded Dexterity Global when I was still in school, in 2008. My experience of schooling and the innumerable opportunities that students can explore, but are often unable to, played an instrumental role in the startup,” he says.
“I didn’t go to school till I was 12 years old as I was home-schooled. During this period, I made optimum use of the computer and the Internet to find myself opportunities such as U.N News conferences. When I eventually went to school, I discovered that the different opportunities were something most of my friends had not heard of. I realised that this happened not because they were not competent enough but because they were not well-informed. Thus, in 2008, I started working on creating a platform where my friends could be connected to such opportunities and could also brush up their skills,” he elaborates.
“The founding principle of Dexterity Global is to give more middle-school and high-school students a platform that helps them unlock their dreams, and consequently, create leaders of tomorrow. When the TYF came along, its focus was on digitisation of peace. I was excited to read more about it as there were so many similarities between what Dexterity focussed on and what Telenor was looking at — quality education for all.”
Sharad is working on an app — DexConnect — specifically for TYF, which will list every possible opportunity in the world for middle-school and high-school students. This can range from the NASA Space Settlement contest to local scholarships, and so on.
He talks about how, with respect to the NASA Space Settlement contest, the maximum number of entries NASA received in the last 10 years is 953. “If there are over two million kids who can participate and only around 900 have signed up, there is a problem. We plan to fix this by way of DexConnect. Students can sit in the comfort of their homes, check out opportunities and sign up for them right away.”
Water security
Paridhi Rustogi, a final-year student of Environmental Engineering, DTU, who will be accompanying Sharad to Oslo, says that she has had an exciting journey and many participants had varied ideas.
However, though many emphasized education, working out-of-the-box and methodologies for creating opportunities for people, few dealt with environment. So, she decided to examine the Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) and pitched the idea of clean water and sanitation. Paridhi holds that in terms of logistics, basic features about water bodies such as transparency, depth or even water quality can be figured out using simple probes. “If people have these probes, all they have to do is give the data back in numbers. The numeric data can be analysed by people who work in the field.”
She further explains how, at the urban level, a project like this may probably not be well-suited and this prompted her to speak about gamification apps. “Apps, like Pokemon Go, require people to move out of their houses to play. I spoke about creating an app interface wherein, if people help in conserving water bodies by actually carrying out water action, they can rack up some sort of social karma or water points.”
The one-year TYF programme will be held at Oslo between Dec. 8 and 11, during the Nobel Peace Prize week. Here, the selected delegates will work in teams to design solutions to address major social challenges. This will be followed up by virtual teamwork (after the Oslo event) along with a meet-up in Bangkok in May 2017. This will culminate in the unveiling of the teams’ digital exhibitions at the Nobel Peace Center in October.
This article attributed to the TYF India winners 2016, Paridhi Rustogi from New Delhi and Sharad Sagar from Patna first appeared in The Hindu on 3rd December, 2016.
Read more http://www.thehindu.com/education/Digital-solutions-for-critical-problems/article16755487.ece

 

Digital India: Here’s how mo...

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The regulator should adopt best optimal methodology to determine these charges

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Digital India: Here’s how mobile termination charge should be adopted

As the Indian economy moves towards digitisation, it is clear that mobile phones will increasingly play an important role in transforming socio-economic future of the country, especially for mass-markets, including rural segments. It is not just the “Digital India” initiative, but every policy initiative has a mobile component to it. For instance, when PM Narendra Modi announced the ambitious direct benefit transfer scheme, the “JAM Trinity” had mobile as one of the key components. And why not? After all there is hardly any aspect of our lives that is untouched by this wireless communication revolution.
For mobiles, to get such a significant place in a common man’s life, affordability and ubiquity are key enablers. Both, the govt and the regulator have played a vital role in making mobile communication a success with their forward looking policies, and commitment towards world class quality of service at affordable tariffs.
Termination charges for mobile and fixed line services has been a key element of IUC framework to ensure healthy competition, and there is enough incentive for operators to connect calls from other networks at optimum quality level. These charges are paid by one TSP to another to enable communication between their consumers under commercial and technical arrangements. This has been regulated for over 13 years, which has carried out downward revisions resulting into lower tariffs and exponential increase in tele-density mainly in rural areas.
In India, calling party pays (CPP) regime was implemented in year 2003, superseding receiving party pays (RPP) system, which necessitates regulating termination charges to compensate terminating networks adequately for resources used in completion of calls initiated from other networks. Initially, the termination charge was between 15 to 50p/min depending upon the distance of terminating call. Later on February 1, 2004, the rate was fixed at 30p/min removing distance slabs. Then on April 1, 2009, the rate was lowered to 20p/min (reduced by 33% after five years). On March 1, 2015, the rate was again lowered to 14p/min (reduced by 30% after six years) for mobile and nil for fixed line services. The next round of review was just started by Trai in view of technological advances and proliferation of packet switched networks. Trai in its consultation has sought views of stakeholders on whether the termination charges should be cost based or bill and keep (BAK).
There are various cost based methodologies for calculating termination charges, viz., fully allocated cost (FAC), long-run incremental cost (LRIC), LRIC+ (where reasonable portion of the common cost is allocated to the termination services) and pure-LRIC (where only avoidable incremental cost towards termination charges is considered), etc. However, it is a herculean task for regulators, globally, to adopt best suited cost-based method given the market dynamics of their respective country and economic benefit for the consumers. Since beginning Trai has adopted cost-based (equal to cost) approach to review termination charges and applied most suited cost model to the Indian market, striving to maintain the balance between adequate compensation to terminating networks and affordability of services to end consumers. During the last review in 2014, Trai adopted the LRIC+ cost model for calculating mobile termination charges (MTC), replacing the FAC cost model.

 

Going forward, it is important that MTC be fixed at optimum level and any higher or lower (zero) charges have a significant bearing on this two-sided termination market where operators are both buyers and sellers of cross-network mobile traffic and incur cost and receive revenues from this traffic. The regulator should ensure that method chosen should best serve inter-operator competition and bring more economic efficiency, which in turn supports long-term market development and sustainability to the benefit of the consumers. The deployment of modern energy efficient nodes by operators in their networks resulting into cost efficiency should also be factored in the estimation of termination charges. As a regulatory best practice, the competition regulator (Competition Commission of India) has also adopted incremental cost based method for the purpose of calculating the cost of goods and services to maintain the competition efficiency in the market.
At this juncture of time, when traffic imbalances are still significant and 4G networks are yet to mature enough to make IP-based voice telephony popular among consumers, adopting BAK approach for termination charges will not be a correct path towards interconnection reforms in India. In case of zero termination charge, it will lead to flood of below cost tariff offers in the market which will have direct impact on bottom line of telcos leading to severe impact on the financial viability, future investments and sustainability of telecom industry. It will also pave the way for exponential increase in the unsolicited SMS/calls and will have no incentive for operators to carry calls of other operators, impacting quality of service and consumer dissatisfaction.
To sum up, India still has a large base of voice calling preferred consumers and to serve them in the most affordable manner, it is important for the regulator to continue to use cost-based approach in estimation of termination charges for both mobile and fixed-line services. It will not only enhance economic benefits for the consumers but also further fuel growth and act as a catalyst to increase rural tele-density for bridging the digital divide.
The article attributed to Pankaj Sharma, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Telenor India first appeared in The Financial Express on 5th December, 2016
Read out for more: http://www.financialexpress.com/opinion/digital-india-heres-how-mobile-termination-charge-should-be-adopted/464098/

 

Insurance goes digital to secu...

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Despite a high economic growth than most developed countries, majority of the Indian population still remai...

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Insurance goes digital to secure India

Despite a high economic growth than most developed countries, majority of the Indian population still remains unbanked. Financial inclusion has been viewed as important means to enhance economic growth and counter income inequality by increasing access of the poor to formal financial services. These need to come at affordable costs to the underprivileged, who might not otherwise be aware of or able to afford these services. Unfortunately, over 96% of Indians are still oblivious to the benefits of insurance. There are multiple reasons for low adoption of insurance in our country. Telenor’s recent survey revealed that 89% of Indians are aware of Insurance benefits but roadblocks like complex processes, perception of premiums being expensive and long term money blockage hinder insurance penetration. Even with over 11,000 branches of different insurance companies with dedicated sales force, insurance penetration numbers remain low.

The Telenor survey gives some relevant insights on how insurance is bought in India. Majority of the people surveyed were comfortable spending between Rs 100 to 250 per month towards insurance premium while some of them were even willing to spend Rs 500 if they are assured of the value. Interestingly, there are some people who have got their crops and cattle insured but not themselves. However, even today insuring female members is not a priority for many families.

The survey indicated the lack of awareness and a clear understanding of the benefits that get accrued in case of any eventuality. Customers, especially in rural parts of the country need to be educated and there has to be a mind-set change for higher adoption of insurance.

Driving financial inclusion:

As part of its agenda to deliver financial services at affordable costs to vast sections of underprivileged and low income groups, the government has taken lot of proactive steps. Micro insurance schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana have seen good response across the country.

Corporates like Telenor have taken the lead by massyifying insurance. The approach has been extremely innovative. It combines the distribution reach of a telecom operator with mobile technology to offer free life cover to its subscribers. Telenor Suraksha tries to remove the barriers in insurance adoption by reducing the documentation work, removing the challenges around high premiums and simplifying the entire claim process thereby ensuring that the claims are settled within seven days.

A mobile subscriber can now use his mobile device – feature phone or smart phone – to enrol for the insurance offer. Today, an insurance product can be subscribed by dialling a simple USSD code or giving consent over the IVR. As the survey indicates, there is a lack of awareness among people around insurance and the intensive retail network can be used to educate customers. Today Suraksha issues over 7 million policies every month, which has been made possible only by leveraging the technology and reach of Telenor’s retail network.

Families with a low income hardly think of getting an insurance done because of the high premium rates. They feel they’d rather spend the same amount on something which is more productive or gives instant returns. Telenor recently launched an initiative to spread the message of securing lives among its customers by reaching out to students in the schools across the country and making them understand the benefits of insurance. Propositions where insurance becomes add-on to a regular service, in this case mobile talk time, makes it more attractive for customers. And if it is for free, it is even better.

While the government is coming up with various initiatives in order to make digital India a reality and the society in general is moving towards a cashless economy, distribution of easy to adopt financial products digitally will be key.

The article attributed to Upanga Dutta, Chief Marketing Officer, Telenor India Communications appeared in Business Insider first on 23rd December, 2016

Read more on http://www.businessinsider.in/insurance-goes-digital-to-secure-india/articleshow/56137892.cms

 

Telenor offers Khushiyon ki Ti...

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To make the ongoing festive season more special for its customers and help them extract the most out of eve...

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Telenor offers Khushiyon ki Ticket to its customers

To make the ongoing festive season more special for its customers and help them extract the most out of every moment with a full 'paisa vasool' experience, Telenor launched “Khushiyon ka Ticket”. Telenor will be giving out 60 free return air tickets over 30 days for customers in Gujarat and Maharashtra & Goa circle.


Khushiyon ka Ticket” gives customers a chance to celebrate upcoming festivals with their families and dear ones. This offer is one of the biggest consumer engagement and rewards programme launched by Telenor India. The subscriber just need to do a recharge of Rs 50 to be eligible for the promotional offer.  
The offer is valid for a period of one month starting from 15th September to 14th October. The winner will be announced everyday through an e-Lucky Draw in each of the locations. Over 60 free domestic return air tickets would be given away during this period.


Speaking on this festive campaign, Rituraj Kalita, Circle Business Head- Gujarat, Telenor India said, “We all love to celebrate festivals with our family and yearn to be with our loved ones at this time, but unfortunately many of us live and work in cities away from family. Hence we want our customers to participate in Khushiyon ka Ticket offer - a unique rewards programme and see their dreams come true. The offer aims to rekindle love and warmth by bringing loved ones together to celebrate festivals in true Indian spirit.” 


“Telenor believes in creating a superior customer experience and initiatives like these, take us closer to our ambition of being relevant, fair and making their lives full paisa vasool with every transaction The format of this offer is quite simple and would garner huge response from our customers in Maharashtra & Goa,” said Sukrit Maitre, Circle Business Head- Maharashtra & Goa, Telenor India


One person can win the ticket only once and the offer is applicable on recharges done through Point of Sales, Telenor exclusive stores and Online medium. Once a ticket is won, customers need to plan their travel (to and fro) before December 20, 2016. 

 

Lean GSM: Innovation to do mor...

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Just like gold, spectrum is a scarce and finite natural resource and both do not come cheap. In this highly...

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Lean GSM: Innovation to do more with less spectrum


Just like gold, spectrum is a scarce and finite natural resource and both do not come cheap. In this highly connected world, one can do without gold but everything will come to stand still if spectrum is not there. With nearly 5 billion unique mobile customers spread globally among more than 800 operators, the demand for the airwaves is humongous. The traffic currently is being generated by individuals using voice or data services. In the coming years, machines will also claim their share of spectrum when the current 300 million M2M connections zoom to touch the billion mark.


The good news is that all this means good business – higher consumption, better ARPUs, profitable growth – for the telcos. The bad news: As business grows governments are realising the worth of spectrum and they are extracting their pounds of flesh. As long as the revenue grows and there is capital in the market, this part is taken care of. In many countries, the fight for airwaves is almost over. Everyone has a phone and more or less the data traffic can also be predicted.


However, in a country like India, that holds almost one sixth of mobile connections globally and there is atleast 50% of rural population that still needs connectivity, the arena is still hot and active. Everyone needs more spectrum here.


Estimates show that operators in India have 0.10 Mhz of spectrum available for a million people whereas some of the mature telecom countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium have handsome 20.0 MHz available for every million population. In the coming spectrum auction some pressure is expected to ease out with 2000 MHz in different bands being put on the block. With the government expecting to mop up over Rs 5.36 lakh crore from the sale, the spectrumis unlikely to come cheap.


How much spectrum is enough?
As per Cisco Visual Networking Index, the Internet traffic in India is set to rise more than four-fold by 2020 at a CAGR of 34% from 2015. This will come from expected 600 million new internet users and factors like increasing mobile access, Wi-Fi expansion and demand for video services. With the mobile device expected to become the first screen to access Internet, the industry is not expected to come out of the spectrum crunch anytime soon.


For a new operator like Telenor, which has a limited footprint in six operational circles and one that carries an ambition of offering affordable voice and data services to the mass market, high spectrum price is not really the way to go. Even in rural areas, the demand for digital services is going up. Currently, the smartphone penetration though is in low double digits, crashing handset prices and initiatives like Digital India are going to push the demand for good quality network and service experience. It is a fine balance that needs to be struck to between being competitive in the market and offering relevant services at affordable rates. The answer lies in being efficient in operations and sweating out assets including spectrum through innovative solutions.


Efficient and innovative solutions to do more with less
The telecom infrastructure companies have been investing in loading more subscribers on per mega hertz of available spectrum. One such solution is Lean GSM and earlier this year Telenor in India became the first operator globally to deploy this on its modernised network along with Huawei.


Lean GSM helps operators in maximising spectrum efficiency and increases coverage. This solution uses GPS-based synchronization and automated interference management based on real time network measurement. This improves network capacity by over 30% using the same spectrum resources and provides superior voice and data experience. Efficient utilization of spectrum also improves energy efficiency upto 30%, making the network green by reducing carbon footprint. Moreover, the additional capacity freed by Lean GSM deployment can be utilized in spectrum re-farming for introducing LTE technology. While a full LTE or 4G deployment needs 5 Mhz spectrum, Narrow Band LTE (NB LTE) can be introduced on as low as 1.4 Mhz of spectrum giving flexibility to an operator.


The blade solution is based on deep understanding of customer requirements. It supports flexible combinations of Baseband Unit (BBU), Radio Frequency (RF) and power modules, provides Global System for Mobile (GSM), Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and LTE three-mode concurrent operations, delivering operators an effective solution to deploy at complex sites. A multi-band multi-RAT wireless base station has become the standard for network construction, and the Huawei Blade Site solution efficiently utilizes the limited site footprint to enhance network capacity, providing users with a better mobile broadband experience and help operator to create valuable and advance mobile broadband network.


Does this mean with Lean GSM and blade solutions the demand for spectrum will go down? Definitely No. Spectrum is the fuel, any innovative solution will use it to improve on the efficiency part and optimise the available bandwidth without compromising on the quality of service delivery.


This article attributed to Tanveer Mohammad, COO at Telenor India appeared in Voice & Data on September 20, 2016 

 

Digital regulations to propel ...

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Digitization -- you can love it; you can hate it but you cannot ignore it. It has not been too long when &l...

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Digital regulations to propel Digital India

The regulations that currently govern the telecom industry are not sufficient to provide momentum as consumers and telecom ecosystem transition to a digital world. There is an urgent need to revisit the norms in order to accelerate the growth and achieve the ambitions for Digital India.

Digitization -- you can love it; you can hate it but you cannot ignore it. It has not been too long when ‘digital’ was just another word in the dictionary to be referred for the right usage. Today it has become synonym to a particular lifestyle, something that is cool, something that is now and something that is changing every moment.

Some might define this change as a natural process of evolution but for many, especially the non-millennials, the change has been overwhelming. Those who have not been able to keep up with the pace of change have been left behind and those who have adopted to the new connected world, are likely to succeed in new emerging digital world.

The mobile networks have been in place now for more than two decades but data speeds in networks started picking up after deployment of 3G networks, albeit slowly. Initially telecom operators were not sure how to monetize the investments in data networks. In the meantime startup eco-systems started to build and were propelled by better data speeds of mobile networks. Then came various chat applications like Whatsapp, Line, Hike and social networks like Facebook, Instagram and many more apps, pushed by proliferation of smart phones, digital platforms and suddenly today we find ourselves in a ‘Digital Chaos’.

The government has also focused on creating the momentum in this digital journey by putting initiatives like Digital India or smart cities on mission mode. But absence of clarity on regulatory and policy front will only add to the chaos. The question today is how India can convert this into advantage by stirring positive energy, which can uplift the country to next level in digital era. Do we have the digital mindset for the same?

Clearly first round of this changing eco system has gone to start-ups, the new app developers, aggregator platforms and OTT players. But Telcos are now catching up fast. They are investing in 4G ecosystem which is emerging as the underlying platform for a Digital World. Eventually it’s the not the idea but an excellent execution that will decide who will survive and win this transformational race. The question we need to ask ourselves is what do we need to do to unleash the power of digitization. Digital Regulations will be one of the drivers.

Historically telecom has been a highly regulated sector and the regulations are oriented to promote the traditional telecom networks. There is an urgent need to take a fresh look at the regulatory approach and modify them to reflect changes in technology and markets of tomorrow where every stakeholder will have level playing field.

It is not as if the government and the regulators are not aware of the developments happening in this space. There have been some positive moves and indicators that reflect the intent but the speed of such reforms has been very slow. Here are some suggestions to fast track the transition and make the dream of Digital India a reality.

1. Shorter licensing agreements-

India has moved away from the license raj regime but the terminology still exits. The licensing agreements should now be “Partnership agreements”. Together we are building a Digital India. And, for this we do not need a 170 page Unified License to govern the telecom operators. In digital age, the partnership agreement should not exceed 10 to 15 pages. The less we write, more efficient we will be.

2. Regulations to work across the borders:

The Digital regulations need to be open and an enabler for working beyond political boundaries. One of the main reasons of success of startup eco system like aggregator platforms, social networks or OTTs is that there are no geographical boundaries for these systems to operate and be consumed. Now the scale is global and not limited to one market.

We need similar scale in telco led digital world. Instead of trying to ask other communications platforms to comply with current regulations, we need to evolve regulations to see how telecom operators can take advantage of this shift towards a digital world. Telecom operators need to leverage scale of networks, IT system and cloud platforms to optimize costs and design innovative services to be on a par with internet companies. The Digital regulations only need to define the privacy rights for citizens and security rights for governments. There should be flexibility around where network elements will be hosted to take advantage of scale and should give freedom to get consumer insights using data analytics.

3. A level playing field with horizontal regulations

Today the lines between a telecom operator and the OTT players, app developers or even the service providers are blurring. Internet players are trying to saddle between e-commerce and communication services and telecom companies are trying to be internet product companies with focus on content as well as digital wallets, financial services and more. This is the beauty of a digital world. It is fostering new business models and innovations.

While the digital world hardly differentiates between various players but the regulations are centered around telecom companies. They were formulated for vertical functions but today with convergence, horizontal ecosystems are fast emerging and there are no regulations to govern such ecosystems. There is a need re-write the rules based on services and functionality and not verticals. These should be applicable on all players operating in the digital domain.

4. Ease of doing Business:

The discussion around single window clearances and ease of doing business is not new. Even the Department of Telecom, as the enablers of Digital India, has started engaging with the industry to make the regulations simple and encourage wider coverage. Initiatives like paperless biometric SIM activation or e-verification are progressive steps. A lot of licensing approvals are being made online. The government should now focus on providing the right digital policy framework and tools to accelerate the process of digitization.

Encouragement and support from the authorities can massify Digital India and achieve the desired result of inclusive growth.

 

This article first appeared in ET Telecom on August 31:

 

https://www.facebook.com/notes/proud-to-be-telenor/digital-regulations-to-propel-digital-india/1383809751633811#

Engaging youth to change socie...

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Pooja Thakran, Head – Social Responsibility & Chief Communication Officer, Telenor India

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Engaging youth to change society


 
Last year world leaders agreed that managing the challenges faced by the society will decide the inclusive and sustainable developmental priorities of the next generation. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted on September 15 th 2015, and were dubbed as the most important goals to be accomplished in world’s history.
 
Last year world leaders agreed that managing the challenges faced by the society will decide the inclusive and sustainable developmental priorities of the next generation. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted on September 15 th 2015, and were dubbed as the most important goals to be accomplished in world’s history. They are designed to change the world by tackling key issues – such as poverty, hunger, gender equality, health and education — by 2030.
As a responsible corporate citizen, Telenor Group pledged support to UN #GlobalGoals and joined others to end extreme poverty, fight inequality & injustice and fix climate change. Telcos like Telenor, who believe in creating local impact in areas where they operate, are integrating their digital initiatives with innovative product and services to meet the global goals. But a lot will depend on the youth to accelerate the pace of change. With their imagination, courage and ingenuity, the world is looking up to them for sustainable solutions.
 
Youth As Harbingers Of Change:
It is well established that opening access to knowledge, opportunities and vital services would usher in a better future for everyone. And, access to mobile internet is a defining moment in a community’s social and economic development.
Related
 
While telcos can ensure connectivity, the youth of the nation need to manage and find a digital solution to the issues and challenges faced by society. They will decide the inclusive and sustainable developmental priorities of the next generation. The younger generation needs to engage in the planning, implementation and monitoring of projects that will help us achieve the global goals. As some recent political changes in West Asia have shown, these young leaders have ideas and the charisma to mobilise the masses to bring about positive change.
 
India is well positioned to reap the democratic dividend of hosting the world’s largest youth population. The combination of a young population (the 2011 census indicates that over 41% of Indians are below the age of 20 years) and a society that is fast adapting to the digital lifestyle has put India in a sweet spot in this journey of change.
 
From mobilising communities to addressing social challenges for a better future, youth of India have been working to create and curate solutions that can benefit society. They not only dream or talk big but constantly find ways to engage in building a new society that promises equality and social justice.
 
For instance, 21-year- old Kaarika Das is a graduate in economics from University of Delhi, an international development enthusiast and an aspiring social entrepreneur. Her app & provides a social platform to enable collaborative sharing of video courses and has been designed for individuals as well as educational institutions, to reach a wider audience. Teleshiksha will enable anyone with a mobile and Internet connection to build knowledge through access to publicly shared curricula, for free.
 
Similarly, Abhishek Kaushal, 26-year- old IIM Ranchi graduate, wants to use Internet to facilitate behavioural medicine through digital therapeutics. As 80% of diabetes occurs due to unhealthy lifestyle, Abhishek offered a solution to change one’s lifestyle digitally through a mobile app called ‘E-coach’. This app will create awareness on food habits and healthy living. It will also track the user’s daily activity levels, sleep patterns, heart rate and weight all seamlessly getting uploaded to the mobile App through wearable health band and Bluetooth- enabled weighing scale.
 
Organisations have encouraged and enabled various forums and platforms for the youth to exchange ideas in the process of social and economic advancement, especially around issues such as health, education, employment and corruption.
 
To contribute its share in making the Sustainable Development Goals a reality, Telenor Group along with the Nobel Peace Center (NPC) has rolled out TYF 2016.
 
In 2015 Kaarika and Abhishek joined participants from 12 other countries in Oslo and represented India to showcase their innovative ideas at Telenor Youth Forum.
 
This year-long programme with ‘Digitization for peace’ as its theme will bring together young leaders from all over the world on a common platform to collaborate and find digital solutions for universal peace and prosperity. After all, it is the commitment, passion and desire of these young leaders that will determine what kind of world we live in and what we leave behind for our next generation.
 
Digitization As The Way Forward
 
These change makers are innovators who bring in fresh perspectives and are not afraid of asking difficult questions. Adding to their skill sets is the proliferation of social media, giving them more power and a global reach.
Digitization, therefore, has emerged as part of the solution for the rampant social ills plaguing the world. Even the ambitious Digital India programme of the
 
Government of India tries to transform India into a knowledge economy. The young leaders are the custodians of this digitally empowered society. Catching them young and nurturing their capabilities at the right age will not only help achieve the much desired goal of a digital future for India but also help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The article was originally published in The Financial Express Online on August 30, 2016 
 
 To read the article click here: Engaging youth to change society

Project Sampark

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Telenor believes that women's empowerment is "catalytic and central" to achieving social and ...

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Project Sampark

Telenor believes that women's empowerment is "catalytic and central" to achieving social and business goals. The study commissioned by Telenor revealed the inequality in the case of women owning and using mobile phones. The research findings brought out that the incidence of mobile phone usage was significantly higher among males – 76 men out of 100 owned a mobile phone while only 29 women out of 100 owned one.


Two key issues noticed behind low mobile penetration amongst women were: a) men are most often the decision maker on giving women access to mobile telephony and b) mobile services are confusing and perceived to be complicated. From time to time, social dogmas and diktats have also restricted women’s access to mobile telephony.


Project Sampark was created to address the socio-economic causes behind the gender gap in mobile usage and increase women’s access to mobile phones in the rural areas of India. It was conceived to manage the challenges through innovative product and unique distribution model to make easy and hassle free mobile services amongst rural women. The entire effort got support from GSMA under its Connected Women programme and Project Sampark was launched in 2014. 


Instead of attempting to demolish the barrier that create the gender gap in mobile usage and prevent women from owning a phone, Project Sampark attempts to work with and around it -- all the time keeping the end–objective of placing a mobile phone in the hands of the woman in mind. Once this objective is achieved, we believe that the benefits of being connected will automatically flow and over time it will also address other perceived value and stigma in the society. In doing so, Telenor India is testing an unconventional method to deal with a barrier – an approach that can lead to an easier and faster realisation of the end objective of narrowing the gender gap on mobile telephony access.


The results:

Project Sampark has given a sense of confidence to the women in the target rural areas by creating livelihood opportunities and giving them a phone in their hands. They have stepped out of their homes to get attached with the Project and within 18 months they have converted 72,000 to users of Bandhan Jodi packs. Next step: new promoters are now being being trained to sell data products and three more zones -- Rudrapur, Dehradun and Moradabad -- will have Project Sampark being rolled out. New women promoters have been hired in new zones and ambition is to cover 300 villages with 180 of these promoters.


Project Sampark is another way to align Telenor with the Digital India mission of the government and makes its own digital journey more inclusive by bringing the gender gap in mobile usage.

To know more about Project Sampark click here https://www.telenor.in/about-us/p/project-sampark

To know more about GSMA’s Connected Women programme click here http://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/programmes/connected-women

Telenor Youth Forum 2016 launc...

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Starting August 11, the talented youth in the country can apply for the annual Telenor Youth Forum. An even...

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Telenor Youth Forum 2016 launched with a call for ideas on Digitalization for Peace

"I am one of those ‘change makers ' who's on a pursuit to enable social development in meaningful and sustainable way,” says Kaarika Das, the winner of Telenor youth Forum 2015. Kaarika is a graduate in economics from University of Delhi, an international development enthusiast and an aspiring social entrepreneur. She is one of the five winners who have represented India at Telenor youth Forum in Oslo.
 
All five of them – Kaarika, Jyotsna Kalra, Abhishek Kaushal, Shikha Pathak and Abhishek Gupta -- are young leaders who have a passion to bring change in the society by using digital medium. The India representatives, along with other participants from 13 Telenor business units, bring unique ideas and thoughts based on multiple perspectives and that are rooted in a range of societal challenges. Most importantly, they see opportunities where others see barriers to making an impact.
 
Starting August 11, the talented youth in the country can apply for the annual Telenor Youth Forum. An event run in partnership with the Nobel Peace Center, it brings together young leaders from Telenor's 13 business units to tackle social challenges through the use of digital solutions. This is the fourth edition of Telenor Youth Forum in India.
 
'For a young person today, this is really an amazing opportunity to make an impact on the world. Working with the Nobel Peace Center and one of the world's largest telecom companies means that they will find a rare and unique opportunity to create change', says Sharad Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor India.
 
Last year, Telenor India provided an opportunity to Kaarika Das and Abhishek Kaushal from Delhi to represent the BU at TYF Oslo for their outstanding efforts to build a social platform to enable collaborative sharing of educational video courses as well as the focus on Internet facilitating behavioural medicine through digital therapeutics.
 
'We are now seeking talented and passionate people who are interested in working with other young leaders from Europe and Asia, and who believe that technology can be a key ingredient in the recipe for peace. If you know someone with all these right skills and qualities, go ahead and encourage them to apply!' Sharad adds.
 
An opportunity to network, learn and grow!
 
The Telenor Youth Forum, a year-long commitment begins in Oslo from December 8-11, 2016, and is timed to coincide with the Nobel Peace Prize festivities. The final shortlisted delegates will work in teams on their assigned social challenges, aiming to create engagement, awareness, understanding and ultimately peace.
 
They will meet again in May 2017, in Bangkok, to continue their journey. The culmination of their commitment to the program will be the unveiling of a digital exhibition in collaboration with the Nobel Peace Center in autumn 2017.
 
TYF Candidate Selection Criteria
•   Between 20 and 28 years of age in 2016
•   Fluent in English
•   A permanent resident in one of the following countries: Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Montenegro, Myanmar, Norway, Pakistan, Serbia, Sweden, Thailand
•   Passionate about driving social, economic and/or environmental change in your community with some proven experience
•   Attending university or have completed higher education
•   Someone with big ideas and a desire to make a difference
 
Do you know someone who fits the above criteria and would like to refer? Share these important links with them today!!!
•   www.telenor.com/youthforum
•   Apply now: www.telenor.com/youthforum/application-requirements/
Join the conversation on  Facebook

Telenor Suraksha: Promoting fi...

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Currently in India less than 4% of the population has an insurance cover of any type.

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Telenor Suraksha: Promoting financial inclusion digitally

Currently in India less than 4% of the population has an insurance cover of any type. In India buying an insurance has never been a priority. People invest in owning a mobile phone but awareness around financial security is a missing.

The primary reasons for the low penetration are issues like lack of awareness around benefits of insurance, cumbersome enrolment process, cost of insurance and lack of trust that claims will be given if the person is not there. Lack of distribution network has also restricted insurance products becoming popular and pervasive.

Telenor has identified insurance as one of the proposition that could add value to the lives of its mass market customers. Telenor partnered with Sriram Life and MicroEnsure to design a life insurance scheme where the customers could get a cover of up to Rs 50,000 but they need not pay any premium. Telenor Suraksha not only addressed the challenges around mass adoption of insurance but also made it free.

This industry first scheme reinforces the customer centric approach taken by Telenor offering value added products beyond just voice and data services. This innovative product combines the efficiencies of mobile technology and benefits of financial inclusion.

How Does Telenor Suraksha work?

The ‘free’ insurance cover depends on the average monthly recharge done by a Telenor subscriber. First the customer has given his consent to enrol himself in the scheme. This he can do by calling customer call center or dial the self-help menu *121# or opt-in for it by approaching any of the 2100 Telenor stores. For every recharge done by the customer, a 100X insurance cover will be provided to him.

The insurance cover comes with a promise of the claim being settled within seven days of closing the documentation process. For this the nominee of the subscriber needs to come to a Telenor store, deposit the SIM and give identity proof. At the back end, the system processes the claim and the cheque with requisite amount is handed over. Till now over 26 million customers have enrolled to enjoy the benefits of Telenor Suraksha and 140 claims have been settled across six Telenor circles.

The free insurance scheme gives more value on every transaction done with Telenor and empowering societies to create local impact in areas where the company is offering services.

 

Why Simply Sending Children To...

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Despite ensuring free and compulsory education for every child under the age of 14

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Why Simply Sending Children To School Won’t Help Tackle Child Labour

By Kaarika Das:

Despite ensuring free and compulsory education for every child under the age of 14, the sight of a ‘chotu’ promptly serving tea at a kiosk or a girl child involved in domestic service remains a daily affair. No, I am not condoning child labour, but the labyrinth of this debacle deserves more scrutiny. The issue isn’t as seemingly simple that it can be tackled just through banning child labour or providing compulsory education. In most cases, children are engaged in labour as the last resort because a family’s survival depends on it. For developing countries, the situation is more pronounced because unlike developed countries, the government cannot guarantee a minimum income based on family size. Thus, the children act as a social security and shoulder the responsibility of being an income source.

Although education can ensure that the future earnings of such children are higher, thus giving them a route to escape from their existing poverty, in order to allow youth emancipation requires that these future earnings be unlocked in the present. Moreover, depending on the personal circumstances of a child, it becomes difficult to avail educational opportunities while supporting a livelihood.

Even after enrolment, the current formal schooling model does little to incentivize children and their parents alike. The economic and social obstacles work in tandem to keep students in the labor force and out of schools. For instance, when child workers are introduced to schooling through external intervention, it is often the case that they are older than their peers. This makes initial school experience difficult for child labourers because of an underlying stigma which hampers their performance. Schooling soon becomes a negative experience as the classroom reinforces their inadequacy of meeting the expectations of formal schooling. This further augments resistance to education.

Another trait which I observed first hand while conducting a community intervention program called project ‘Yushaktikaran‘ under Esteem Youth Foundation at Sangam Vihar, Delhi, was a prevalent attitude shared by former child workers enrolled in schools – most of them cherished their ‘freedom’ over the authority of a formal schooling structure which commanded discipline. This made working preferable over attending schools.

These instances reflect the current inadequacy of formal schools to tackle the issue. The system lacks flexibility to accommodate and respond to the diverse needs of its students. Usually the conventional outrage regarding child labour is that they should be educated but the focus should be emphasised on imparting ‘relevant’ education  – one that makes the educational system more suited towards the needs of youth workers by providing non-formal transitional education to create a bridge between work and school.

Transitional schools allow such children not only to catch up with their formal schooling but also take into consideration the special needs of child workers. Case in point being, ‘myME: Myanmar Mobile Education Project‘– a distinctive outreach program where child workers working in tea shops in Myanmar are provided with non-formal education via old buses that have been gutted and converted to mobile classrooms. Each child spends a minimum of two hours per day on the bus while the employers are compensated for the two hours. The staffs include a mentor, a full-time teacher and a driver.

What I am essentially vouching for, is the growing need for innovation in education, which can accommodate the needs of child labourers in order to ensure that the curriculum is adding to their economic value in the long run. Ultimately, it is the amalgamation of accurate information complimented by fair incentives which will combat child labour and allow them to break free from poverty.

Last year I had the chance of traveling to Oslo to attend the ‘Telenor Youth Summit 2015′ as well as the ‘Telenor Youth Forum Asia’ in Bangkok. Both these events gave me exposure and better understanding of how education can help emancipate child labour. By interacting with participants from 13 other countries from Europe and Asia, I got some meaningful insights and perspective on how the challenge is being dealt in other geographies and how we can contribute meaningfully to the cause. My project based on ‘educating young labourers’, essentially talks about how children who are forced to work to sustain their families lose out on opportunities for education and development in this process. The future course of this would depend a lot on how child or youth workers can be reached with innovative solutions such as mobile education programs in order to provide them with both education and a safe environment to gain self-confidence and critical thinking skills.

Kaarika Das 

Kaarika is a Telenor Youth Forum 2015 alumni and a graduate in economics from University of Delhi is an international development enthusiast and an aspiring social entrepreneur. Her work in social sector ranges from volunteering in over six NGOs as well as being the Director of Operations of a youth led non for profit called Esteem Youth Foundation. Her involvement with social issues led her to represent India at 33fifty, the National Legacy Programme of the Commonwealth Games - 2014 at Glasgow. Kaarika identifies herself as a ‘change maker' who's on a pursuit to enable social development in meaningful and sustainable way.

The article was published in Youth Ki Awaaz on June 1, 2016

http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2016/07/tackling-child-labour-beyond-a-ban/

Project Parivartan – A Journ...

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With the start of Project Parivartan, Telenor India embarked on a journey of network modernisation ...

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Project Parivartan – A Journey towards becoming future ready

With the start of Project Parivartan, Telenor India embarked on a journey of network modernisation in August 2015. Since then company has come a long way with over 11,000 swaps already completed and rest being on track as per plan to be completed by early 2017.
 
Parivartan is an outcome of relentless efforts put in by cross functional teams across 6 circles and corporate office. The largest network modernisation project within Telenor Group, and perhaps the biggest swap on a live network in the telecom industry, it is a great example of collaboration with our partner Huawei, who have been extremely supportive and actively involved in this journey of transformation. The swapping work has been happening in fastest possible time not withstanding the technical, natural or on-ground challenges.
 
The short film highlights Telenor’s core philosophy of being a strong customer centric organisation and getting future ready to deliver digital services to its customers. The AV captures how Project Parivartan has unfolded in last three quarters and the impact it would have in Telenor’s quest to deliver better network experience to its customers.

Telecom Icon award for Avinash...

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For the second time in a row, Avinash Mittal, from Telenor India was chosen to feature in the CIO

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Telecom Icon award for Avinash Mittal, Head of IT, Telenor (India) Communications

 

For the second time in a row, Avinash Mittal, from Telenor India was chosen to feature in the CIO (Chief Information Officer) Power list 2016 and honoured as a telecom icon.

On May 12 and 13, CORE (Centre of Recognition & Excellence), a media company that owns and operates proprietary marketing event brands with focus on ICT Enterprises, CIO Community and Technology Start-ups, honoured India's most influential and dynamic IT leaders in the second edition of CIO Power List 2016. 

CIO Power List, which is the definitive list of India's top IT leaders, is a testament to their influence in technology on account of the power they wield and display in their respective fields. 

Talking about this achievement, Tanveer Mohammad, COO, Telenor India said "Technology is the backbone that ensures smooth functioning and efficient operations for any telecom company. At Telenor India, we have with us some of the best brains in this field- the CIO power list confirms it. My heartiest congratulations to Avinash on making it to the list for the second time in a row, it is indeed a remarkable achievement that makes us all proud!"

More than 100 CIOs were recognised in the CIO Power List 2016 as winners in more than 20 categories. The theme for this edition was designed and based around the word "influence". The winners were chosen on how INFLUENTIAL they are in business or technology and the impact they make beyond that. This edition of CIO Power List was a justification of their technological foresight and IT strategy. 

The two-day event was hosted at Lonavala, Maharashtra in association with the Knowledge Partner KPMG.

The criteria for selection were based on:

•    CIO's online reputation, business publications and technology magazines
•    Data on awards, honours, recognitions and achievements
•    Random sampling of social media engagements
•    Information from Nation-wide survey of peers in CIO community.
•    Inputs from the CIO nominees on their key achievements in the past one year

Bringing the Digital Divide Th...

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Communications Today carried an article written by Tanveer Mohammad

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Bringing the Digital Divide Through Tech Innovation

Communications Today carried an article written by Tanveer Mohammad, COO, Telenor India on how telecom industry is gearing up for digital journey. It further highlights Telenor India network modernization initiative to be future ready along with deployment of 4G LTE initiative. The key highlights of the story:

.Telenor’s a network modernization drive with Huawei to upgrade 25,000 sites for an investment of nearly Rs 1,200 crore

.As part of a pilot programme, launch of Telenor 4G services on narrow band of 1.4 MHz in Varanasi

.How telecom industry is gearing up for digital journey

 

Click on the link below to read the entre article

http://www.communicationstoday.co.in/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19608&Itemid=41

Project Sampark Transforming L...

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Interview of Pooja Thakran, Head - Social Responsibility & Chief Communication Officer

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Project Sampark Transforming Lives of Women in Villages

Interview of Pooja Thakran, Head - Social Responsibility & Chief Communication Officer, Telenor India appeared in India Today Online on project Sampark and how it is transforming lives of women in the villages.

Interview Excerpts:

Q. What significance do you think technology can play in rural pockets of the country to overcome gender disparity?

Technology is a key enabler to narrow the gender disparity in the society and Internet has been a key driving technology ensuring equality in the society. It's affordable and accessible to all. We just need to build digital skills to ensure all can benefit from it. In many areas of the country men are barred from using a mobile phone as it is considered to be the reason behind the prevailing evils. While it has been well established that telecom connectivity contributes to the economic growth of the country, still study shows that nearly 70 per cent of women do not own a phone.To bridge this gender gap, Telenor India piloted Project Sampark in Aligarh of UP West. Project Sampark addresses the socio-economic causes of eliminating the gender gap in mobile use and aims to increase women's access and ownership of mobile phones, enable them to enjoy the benefits of life-enhancing mobile services and to break barriers and social prejudice that prevent women to use mobile phones. The project launched with two new concepts: a) The 'Combo SIM pack' (Jodi pack) - A pair of SIMs that are linked to each other in a manner that recharge or talk time top-up of one SIM results in additional bonus minutes added to the second. b) Utilizing women promoters - Unique sales and distribution channel of involving village Anganwadi workers as sales promoters. These anganwadi workers are well accepted in the village and have reach to every women/household in the villages and they become a key player in selling telecom services to other women. We have joined hands with GSMA for Project Sampark. The pilot project was initiated in 87 villages of Aligarh district in western Uttar Pradesh. The second phase of Sampark is being launched after the phenomenal success of the pilot project across 87 villages in Aligarh district. These villages have seen an improvement in tele-density among women and of the more than 52,000 Project Sampark subscribers 50 per cent are women. The new areas will replicate the model piloted in first phase, which was launched in August 2014. The villages will be covered by 30-40 trained women promoters, who will be hired from the adjoining areas.

Q. A lot of companies are entering the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) space. Do you think it is sheer lip-service, or companies are doing genuine work in the domain?

CSR is not a good to have but a must-have for companies. Today your consumers and stakeholders chose you not just for the products but also based on how you produce, how you impact environment and the communities around you. So it's not an option to do or not to do. With our vision of empowering societies, CSR is at the heart of how we do business and what we can give to the society not just through our core business value but through sustainable solutions, responsible business practices, strong governance model, environmental and social viability as well as community building. Our CSR initiatives range from digital literacy to drive digital inclusion with our ambition of offering internet for all and not just a few; safe online programs for children and youth, clean India drives; gender equality in technology use; and sustainable business practices like green energy solutions. A recent FICCI survey indicates that 83 per cent of the participating companies anticipate an increase in their CSR spending in 2016-17. CSR is not just about giving money, we believe in creating connected, informed and empowered communities by extending the benefits to digital communication to the masses and taking responsibility of how we do business. Similarly, Telenor is working on bridging the gender gap in mobile usage through Project Sampark. The project was piloted in 87 villages of Aligarh district of UP East and is now being replicated in villages of three other zones - Bareilly, Dehradun and Rudrapur. Sampark seeks to address the socio-economic challenges that prevent women's access to mobile phones. It is a combination of innovative product and marketing, awareness programme and it empowers women by creating livelihood options. We have also opened around 300 Grahak Shiksha Kendras (customer education hubs) to spread awareness around digital services. The customers can walk into these GSKs and get their queries answered or problems resolved. This is free of cost.

Q. A clichA© that runs in the industry is that women make for better communication managers. Have you heard that before, and conform to the thought?

We do not distinguish between talent based on gender. We look for skill sets and leadership qualities that are best suited for the job profile. Though there is a conscious effort being made to improve gender diversity within the organization, we will look for the best talent and empower him or her to deliver the desired results. Even in the communication function we have both male and female managers who drive their teams to achieve excellence in whatever project they are executing. Our policies and trainings are designed to eliminate challenges in their professional growth and build an environment of support to balance both personal and professional front effectively. But I must add Women are good at multi-tasking, while men have their own strengths though both are important and effective. Personally, it's about the value you bring and how well you contribute in your area of expertise.

Click on the link below to read the entire article

http://wonderwoman.intoday.in/story/empowering-rural-women-digitally/1/123545.html

Igniting Young Minds to become...

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Byline article of Sharad Mehrotra, CEO, Telenor India in Business Insider

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Igniting Young Minds to become Change Makers

Byline article of Sharad Mehrotra, CEO, Telenor India in Business Insider, one of the leading web portals on the theme of Telenor Youth Forum. The article in 'Business Insider' focused on how youth are the custodians of a digitally empowered society and are steering technology on the right path to achieve the goal of a digital future for India. The young population of a country is the custodian of its future as much as it is the harbinger of change. They are innovators, they are restless and they are in a hurry to taste success. When many countries struggle with increasingly aging populations, India is blessed to have a high percentage of young. As per the 2011 census almost 41percent of Indians are below the age of 20 years. If they are provided with proper education and employment skills, the International Monetary Fund estimates that they have the potential to add 2 percentage points to the annual economic growth of India till 2031. This is the demographic dividend that could make the country an economic superpower in the coming years.

Click on the link below to read the entire article

http://www.businessinsider.in/Igniting-Young-Minds-to-Become-Change-Makers/articleshow/52291484.cms

Bringing Forth the Winning Way...

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In an interview with the Human Capital magazine, Quazi Mohammad Shahed, CHRO

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Bringing Forth the Winning Ways

In an interview with the Human Capital magazine, Quazi Mohammad Shahed, CHRO

Telenor India talked about Telenor's approach on employee motivation

Click here to download and read the story

Five Young Innovators To Repre...

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The answers to some of the most daunting challenges facing...

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Five Young Innovators To Represent India At Telenor Youth Forum Asia 2016

•    Telenor’s global thought leadership forum comes to Asia for the first time
•    Reiterates commitment to empower the generation of digital natives
•    To engage tech-savvy youth to address challenges facing their peers in Asia
•    Will focus on solutions that combine technology, engagement and advocacy

NEW DELHI, 10TH MAY 2016: The answers to some of the most daunting challenges facing Asia’s young population may be found by the youth themselves. This is the premise to Telenor India and Telenor Group’s announcement today that it is bringing its global Telenor Youth Forum to Asia for the first time. Part of a commitment to empowering a generation of digital natives, the event will include five delegates from India and brings together the leaders of tomorrow in Bangkok for a two-day session to address challenges for youth in the region. 

The annual Telenor Youth Forum is organized in partnership with the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway and invites talented youth from Telenor’s markets around the world to find paths to dialogue and peace. Focusing on solutions that combine technology, engagement and advocacy, the participating opinion leaders build bridges across borders and exchange knowledge and ideas. The event will include keynotes by Sigve Brekke, President and CEO of Telenor Group, and Liv Tørres, Executive Director of the Nobel Peace Center.

“By reconnecting our markets’ brightest, most engaged and tech-savvy youth to address challenges facing their peers in Asia, we hope to see creative solutions that inspire scalable programs that will empower youth in the region,” said Brekke. “As we pilot the Telenor Youth Forum in Asia, we are not only furthering our commitment to an inclusive digital future, but also expanding this formerly Oslo-based programme into a year-round cycle of dialogue and production.” 

This year, the Oslo-based forum is expanding to Asia for the first time, for a regionally-focused Forum that centers on solving some of the most pressing youth issues in Asia. The five issues range from youth unemployment to dialogue and access surrounding less talked about topics, such as mental health.

“India is a young country and Telenor believes in engaging with passionate youth leaders to use the power of technology for social causes. TYF Asia will give our five innovators a platform to increase access, collaborate and promote dialogue with like minded leaders from other countries to generate real solutions to five designated challenges facing Asia’s youth. We look forward to showcase their proposed solutions to inspire others across the country to innovate and create local impact,” said Sharad Mehrotra, CEO, Telenor (India) Communications. 

The participating 28 delegates are all alumni of the global Telenor Youth Forum from the past three years and represent Telenor’s six markets in Asia. In addition to India, these include Bangladesh, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Thailand. Born into a digital age, these young innovators are passionate about social causes and believe that the power of technology can create action and real change. 

The delegates will be organized into teams and be guided by world-class mentors and speakers from organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme, UNICEF Global Innovation Centre and the Nobel Peace Center, who will provide expert resources for strategy building, design planning and solution delivery.

Liv Tørres, Executive Director, Nobel Peace Center, said, “Our mission is to inspire peace, and we have partnered with the Telenor Youth Forum because it provides an arena for young people with ideas and passion to address the issues that matter most in building a path to peace. We are excited to take part in this program in Asia as it sources real solutions from the people best equipped to make the biggest difference in their region.”

The standout solution presented by the five teams will be featured at the Telenor Youth Forum in Oslo. 

Telenor Youth Forum Asia 2016 will take place from May 25-26 in Bangkok, Thailand. The global Telenor Youth Forum is in its fourth year and will be held in Oslo, Norway during the Nobel Peace Prize week in December 2016. For more information on the upcoming 2016 program, and to learn more about how to apply for it, visit:  https://www.telenor.com/youthforum/.  

Tackling Five Challenges for Asia:

During the course of the two-day forum, participants will develop actionable solutions to five key challenges that have been outlined for youth in Asia:

•    Fighting youth joblessness: Youth unemployment in Asia is more than double the rate of the total working population and working poverty is significantly higher for workers in younger age brackets. How can Asia realistically decrease youth unemployment and how can technology assist in this challenge?
•    Getting more girls in schools: In South Asian countries, eight girls for every 10 boys are enrolled in secondary education, while three women for every four men are enrolled in tertiary education. What solutions are possible to address gender inequality in education and can technology lead social change? 
•    Educating young laborers: Children who are forced to work to sustain their families lose out on opportunities for education and development. How can child or youth workers be reached with innovative solutions such as mobile education programs, in order to provide them with both education and a safe environment to gain self-confidence and critical thinking skills? 
•    Breaking the taboo of mental health: Adolescence is the age when mental health issues first surface and young people are at greater risk of dying of suicide and violence. Depression and eating disorders are also on the rise in Asia, but dialogue on these topics remains limited. How can technology play a role in reducing taboos around mental health and provide new channels for access and inclusion? 
•    Engaging youth in nation dialogue: Young people comprise approximately half of Asia’s population and there is an urgent need to incorporate youth perspectives into national development and the political process. How can technology help overcome barriers to civil participation among youth and encourage democracy, voting, and inclusion into the formal political process?

                                                           TYF ASIA 2016 – Students Profile

Jyotsna Kalra: Winner of TELENOR youth Forum, 2014

Jyotsna Kalra, lawyer in the making, dreams for an equal world for all who lie beyond the prevalent ideas of gender roles and stereotypes. Currently working as Program and Outreach Officer for Delhi for an organisation called Safecity, which works on issues of sexual harassment and abuse at public places. She is moving in the direction of changing the world around her day by day, trying to make it more gender inclusive and progressive in nature. Jyotsna has previously worked with a women centric organisation, WomenPowerConnect, an advocacy based organisation which works closely with the government. She personally believes that issues with respect to women safety needs to be dealt in a very concrete solution based approach, and her current journey is focussed towards change at the hyper-local level.

Kaarika Das: Winner of TELENOR youth Forum, 2015

A graduate in economics from University of Delhi is an international development enthusiast and an aspiring social entrepreneur. Her work in social sector ranges from volunteering in over six NGOs as well as being the Director of Operations of a youth led non for profit called Esteem Youth Foundation. Her involvement with social issues led her to represent India at 33fifty, the National Legacy Programme of the Commonwealth Games -2014 at Glasgow. Kaarika identifies herself as a ‘change maker' who's on a pursuit to enable social development in meaningful and sustainable way.

Abhishek Kaushal: Winner of TELENOR youth Forum, 2015

An IIM graduate is the co-founder of Blue morfo technologies, an Airbus global accelerated stealth mode start-up into preventive healthcare.  Was declared student entrepreneur India - 2013 by Tata firstdot and National entrepreneurship network. Currently program leader for Start-up leadership program's Bangalore chapter. He is Passionate about improving the healthcare scenario in India by developing scalable and sustainable technologies.

Shikha Pathak: Winner of TELENOR youth Forum, 2014

Masters in Communications Management from the Symbiosis University where she was awarded the prestigious Jayatee Deshmukh Award for the Best Outgoing Girl Student of the university. Currently, Shikha is working as the Community Manager with the Takshashila Institution, which is a think tank and school of public policy. Prior to this, she has worked with Adfactors PR and Edelman, Mumbai in their public affairs vertical. Shikha is passionate about women empowerment and believes in using the power of informed discourse in media for creating a progressive society. She also has flair for penning short stories, drawing satirical caricatures and participating in various youth fora. Her involvement in social issues led her to join the Young Inspirators Network, Maharashtra, wherein she worked with other student leaders to brainstorm on her idea for women safety.

Abhishek Gupta: Winner of TELENOR youth Forum, 2014

IIT Kanpur graduate in materials science and engineering, and Indian Administrative Services aspirant intends to work and make the country a better place socially through multi-dimensional change and realise the vision of a truly 'developed' India. The plight of an Indian farmer made him think of his project Jijeevisha - using ICT to tackle farmer suicides. As a student of anthropology, he is keen on studying how culture influences individual preferences and choices. This has helped him deal with a wide range of people day to day and is a boon for administration.  Abhishek has worked with TATA Steel as a trainee and taught programming languages to students under the HPES initiative earlier.

Telenor India concludes modern...

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Telenor India today announced modernization of 10,000 network sites in all its six operating circles

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Telenor India concludes modernization of 40% of its network sites

 

•    Plans to complete the entire modernization of 25000 network sites by Q1 2017 
•    Deploys new state-of-the-art equipment to make them future ready
•    Better quality of coverage with higher spectral efficiency
•    Achieves 25% energy efficiency and increases data throughput by 20%

New Delhi, 6th May 2016: Telenor India today announced modernization of 10,000 network sites in all its six operating circles. This is part of the network modernization programme that Telenor India had embarked upon in 2015 to swap its entire 25000 sites with state-of-the-art equipment to deliver high speed internet and enhanced voice experience to its customers in the circle. This is the fastest upgrade on a live network in the telecom industry with nearly 50 sites being swapped in a day. The company aims to complete the swap of its remaining sites by Q1 of 2017. 

“The network modernization programme shows our commitment to offer enhanced network quality experience and enrich the lives of our customers with affordable and relevant services. In a spectrum constrained and highly competitive business environment, the efficiencies we derive from the new network will help us maintain a cost efficient operation and be future ready to manage the increasing demand from our customers for data services,” said Sharad Mehrotra, CEO, Telenor (India) Communications.

The modernized sites have deployed Lean GSM solution that improves the network capacity by nearly 25% using the same spectrum resources and provides superior voice and data experience. 

“We are delighted to achieve this milestone and committed to extend benefits of affordable and high speed mobile services. This is a step towards becoming a preferred partner in the digital journey of our mass market customers. We are becoming future ready and this project will enable us to launch relevant services on any technology by ensuring that we make life full paisa vasool for our customers,” said Tanveer Mohammad, chief operating officer, Telenor India. 

At the sites which have been migrated to new technology, Telenor has seen an increase in voice and data traffic. The network congestion has reduced and data throughput has increased resulting in improved network experience for its customers. In addition, the new equipment is environment friendly as it consumes up to 30% less power.

Telenor Group has an ambition of providing “Internet For All” and aims to have 200 million customers accessing data services on its network globally. In India, the company has taken a target of having 50% of its users to access Internet by 2017. This project will help us in achieving this ambition. In revenue market share and customer market share, Telenor India is number 4 in its six operational circles.

Telenor's newest plans: Dial I...

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Is the brand's newest strategy a marketing misstep or a masterstroke?

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Telenor's newest plans: Dial I for insurance

Is the brand's newest strategy a marketing misstep or a masterstroke?

ET, 9th March 2016: Late last decade, Uninor (a JV between Telenor and Unitech) was among the brash new entrants to Indian telecom, giving larger players sleepless nights. At the vanguard of a price war, Uninor offered rates as low as 29 paise per minute and came up with schemes like unlimited talktime for students at a flat rate of Rs 37 for calls within the network.

The price warrior ethos continues to date. Telenor as it is now known (after a split with Unitech) is still sharply focussed on the bottom of the pyramid. In a market where large players like Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance are eagerly drawing up plans to port their consumers to 4G, Telenor's scale of ambitions are modest. It's currently present in six circles (including Uttar Pradesh (east and west), Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat). It claims to be the fourth largest operator in the circles its present in and focuses purely on the prepaid side of the market. With 50 million subscribers, its ARPU or Average Revenue Per User stands at Rs 88. A low figure compared to market leader Airtel for whom ARPU on voice is Rs 137 and on data is Rs 200 according to its Q3 results.

Of late though, Telenor has been trying to woo consumers with a radically leftfield offering: life insurance. According to Upanga Dutta, CMO Telenor India, the decision to become a micro-insurance provider for its users is part of a carefully calibrated plan. He says, "The market is transiting from voice to data. We wanted to reposition ourselves as a brand that goes beyond price and offers value without losing the core of affordability." Telenor zeroed in on insurance given it was a yawning need gap. Its core customers typically didn't even have bank accounts and had minimal access to financial security. Says Dutta, "Why most insurance companies don't succeed is you need a wide machinery. We operate through our 400,000 point of sale outlets and 2,000 of our own stores."

It has also involved simplifying the insurance process. Any Telenor user who buys a recharge voucher is eligible. Enrolment happens at the dealerships or can be done on a feature phone, a device owned by the bulk of Telenor's users. The insurance offered is 100 times the recharge value, capped at a maximum payout of Rs 50,000. Claims are settled against a death certificate and a SIM card, typically within seven working days, but Telenor boasts of having settled the ones that have come up so far in 72 hours. According to Dutta, 18 million consumers have enrolled so far. Apart from mass media, Telenor is banking on its existing customers spreading the word. 20 claims have been settled with payouts between Rs 10,000 and Rs 50,000.

Telenor believes the scheme is working. Dutta points to the half a million customers who are being added every month, and an increase in revenue from users who are already insured.

Given the priorities of large players like Airtel and Vodafone have shifted to the top and the middle of the market, the lower end is ripe for the taking, believe marketing experts. Says marketing consultant Sunil Alagh, "It's like what Parle did with Parle G many years ago. People bought it because it was inexpensive, Parle built a mass base and then could attack players like Britannia at the premium end. It's a good strategy for a new entrant to follow." However he cautions that for this to work, Telenor will have to build a large base of customers. "Low margin without high volume is a sure fire recipe for collapse."

Which brings us back to a how sustainable such a scheme is. It comes against a backdrop of poor performance (Telenor reported a Q4 operating loss of Rs 460 crore). Telenor has hinted at an acquisition to get nationwide scale and is also likely to make a play for 4G in India this year. If any or all of these happen, will it have to go back to the drawing board on this offer? Telenor instead points to the upside in customer revenue and business performance. Dutta says, "We are confident we will be able to continue with the current construct and enhance it before we take it to the next phase. We are probably the largest micro insurance firm in the world."

 

Source:http://brandequity.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/business-of-brands/telenors-newest-plans-dial-i-for-insurance/51313518

Mr. Tanveer Mohammad – Chief...

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Webinar on Lean GSM: Making Mobile Services Affordable for Masses (Open the link to watch it)<...

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Mr. Tanveer Mohammad – Chief Operating Officer, Telenor India

Webinar on Lean GSM: Making Mobile Services Affordable for Masses (Open the link to watch it)

http://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/webcast/affordable-mobile-services/71

Telenor India CEO – Sharad M...

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In an exclusive interview with Economic Times, Sharad Mehrotra - CEO

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Telenor India CEO – Sharad Mehrotra talks about way forward

In an exclusive interview with Economic Times, Sharad Mehrotra - CEO, Telenor India spoke about high speed data play, upcoming spectrum auctions, payment banking and net neutrality rules. 

He emphasized the importance of ‘high speed data play’ in defining the future and how Telenor India is evaluating all options to secure it. Firming up intentions on alternate technologies being evaluated for high speed data play – Telenor is in discussion with Huawei on lean GSM and testing narrow band LTE (long-term evolution). The project is being tested out in UP East with results showing encouraging trends, which will help to set the future course of action. 

26% of subscribers having already subscribed to Internet, Telenor India wants to focus on giving superior experience to them. Network modernization is a progressive step in this direction, wherein 1240 crores have already been invested to upgrade infrastructure and subsequently customer experience in voice and data segment. 
 
A clearer directive from DOT on available spectrum bands and their respective prices would help Telenor firm up its strategy for auctions. However what has been encouraging is the availability of multiple bands opening up more options to evaluate. On the base prices recommended by TRAI, Telenor India is open to evaluate all options. Post clarity on final prices, spectrum strategy will be devised taking into the right combination and profitability of business.  

With clarity on net neutrality now and guidelines being elaborative, Telenor India will follow them and comply as per Government directive. Customers have accepted Telenor’s sabse sasta voice offerings and are now using data services too. With growing Telecom needs, they are looking for more offers in voice, data space and innovative products like insurance. This sets the course to serve customers better with affordability and value in every transaction they make with Telenor India.   

Last year Telenor secured a payment bank license with three partners — Dilip Sanghvi (41 per cent), IDFC (20 per cent) and Telenor (39 per cent). It is working on the business model and plans roll out of the same within the prescribed time frame. 

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/interviews/telenor-will-withdraw-special-packs-to-comply-with-net-neutrality-rules-sharad-mehrotra-india-ceo/articleshow/51003443.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

More than just access, we need...

More than 40% of the planet’s 7.4 billion people today access the internet through a keystroke or swi...

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More than just access, we need to build Gen Z’s digital skills

 

By Sigve Brekke, President and CEO, Telenor Group

On this Safer Internet Day, we need to remember that bringing Internet for All simply isn’t enough. To fully realize the benefits of being connected and online, kids and new internet users need to stay safe by building digital resilience. To help them, parents, operators, civil society and governments need to step up.

More than 40% of the planet’s 7.4 billion people today access the internet through a keystroke or swipe of their fingertip, opening up a new digital world of opportunities. 

The opportunities offered by connectivity – financial inclusion, access to knowledge, better health and education – comes with new risks, most notably in regards to young users. For ‘digital natives’ or Generation Z (born mid-to-late 90s onwards) who have grown up in developed markets with internet access for as long as they can remember, safe practices around online behavior have generally been part of their education.

For many markets in the developing world, however, internet access is more of a novelty and any risks are less evident to parents or first-time users. Consumers in emerging markets are leapfrogging technologies and joining the digital world at unparalleled rates. 

First in their households online: children
Looking specifically at young users and internet, the situation is this: Up to 85 percent of children in emerging Asia will first access the internet via mobile because devices are cheaper, connectivity more affordable and more instant than ever before. Physically, kids on mobiles are more difficult for parents to supervise when compared to, say, kids on desktop devices. What’s more, in many cases, the children in developing markets will be the first members of their households to go online, not their parents. 

Present in 13 markets, stretching from Norway to Malaysia, my company provides mobile and digital communication services to more than 200 million customers – many of them connecting for the first time. We see it also as our responsibility to provide guidance to our customers and help lay safety nets for those who are most at risk. 

We believe there are universal principles around safe internet that should be applied in all contexts, such as right to privacy, but these principles must be tailored to meet the needs of vastly different markets. Nowhere is this more evident than in Asia, where we are venturing into new territory, playing an integral role in some of the world’s least connected markets, such as Myanmar.

A public-private partnership for digital resilience
Having served emerging Asia for the last two decades, we knew millions of young and new internet users would be getting online. We began our work on these fronts early in more established markets in Scandinavia and Central Europe, where we learned how to conduct impactful digital safety programs.  Telenor Norway’s partnership to fight cyber bullying, the Use Your Head campaign, reached an important milestone just recently in 2015: 200,000 students in more than 700 schools have now received training in how to prevent bullying.
This taught us the importance of taking internet safety messages directly to kids and parents by working with schools, and we learned the importance of building alliances with organizations that mitigate online risks. 

Outreach like this is enormously important also in Asia, where fear about the internet acts as an obstacle to access. Building awareness and digital skills are invaluable in communities that may be wary of what the internet actually is. When they understand what it can offer and that there are ways to stay safe, it helps to break down self- or community-imposed barriers to access.  

Last year, we announced expanded efforts to keep the internet safe for the estimated 55 million children around the world who are expected to come online by 2017. This includes working with partners such as other ICT players, the European Commission, the Interpol, the GSMA and UNICEF. With them, we work on many fronts to get kids and new users off to a safe start in the digital world. Among many initiatives, these are studying how children behave online, establishing filters that block illegal content, conducting large-scale outreach programs and publishing resources, like a parental guide on how to talk to children about the internet.

We see it as important to not only deliver awesome services, but also design effective means of empowering people to stay protected online. Playing a key role in our customers’ digital lives, we have a vested interest in the well-being of our mobile subscribers, and we want to see more of our industry peers, our public partners, our employees and our digitally savvy customers take active interest in the well-being of their newly connected fellow citizens as they explore this new digital world.

Follow Sigve Brekke on Twitter @Sigve_Telenor and at www.facebook.com/sigve.telenor. 

http://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/tele-talk/more-than-just-access-we-need-to-build-gen-z-s-digital-skills/1244

Telenor claims it is largest s...

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GSM telecom operator Telenor said it has become the largest 'single' micro insurance policy provide...

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Telenor claims it is largest single micro insurance policy provider in India

 

Telenor India outlines its vis...

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Affordable access and availability of enough spectrum at right price are two important enablers for making ...

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Telenor India outlines its vision of being a digital services provider at Convergence India 2016

Affordable access and availability of enough spectrum at right price are two important enablers for making digital services inclusive and expansive for masses. Telenor India laid down the requirements for making government’s mission of Digital India a reality at the 24th Convergence India 2016. The event was held in New Delhi between Jan 20 – 22nd. The annual congregation of the telecom industry saw an active participation by Telenor India top management in a thought leadership role. 

Speaking at the opening session of Convergence India, Sharad Mehrotra, chief executive officer, Telenor India Communications said, “The government of India has been supportive and provided the right encouragement to increase Internet penetration. The start-up India, stand up India initiative by the government will foster entrepreneurship and help in taking Digital India forward. But spectrum availability to make access affordable is important to take the benefits of Internet to the masses.”

The event saw some meaningful and insightful discussions on how government and industry can come together to integrate technology to fulfill inclusive growth agenda be it Digital India, financial inclusion or start-up India. With its ambition of Internet for All, Telenor is already working to on strategies to extend the benefits of being connected to users by offering affordable and relevant services.

Tanveer Mohammad, chief operating officer, Telenor India spoke about Telenor’s perspective on ‘Innovative solutions for mass market digitization’. “Telenor India is a customer centric company and we strongly believe in making our products simple and easy to use, and deliver them over a modern network. We have consistently invested in expanding and upgrading our network.  In 2014 we rolled out 5000 new sites. Last year we have started an ambitious project to modernize our entire network by 2017. With this Telenor will be future ready to deliver digital services to its customers,” he said.

Telenor India, along with Huawei India, has started one of the largest network swap of legacy infrastructure with state-of-the-art equipment. The new network will make the company almost 30% more power efficient and improve its spectral efficiency. This will also help increase its indoor coverage. In a spectrum starved country, the modernization project will enable Telenor roll out new technologies to meet the growing demand for Internet services.  

At the session on ‘Internet for All’ Upanga Dutta, chief marketing officer, Telenor India shared important consumer behavior trends on Internet browsing, usage and the growing demand for digital services. “Telenor India is delivering more value at every customer touch point. Our free life insurance scheme has combined mobile technology with financial inclusion agenda of the government. By removing the barriers in adoption of insurance, like cumbersome paper work and long claim settlement process, we have expanded the financial security net to the masses,” said Upanga.

With 16 million enrolments and having insured over 6 million users, Telenor India has emerged as one of the biggest micro-insurance company in the country. “It is not just about a product or an offer, it is also about making our consumers aware of the benefits of Internet and digital services available on their handsets. Our unique Grahak Siksha Kendras and Internet in Wheels have been educating customers and solving their issues at over 300 Telenor outlets,” Upanga added. 

Being a responsible corporate citizen, Telenor has also been empowering societies by challenging the socio-economic barriers that prevent women from owning mobile phones. Project Sampark was highlighted for its contribution in reducing the gender gap in mobile phone usage in rural areas of India. It also brought out the unique model of livelihood creation by training women to promote adoption of mobile phones and create awareness around benefits of the lady of house being connected. 

Convergence India also saw Telenor India IT Head  Avinash Mittal talk about big data and business analytical tools that are being adopted by operators to understand consumer behavior. As part of its network modernization project, Telenor will also integrate such tools to improve customer service and deliver relevant products that meet their requirements. The event closed with a promise to return next year with more thought leadership discussions that will define future of the industry.

Igniting Young Minds to become...

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Igniting Young Minds to become Change Makers

 

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Igniting Young Minds to become Change Makers

Byline article of Sharad Mehrotra, CEO, Telenor India in Business Insider, one of the leading web portals on the theme of Telenor Youth Forum. 4796 Yes newsarticle Sen, KeyaPage Image

​​​The article in 'Business Insider' focused on how youth are the custodians of a digitally empowered society and are steering technology on the right path to achieve the goal of a digital future for India.

The young population of a country is the custodian of its future as much as it is the harbinger of change. They are innovators, they are restless and they are in a hurry to taste success. When many countries struggle with increasingly aging populations, India is blessed to have a high percentage of young. As per the 2011 census almost 41percent of Indians are below the age of 20 years. If they are provided with proper education and employment skills, the International Monetary Fund estimates that they have the potential to add 2 percentage points to the annual economic growth of India till 2031. This is the demographic dividend that could make the country an economic superpower in the coming years.

Click on the link below to read the entire article

http://www.businessinsider.in/Igniting-Young-Minds-to-Become-Change-Makers/articleshow/52291484.cms

Project Sampark Transforming L...

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Project Sampark Transforming Lives of Women in Villages

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Project Sampark Transforming Lives of Women in Villages

Interview of Pooja Thakran, Head - Social Responsibility & Chief Communication Officer, Telenor India appeared in India Today Online on project Sampark and how it is transforming lives of women in the villages.

 

Interview Excerpts:

Q. What significance do you think technology can play in rural pockets of the country to overcome gender disparity?
 
Technology is a key enabler to narrow the gender disparity in the society and Internet has been a key driving technology ensuring equality in the society. It's affordable and accessible to all. We just need to build digital skills to ensure all can benefit from it.  In many areas of the country women are barred from using a mobile phone as it is considered to be the reason behind the prevailing evils. While it has been well established that telecom connectivity contributes to the economic growth of the country, still study shows that nearly 70 per cent of women do not own a phone. To bridge this gender gap, Telenor India piloted Project Sampark in Aligarh of UP West.

Project Sampark addresses the socio-economic causes of eliminating the gender gap in mobile use and aims to increase women's access and ownership of mobile phones, enable them to enjoy the benefits of life-enhancing mobile services and to break barriers and social prejudice that prevent women to use mobile phones. The project launched with two new concepts:

a) The 'Combo SIM pack' (Jodi pack) - A pair of SIMs that are linked to each other in a manner that recharge or talk time top-up of one SIM results in additional bonus minutes added to the second. 
b) Utilizing women promoters - Unique sales and distribution channel of involving village Anganwadi workers as sales promoters. These anganwadi workers are well accepted in the village and have reach to every women/household in the villages and they become a key player in selling telecom services to other women.
 
We have joined hands with GSMA for Project Sampark. The pilot project was initiated in 87 villages of Aligarh district in western Uttar Pradesh. The second phase of Sampark is being launched after the phenomenal success of the pilot project across 87 villages in Aligarh district. These villages have seen an improvement in tele-density among women and of the more than 52,000 Project Sampark subscribers 50 per cent are women. The new areas will replicate the model piloted in first phase, which was launched in August 2014. The villages will be covered by 30-40 trained women promoters, who will be hired from the adjoining areas.

Q. A lot of companies are entering the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) space. Do you think it is sheer lip-service, or companies are doing genuine work in the domain?

CSR is not a good to have but a must-have for companies. Today your consumers and stakeholders chose you not just for the products but also based on how you produce, how you impact environment and the communities around you. So it's not an option to do or not to do. With our vision of empowering societies, CSR is at the heart of how we do business and what we can give to the society not just through our core business value but through sustainable solutions, responsible business practices, strong governance model, environmental and social viability as well as community building.

Our CSR initiatives range from digital literacy to drive digital inclusion with our ambition of offering internet for all and not just a few; safe online programs for children and youth,  clean India drives; gender equality in technology use; and sustainable business practices like green energy solutions.

A recent FICCI survey indicates that 83 per cent of the participating companies anticipate an increase in their CSR spending in 2016-17.  CSR is not just about giving money, we believe in creating connected, informed and empowered communities by extending the benefits to digital communication to the masses and taking responsibility of how we do business.

Similarly, Telenor is working on bridging the gender gap in mobile usage through Project Sampark. The project was piloted in 87 villages of Aligarh district of UP East and is now being replicated in villages of three other zones - Bareilly, Dehradun and Rudrapur. Sampark seeks to address the socio-economic challenges that prevent women's access to mobile phones. It is a combination of innovative product and marketing, awareness programme and it empowers women by creating livelihood options.
 
We have also opened around 300 Grahak Shiksha Kendras (customer education hubs) to spread awareness around digital services. The customers can walk into these GSKs and get their queries answered or problems resolved. This is free of cost.
 
 Q. A clichA© that runs in the industry is that women make for better communication managers. Have you heard that before, and conform to the thought? 
 
We do not distinguish between talent based on gender. We look for skill sets and leadership qualities that are best suited for the job profile. Though there is a conscious effort being made to improve gender diversity within the organization, we will look for the best talent and empower him or her to deliver the desired results. Even in the communication function we have both male and female managers who drive their teams to achieve excellence in whatever project they are executing. Our policies and trainings are designed to eliminate challenges in their professional growth and build an environment of support to balance both personal and professional front effectively.

But I must add Women are good at multi-tasking, while men have their own strengths though both are important and effective. Personally, it's about the value you bring and how well you contribute in your area of expertise.​

Click on the link below to read the entire article

http://wonderwoman.intoday.in/story/empowering-rural-women-digitally/1/123545.html​

Bringing the Digital Divide Th...

Khaga,

Communications Today carried an article written by Tanveer Mohammad, COO, Telenor India

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Bringing the Digital Divide Through Tech

Communications Today carried an article written by Tanveer Mohammad, COO, Telenor India on how telecom industry is gearing up for digital journey. It further highlights Telenor India network modernization initiative to be future ready along with deployment of 4G LTE initiative. The key highlights of the story: · Telenor’s a network modernization drive with Huawei to upgrade 25,000 sites for an investment of nearly Rs 1,200 crore · As part of a pilot programme, launch of Telenor 4G services on narrow band of 1.4 MHz in Varanasi · How telecom industry is gearing up for digital journey

Telenor Suraksha’s support e...

Khaga,

Sharing the grief of the loss of a family member, Telenor supports its customer and Suraksha (the
in...

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Telenor Suraksha’s support extended to the first claimant in UP (West)

Sharing the grief of the loss of a family member, Telenor supports its customer and Suraksha (the insurance offering) subscriber by providing timely compensation support.

 

On 23 December, 2015 Pramod Kumar, a Telenor Suraksha subscriber (and a resident of Meerut city in UP West) who lost his wife Brajesh Devi, received timely help with the support of the Suraksha Team in the form of an insurance claim for the amount of Rs. 20,000.

A small tea-shop owner at Dulhara Chungi in Meerut, Pramod is barely able to make upto Rs. 8000 per month to support his family. Upon receiving the cheque from Upanga Dutta, Chief Marketing Officer, Telenor India at the zonal office in Meerut, Pramod mentioned that though this is hard hitting incident, he realized the value of the support Telenor is providing to its customer during such moments of duress, “I have already started to encourage each and every person I meet to get themselves enrolled to this scheme. This comes as a great support to me and my bereaved family.”

Telenor Suraksha got launched this year in October and aims to bridge the disparity in access to life insurance among the low and middle-income customers. The initiative has been a big success with as many as 13 Million  customers educated till date.. Consoling the bereaved family and the Telenor customer, Upanga mentioned that, “While we are sad about the unfortunate incident, yet we feel relieved that with the newly launched Suraksha initiative, Telenor has been able to contribute successfully towards the agenda of financial inclusion.”

Talking about the initiative, Pushpendra Singh, said, “This is an innovative product that looks to bridge the disparity in access to life insurance among the low and middle-income individuals. Though our heart goes out to Mr. Pramod Kumar and his family, we are happy being able to keep our promise of a speedy resolution of claim.”

The team ensured the settlement of the claim within seven days of receiving the first intimation and it’s a moment of pride for Telenor as the customer received timely support whilst the entire process of claim settlement was as hassle free as promised.  

#MoreThan 200 million customer...

Khaga,

Telenor Group today announced that it has surpassed the 200 million mobile subscriber mark.

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#MoreThan 200 million customers are now connected to Telenor

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 17, 2015: Telenor Group today announced that it has surpassed the 200 million mobile subscriber mark. This represents a significant milestone in Telenor Group’s history across Asia, Europe and the Nordics.

“Many in Telenor can remember reaching one million subscribers– a once-historic milestone. Since then, the world has changed dramatically and with it, the role of the mobile phone. Today, Telenor is in the hands of more than 200 million people from Malaysia to Norway. Telenor´s early explorers of the 1990s aspired to bring the benefits of mobile communications to everyone, but they could hardly have imagined the impact we witness now. Today, our vision goes beyond putting a phone in every hand. We envision an internet for all, and with it all the opportunities that a digital life brings,” said Sigve Brekke, President and CEO of Telenor Group. 

As the world evolves to view connectivity as a basic necessity, Telenor Group will continue its work in enabling connectivity for all.At the same time, Telenor is exploring new ways to sustain growth, capture customers' attention and create value for them. 

Commenting on the milestone SharadMehrotra, CEO, Telenor India said, “We at Telenor India are proud to be the leading contributor of subscriber growth adding over 5 million customers in the last 11 months. With a strong position on being the most affordable service provider we have attracted the mass market customers and managed to be the 4th biggest in revenue and customer market share in the circles we operate. As we move towards becoming a digital services company, we are committed to take data and Internet services to the masses as we have done with voice services.” 

“Earlier this year, Telenor changed its brand name from Uninor and has also launched an industry first initiative of offering free life insurance to its customers. With innovative offers for mass market customers we have continued to provide superior value to our customers,” said SharadMehrotra.

Among Telenor’s business units, India contributes over 24% of its total customer base. Telenor had launched mobile services here in 2009, and is commercially available in six circles covering 50% of India’s population.

Telenor Group is present in 13 markets across Asia and Europe. The company entered Hungary 21 years ago and established its first Asian operation in 1996. Telenor has since emerged as a leading global mobile operator. As of the third quarter 2015, Telenor Group’s six Asian operations generated more than 50 percent of the group’s total revenues and Norway and the rest of Europe about 20 percent each.  Telenor Group has added more than 170 million subscribers in the past decade.

"Telenor Group is a truly global company, with a broad geographic footprint and a brand and logo visible to more than one billion people. It is based on a strong Norwegian heritage and has propelled into a global brand that ranks amongst the top four in Scandinavia and amongst the top 200 in the world. By connecting its consumers, giving people access to the internet and digital services, Telenor is enabling people to drive business, improve their lives and contribute to building a better future for society,” said AtleFølgesvold, consultant at global market research firm TNS.

Telenor Group recognizes the uniqueness of each of its 13 markets and its customers across the Nordics, Europe and Asia. Here is a snapshot of our presence and some of the unique attributes of our markets. 

Telenor Survey states 65% of I...

Trolling is most irritating, yet sending e-Cards and posting food pictures are guilty pleasures for online ...

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Telenor Survey states 65% of Indian Netizens are Internet Addicts

 

Trolling is most irritating, yet sending e-Cards and posting food pictures are guilty pleasures for online Indians according to regional survey on navigating the digital world.

 

​​​As India's use of Internet and social media expands exponentially, so invariably does the rise of annoying Internet habits. If you have ever been irked online, chances are – you're not alone. India's netizens unanimously voted spreading false rumors as the most annoying Internet habit, but conversely are most guilty of sending e-Cards and posting delicious food pictures according to a recent survey on the 'Worst Internet Habits' commissioned by Telenor Group.

Uniquely 33% of Indians also hate excessive selfie takers, against the regional average of 21%. And 65% of Indians surveyed admit to being 'Internet addicts' – just under the regional average of 67% addiction level.

In an effort to learn more about their customers in their commitment to provide a positive digital future for all, Telenor conducted the Internet behavioral survey across India, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. From profanity tolerance levels to selfie approval ratings, respondents across the region replied to what they love and loathe most about the net.

​"This survey gives us a very stimulating way to look at who are our customers are and their online preferences. As online access increases in the country, it is great to see that 94% of the Indians surveyed say that Internet has improved their lives - the highest percentage among the surveyed nations. As technology evolves, so do our people and our cyber interactions. I think that Indian people are aware of their online behavior and want to make sure that the net remains an inclusive and regulated domain," says Sharad Mehrotra, CEO, Telenor India.

The study was undertaken by Penn Schoen Berland in Singapore and surveyed 401 people across India (100), Malaysia (100), Thailand (101), and Singapore (100). The results reveal that Asia is unified in many aspects; but additionally illustrate unique country-specific differences. For example, net profanity is not a big concern for Indian online citizens at a low 4% of annoyance, versus a large 43% in Thailand and 39% in Malaysia.

Net Addiction

Per the survey, a majority of Indians, 65%, agree to the statement: "I am an Internet addict." And it is worth noting that while both the majority of men and women agreed with the statement, slightly more females surveyed regionally felt addicted than their male counterparts.

​Females also reported to spending more time online than men with 21% of online two hours per day for personal reasons–equating to a mammoth 730 hours per year. In parallel, men reported to accessing the Internet more regularly than females with 89% accessing it 'many times a day outside of work purposes'.

Indians like Facebook for Looking, not Seeking Compassion

Indian online users were characterized by the findings as being not concerned with online expletives, but uniquely annoyed by seeking sympathy, posting selfies and spreading false rumors on the net. A noteworthy 28% of Indians say that sympathy-seeking posts on Facebook are very irritating contrasted with the regional average of 14%. And India was the only surveyed country to list this in their top five most annoying online habits.

But when then asked which online annoying behaviors respondents have personally engaged in themselves,

Indians admitted to being most guilty of Facebook voyeurism (looking but not posting) and sending e-Cards: at a shared 23%. Sending e-Cards online again had a distinctively high ranking for Indians against the regional average of 13%, where it did not rank in the top five amongst the other three countries. 14% Indians also said that they indulged in posting food pictures and sending online game invites.

And while attesting to the love of food in Asia, all countries admitted to high levels of sharing snaps of food, women regionally overall were more likely to post pictures of food (31% versus 23% for men). Gender breakdowns also revealed behavioral nuances and potential correlations in behavior. Two-thirds of respondents admitting to excessively posting selfies on the net were female, whereas the majority of respondents engaging in Facebook voyeurism are male. But selfie-takers beware! Indian respondents rated this activity much higher in the annoyance stakes than the other three nations – 33% annoyance in India, against just 21% regional average. Internet for the Better

Despite worst Internet annoyances, the survey also found that a resounding 94% of Indians say the Internet has improved their lives, and 83% of respondents stated that social media in India has helped them to strengthen relationships with friends and family.

In terms of curbing perceived annoying behavior, the survey reveals Indian people believe it requires a combination of government regulation and parental intervention. Markedly, 20% of Indians feel that government-run education programs should be utilized to improve Internet etiquette – much higher than the regional average of 12%. While 27% of Indians feel that online behavior is the responsibility of parents who need to talk to their children about the Internet.

"With Telenor's strategy of Internet for All and goal of achieving 200 million active internet users by 2017, we will see many first-time internet users in Asia over the coming years. As more people access the internet it will be interesting to see how netiquette evolves, just as the world does. As for selfies and cat pictures - I would not be surprised if the next billion people connected turn out to be more sophisticated than us!" added Karianne Melleby, VP Head of Global Partnerships, Telenor Digital AS

Telenor India announces its fi...

Kaarika Das and Abhishek Kaushal from Delhi were declared as the finalists at the thought leadership forum ...

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Telenor India announces its finalists for Youth Forum in Norway

Telenor India announces its finalists for Youth Forum in Norway

Kaarika Das and Abhishek Kaushal from Delhi were declared as the finalists at the thought leadership forum on #KnowledgeForAll. They would be representing Telenor India at the Telenor Youth Forum at Oslo in December

 

The Telenor Youth forum is a platform for young thought leaders who are extremely passionate about increasing access to knowledge through digital and mobile technology. Young people up to the age of 28 years from Telenor's 13 markets were invited to connect and share ideas and opinions on the topic "knowledge for all."

After screening and semi final rounds, 25 delegates from the 13 BU's were finally chosen join the Telenor Youth Forum in Oslo (#TYF15). The annual event, which coincides with the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony week, will this year centre on the theme of #KnowledgeForAll.

"Our delegates bring unique ideas and thoughts based on multiple perspectives and that are rooted in a range of societal challenges. Most importantly, they see opportunities where others see barriers to making an impact. We want to engage with them to discuss and explore how Telenor and mobile technology can be part of driving inclusive change and improving access to knowledge," said Sigve Brekke, President & CEO of Telenor Group.

These 25 chosen delegates includes 14 women and 11 men aged 18-28, encouraged and introduced untraditional and innovative solutions to societal challenges. An international selection panel consisting of representatives from civil society, academia and Telenor top management selected the final delegates from close to 2,000 applicants in 13 countries.

Sharad Mehrotra, CEO, Telenor India said, "These young leaders are the custodians of a digitally empowered society. Telenor Youth Forum offers a global platform to present their ideas of inclusive growth and change. At Telenor India, we are committed to build a digital future for India and believe that mobile technology will be a catalyst for development of our society. I congratulate the participants and wish them best of luck for their future endeavours."

Kaarika Das

21-year-old Kaarika Das is a graduate in economics from Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi, and is currently pursuing a part time language course from St. Stephens, University of Delhi. Kaarika presented her app 'Teleshiksha' that provides a social platform to enable collaborative sharing of video courses. Teleshiksha will enable anyone with a mobile and Internet connection to build knowledge through access to publicly shared curriculums for free. The app has been designed to be used by not only individuals but also by educational institutions to reach a wider audience.

 

Abhishek Kaushal

Abhishek Kaushal, 26-year-old IIM Ranchi graduate, was selected for his presentation on how Internet facilitates behavioural medicine through digital therapeutics. As 80% of diabetes occurs due to unhealthy lifestyle, Abhishek offered a solution to change one's lifestyle digitally through a mobile app called 'E-coach'. This app will create awareness on food habits and healthy living. It will also track user's daily activity levels, sleep patterns, heart rate and weight all seamlessly getting uploaded to the mobile App through wearable health band and Bluetooth enabled weighing scale.

A conglomeration of innovation and intellect

Telenor has invited a range of high-level and inspiring speakers for the Forum programme, who all share a passion for knowledge and increasing access to learning. A keynote address will be given by Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, the world's largest online encyclopaedia.

"I'm excited to be participating in this year's Telenor Youth Forum. The youth are the future, mobile is the future. The dream of universal access to education is in our grasp," said Wales.

​Other speakers will include:

  • Justin Ferrell, award-winning journalist & design-thinker, Stanford University's d.school
  • Torbjørn Røe-Isaksen, Norwegian Minister for Education and Research
  • Santeri Koivisto from edugaming innovation MinecraftEdu
  • Laila Bokhari, Norwegian State Secretary& owner ofan all-girls' school in Sultanabad, Pakistan
  • Tim Aye-Hardy, founder of Myanmar mobile education project, myME
  • Zihad Zaman, Jaago Foundation, which runs online schools with Grameenphone, Telenor Group's company in Bangladesh
  • Kelly Steen from Canadian storytelling start-up Wattpad
  • Julia Firestone, Global Business Coalition for Education's Global Education Platform
  • Stefan Velja, young innovator from Serbia &gold medal winner at Brussels Innova 2014

​"It's a goal of ours to encourage young people to raise their voice for issues that matter, such as access to education and knowledge for all. The Nobel Peace Center is happy to once again partner with the Telenor Youth Forum because it gives a global stage to some of the most creative, passionate and optimistic of these voices. They have the chance to be a global fraternity of gifted young people with ideas and a drive to keep us all moving forward – towards peace and knowledge for all," said Executive Director Bente Erichsen of the Nobel Peace Center.

 

 

Telenor releases its Q3 result...

Telenor Group reported third-quarter results at its company headquarters in Oslo, Norway.

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Telenor releases its Q3 results

Telenor India adds 1 million subscriptions in Q3 of 2015 


Telenor Group reported third-quarter results at its company headquarters in Oslo, Norway.


Commenting on the results Vivek Sood, CEO, Telenor (India) said "Telenor added 1 million subscriptions in India during the third quarter. At the end of September, the subscription base was 19% higher than the same quarter last year. The company continues to build on Internet users as part of Internet for All strategy and reported 41% increase in data users year-on-year. Currently Telenor has over 22% of users accessing data services on its network. 


In September, Telenor India acquired a refreshed brand identity and extended its commitment to deliver excellence through fair and easy services while retaining its Sabse Sasta position in the market. However, the rebranding related cost resulted in the EBITDA for the full quarter turning negative. Excluding the one-offs Telenor continues to report second quarter of positive EBITDA.


Post the brand name refresh, we have reinforced our strategy of being most an affordable and value centric brand. Our customer centric approach and high level of transparency has established us as a trusted telecom operator in the market. The free life insurance offering is a step towards expanding security net to mass market.


Telenor is showing a positive growth trends. We have taken cognizance of the data consumption trends and through our network modernization project we are getting future ready to deliver high-speed Internet services to further delight our customers relevant services." 


Highlights of Telenor Group for Q3


Telenor reported third-quarter revenues of NOK 31.8 billion and organic revenue growth of 4%. EBITDA before other items was NOK 11.8 billion and the EBITDA margin remained stable at 37%. Adjusted for VimpelCom impairment, net income was NOK 3.6 billion.


The guidance for the full year is organic revenue growth of around 5% and an EBITDA margin of 34%-35%. The adjusted outlook is primarily a consequence of the inclusion of the Danish operation.


In Norway, strong mobile market performance continued driven by increasing data demand. Mobile subscription and traffic revenues rose 5%. With annual investments of more than NOK 4 billion, we will continue to provide our customers with superior network experience.


Intense competition impacted performance in Thailand, Malaysia and Denmark. We are continuing our turnaround process in Thailand. Profitability in Malaysia was affected by currency headwinds and price pressure. Our planned merger with TeliaSonera in Denmark was withdrawn and we are now reviewing our strategic options in Denmark.


In Myanmar, the solid momentum continued. After a year of building network coverage in cities and larger towns, Telenor is now continuing its expansion into rural townships and villages.


There are promising growth trends visible in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sweden and Hungary. Subscriber growth significantly increased both in Pakistan and Bangladesh, while the operations in Sweden and Hungary reported improved subscription and traffic revenue growth.


On 5 October, we announced our intention to divest all our shares in VimpelCom Ltd. This triggered an impairment with effect of NOK 5.4 billion to the income statement in the third quarter.


On 27 October 2015, the Board of Directors of Telenor ASA resolved a second semi-annual dividend for the financial year 2014 of NOK 3.50 per share. This is in line with the earlier communicated intention of the Board of Directors. Including the NOK 3.80 per share paid out in June 2015, this brings the total dividends for the year to NOK 7.30 per share.


Key Figures Telenor Group

 

(NOK in millions) Q3 2015                Q3 2014            YTD 2015           YTD 2014      
Revenues 31836 27685 94688 81003
Organic revenue growth (%) 4.5   5.7    
EBITDA before other income/ expenses 11 848 10 263 33 338 29 178
EBITDA margin before other income/expenses (%) 37.2 37.1 35.2 36.0
Profit after taxes and non-controlling interests (1 770) 2 586 5 539 8 581
Capex excl. licences and spectrum/Revenues (%) 17.9 14.1 18.0 14.3
Mobile subcriptions – Change in quarter/Total (million) 5.2 3.4 196 179

 

"We report solid third-quarter results with 4% organic revenue growth and 6% organic EBITDA growth. More than five million new customers connected to Telenor, and I am pleased to see that almost 200 million people are using our services. We witness strong growth in data consumption across our markets. Going forward, it is of utmost importance that we monetise this growth in order to secure healthy returns on our significant investments,'' said Sigve Brekke, Telenor Group President and CEO

Customer Centricity is the nam...

We celebrated the Customer First Day just two weeks back where we engaged with our customers and took their...

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Customer Centricity is the name of the game

“The customer’s perception is your reality” Kate Zabriskie 

We exist because of our customers

We celebrated the Customer First Day just two weeks back where we engaged with our customers and took their feedback on our services. It was a day when we reached out to our customers and gave them an assurance and commitment of offering superior value and services. It was a day we promised to build relevant services and realign our business priorities to suit their needs.It was a day dedicated to align the entire organization to the purpose of our existence

Living Customer First day, each day

Just like the Customer First Day initiative, customers feedback is collected every day by Customer Experience team to keep a tab on NPS.Like most telecom operators,‘Network’ emerges as the biggest reason for detraction for us as well. 

While our Network transformation will improve customer experience, this journey will take some time. Hence, the Customer Experience team has launched a Network 360 program to win over Network detractors everyday.As part of this program circle network team members reach out to Network detractors in their neighborhood regularly and close-loop their issues personally. 

In the last few months,the respective circles have been able to convert 20% - 30% of the Network detractors into Promoters.There were cases where customers were converted into promoters just because of the fact that Network team contacted them to help,even when on-ground situation couldn’t be improved.As a result,a lot of these customers spread the Telenor gesture by word of mouth and thus boosted the Telenor brand image.

Launching Network 360 Challenge: Win a Smile 

Taking cue from the success of this program, a Network 360 Challenge –”Win a Smile”contest has been launched across 6 circles for the next 3 months. Starting from Oct 16th to Jan 15th,the Network team members will compete with each other to convert as many Network detractors into Promoters as possible.

Points will be rewarded to each participant for connecting with Network detractors and converting them into Promoters. The Customer Experience team will call-back these customers to check their Network experience before allotting the points.


“With this contest,we aim to re-energize our teams which are doing so well in getting detractors to promoters. With the brand change, we will use this as a step to a strong goodwill building. I wish the teams all the luck.” said Tanveer Mohammad, COO, Telenor India. 

Individual R&R
•    One monthly winner for the circle - The participants who gets maximum points in the circle for the month will be declared the winner
•    Minimum compliance throughout - Minimum close-looping with 10 customers every fort-night consistently for next 3 months


Team Rewards 
•    Top Team for the month – Top 2 circles with highest participant compliance will win this prize
•    Overall Winner – Top 2 circles basis the highest % conversion from detractor to promoter in three months (the circles are divided in 2 groups basis Network vendor dynamics. There will be one winner from each group).

 

 

Telenor India partners with Ac...

Whether it was a landslide in Uttarakhand or an earthquake in Nepal, the people of Telenor India, have alwa...

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Telenor India partners with Action Aid for Disaster Response

Whether it was a landslide in Uttarakhand or an earthquake in Nepal, the people of Telenor India, have always been active in extending help during natural calamities. 

Whenever a disaster occurs, a number of activities are conducted towards relief and rehabilitation of disaster victims. 


Though having a talent pool of variety of skill sets, disaster management requires a lot of man power and investment of time. Earlier, the people of Telenor collected relief material and money from employees and donated in the Prime Minister's Relief Fund. I was realised that this fund was not under our control and we were not being able to spend this money efficiently. 


A need was felt to have an expert partner who could advise us on the optimum utilization of our funds and give us maximum mileage on our efforts.


After screening and evaluating several organisations, the Social Responsibility team at Telenor India identified ActionAid as our partner, which is a veteran in disaster management. 

Signing of Agreement with ActionAid


A mutual signing of agreement took place on 13 October between Pooja Thakran, Chief Communications Officer & Head of Social Responsibility, Telenor India and Sandeep Chachra, Executive Director, Actionaid in New Delhi. A sum of INR 10,08,907 (Ten Lakh Eight Thousand Nine Hundred and Seven) was handed over to Actionaid during the signing in ceremony.This fund was collected during an employee payroll giving drive in April and will now be utilised for flood relief in Assam and North East India.


Sandeep Chachra, Executive Director, ActionAid Association, India said, "In the aftermath of a calamity, what we often see is an ad hoc approach to reach out to people affected, particularly while providing immediate relief. In that light, Telenor's approach is strategic and refreshing. I am glad that Telenor has taken a proactive step to be 'disaster ready' so that relief can start immediately after an incident occurs. We are very happy to partner with Telenor for this noble cause and I'm sure that it will benefit the communities in the long run." 

Under the agreement, Actionaid will inform and advice Telenor India about nature of disaster as and when it happens in any part of India and align local partners in implementation of rehabilitation activities at disaster locations.


About Action Aid


Action Aid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights for all and defeat poverty. It is an internationally renowned NGO working in 44 countries.


In India, the organization has presence in 23 states and they work on the issues of women rights, child rights, eradicating poverty and disaster relief through 300 NGO partners countrywide.

 

 

 

Telenor Youth Forum picks insp...

The grand finale of Telenor Youth Forum in India was a gathering of some of the remarkable young talents fr...

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Telenor Youth Forum picks inspiring young mind

The grand finale of Telenor Youth Forum in India was a gathering of some of the remarkable young talents from all across the country where four finalists were announced as winners from India

Telenor Youth Forum: What, How and Why?

Telenor Youth Forum (TYF), formerly known as Telenor Youth Summit is in it's third year running in collaboration with the Nobel Peace Centre. It is an arena built in the spirit of Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Peace Prize and invites young people up to the age of 28 years from Telenor's 13 markets across the Nordic region, Europe and Asia to connect and share ideas and opinions to create a better digital future.

TYF aims to engage young leaders of tomorrow for an ongoing, productive dialogue and communication across boundaries on how technology, knowledge and empowerment can foster understanding, prosperity and development in the digital era. It is a global platform for young opinion shapers who are keen to transform the world they live in – and our digital future.

The launch of the event happened through national & local press release. Post this; young budding talents from the 6 Telenor circles and corporate office were invited to participate. To drive the participation further, college presentations with Q&A rounds were held at various colleges.Communication on this was further pushed through social media and other channels like radio and digital.

Theme for 2015: "Education for All"

For 2015 ,the theme for Telenor Youth Forum is 'Education for All' as knowledge remains a prerequisite for communication and understanding, and helps us take full advantage of being connected. And as it connects lives and brings about a transformation, knowledge is for everyone. Based on the theme, the participants were asked to present and submit their views on the accessibility of knowledge in impacting people,business and communities, what transformations will the society experience when knowledge in inexpensively available to all, what is the role of technology in bringing this transformation and are there really limits to what technology can achieve?

Selection Procedure & Judges' Panel

The selection process occurred in two stages: local level and national level. Stage one which took place at the local level shortlisted 10 contestants at each circle. These contestants were asked to present their views before the local jury which comprised of the respective circle business head, a functional head and an external guest. On the basis of communication, presentation skills, uniqueness of ideas and scalability prospect, one or two best speakers from each circle were selected for the national grand finale.

After going through a rigorous process of short listing, 10 contestants were chosen for the grand finale which took place at Hotel Le Meridien in Gurgaon. Each of these contestants were given a duration of 5 mins to present their ideas before the national panel of judges, followed by a Q&A round by the jury. The panel of judges included

• Christine Edier (Chief Resource Mobilization & Partnerships, UNICEF India)

• Inger Midtkandal (Special Adviser, Innovation Norway, New Delhi India, Science and Technology Counsellor, Royal Norwegian Embassy)

• Sandeep Karanwal (Head – GSMA India)

• Kenth Engo–Monsen (Telenor Research – Data Analytics)

• Quazi Mohammad Shahed (CHRO - Telenor India)

Talking about TYF ,Christine Edier, Chief Resource Mobilization & Partnerships, UNICEF India said "The Telenor Youth Forum offers a perfect platform for our youth to make the difference by finding out a meaningful connection between knowledge, information access and technology. I am actually impressed to see how these young minds who have gathered here are doing such phenomenal work to create a digital future to connect lives."

Most of these contestants hailed from top colleges and B schools of India and presented their views on the role of technology in spreading 'Knowledge For All'.

Finally 4 participants who got selected as the finalists were:

Winners

Kaarika Das from CO & UPW

Abhishek Kaushal CO & UPW

Anil Sebastian from AP

Nishank Varshney from Gujarat

The winning ideas

Kaarika promotes collaborative learning

A graduate in Economics from Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi and currently pursuing a part time language course from St. Stephens, University of Delhi, Kaarika talked about her app "Teleshiksha" which aims to provide a social platform to enable collaborative sharing of video courses designed not only by educational institutions but by users as well. This app will allow billions of people to discover, watch and learn originally created courses. Teleshiksha will enable anyone with a mobile and internet facility to build knowledge through access to countless publicly shared curriculums for free.

Abhishek introduces healthy life style through digital therapy

Abhishek Kaushal, a product of IIM Ranchi, talked about the Internet facilitates being a life-long learning on a whole new level and introduced behavioural medicine through digital therapeutics. Talking about diabetes where 80% of it occurs due to unhealthy life style, Abhishek offered a solution by lifestyle modification digitally through a mobile app. In this an E-coach will impart knowledge about food habits, healthy living and reinforcing healthy choices. The E-coach will also track participants daily on the basis of their activity levels, sleep patterns, heart rate and weight all seamlessly getting uploaded to the mobile App through wearable health band and Bluetooth enabled weighing scale.

Anil redefines digital education

Graduated as a gold-medallist from the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Anil Sebastian spoke on how global society can leverage the power of digital connectivity to ensure education for all. For that, he emphasised on three crucial aspects: First, by bringing more people into the digital fold by means of innovation - both regulatory innovation and technological innovation. Secondly, encouraging collaborations within the global society to improve the quality of education that people can access online Thirdly, and most importantly, the need to reconsider the understanding of education itself in a digital world. Outdated notions of how someone can be considered educated or suitable for hiring only if they have undergone formal means of education need to be abandoned. Instead, recognition and hiring must be on the basis of demonstrable knowledge and skills, irrespective of whether they have been acquired online or offline. Anil also discussed how one can adopt policies that will help us effect this change.

Nishank's emphasises on spreading education through technology

Nishank an engineering and post graduation in Mathematics from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani left the corporate world and choose to become a Research Associate at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) said that the government of India passed legislation in 2009 making Right to Education a Fundamental Right for children between 6-14 years. However, even after 6 years of passage of the law, the implementation at the grass root level remains dismal. This policy, if implemented properly has a potential to benefit nearly 2 million children each year, Nishank's idea bridges this gap and in turn promotes Knowledge for All by making the beneficiaries aware of the policy using technology. Be it the using feature phones or smart phones of volunteers, Nishank aims to connect to community and educate them of what is their right for a brighter future. The Pilot project for this is already under way in Ahmedabad and some other states. Right now the model is being piloted for RTE and education related policy, but Nishank feels that the same can be used to disseminate information regarding any government policy.

Talking about the power of knowledge, Kaarika says "After listening to the incredible ideas of my fellow participants, I am now convinced that the vision of liberating the power of knowledge from the clutches of the privileged few, will soon manifest as a reality- all thanks to the enormous potential of digital revolution."

Congratulating the winners as well as the participants on this occasion, Quazi Mohammad Shahed, CHRO, Telenor India and one of the honorable judges said, "The forum in India is a good platform for the organization to engage with young and enthusiastic minds in the country to innovate for the good of the society and find a space to voice and showcase the good work and thought leadership. We are encouraged and inspired to see the ideas and the enthusiasm of the participants and feel proud to offer them this opportunity that gives them global exposure."

What's next ?

2 out of these 4 participants will be selected to participate in the gathering of young minds at Oslo, Norway.

The 2 winners will be representing India at Oslo in the Noble Prize ceremony from 8th to 11th December 2015. During these 3 days they would become a part of inspiring interactions, workshops and debates on the guidelines of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Sharad Mehrotra appointed CEO ...

  • Vivek Sood appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer<...

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Sharad Mehrotra appointed CEO of Telenor India and Vivek Sood to be the Chief Marketing Officer for Telenor Group

  • Vivek Sood appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer in Telenor Group
  • Sharad Mehrotra and Vivek Sood will be members of Telenor Group’s executive management

 

Telenor Group announced changes in executive management structure and created a new position of Chief Marketing Officer.  Vivek Sood has been appointed as the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Telenor Group.  Sharad Mehrotra is appointed the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Telenor India. Both appointments will be effective from 1 November 2015.

Sharad Mehrotra is appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Telenor India.  Sharad comes from the position as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Telenor Myanmar, where he has played a key role in the successful launch of Telenor’s mobile services. In less than one year, Telenor Myanmar has positioned itself as one of the country’s most visible brands, adding more than 10 million customers and established over 50 000 points of sales. Before joining Telenor Myanmar, Sharad served as Head of Telenor Group's Asia Distribution program driving regional synergies and scale. Sharad also played a key role in the establishment of Uninor, as part of the management from 2008 to 2013. 

“I am pleased to welcome Sharad as CEO of Telenor India. He has extensive knowledge about the Indian telecom market, and international experience from other Telenor operations. I am confident that he will return to India with strong ambition to further develop the company as a profitable operator, and the preferred choice for the mass market“, said Sigve Brekke, President and CEO of Telenor Group.

“India is one of the most competitive mobile markets in the world, and Telenor India has rapidly grown into a top position in the areas where we operate. I look forward to work with Telenor India’s passionate and highly dedicated team to continue being best on basic services and deliver internet for all”, says Sharad Mehrotra, incoming CEO of Telenor India.

Vivek Sood has been appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer in Telenor Group. In his new role, Vivek will be responsible for strengthening Telenor Group’s focus on and ability to improve customer journeys, ensure continued innovation, and create value from digital data growth. With this, Telenor India has successfully contributed yet another talent to the pool of Indians working with Telenor Group. 

Both Vivek Sood and Sharad Mehrotra will be part of Telenor Group’s executive management.

Ab "LIFE" full paisa vasool


In a first of its kind initiative in the telecom industry, Telenor India announced free life insura...

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Ab "LIFE" full paisa vasool

In a first of its kind initiative in the telecom industry, Telenor India announced free life insurance cover for its existing customer base across its six operating circles.

Apart from being the "sabse sasta" operator in the market, Telenor is known for being one the most customer centric telecom operators in the industry. Aligned to our values and willingness to help people, the Telenor life insurance scheme will be available for free to all active customers of the company.

By spending on regular recharges with a small incremental value, Telenor consumers will get the benefit of an life Insurance cover, which will be a hundred times of their monthly recharge value and up to a maximum of Rs 50,000.  

Innovative customer centricity

This is innovative customer centric scheme would help contribute meaningfully to the financial inclusion agenda of the government ensuring financial security for the family members of our customers.


Currently in India only 3.9% of the population has an insurance cover of any type. Lack of awareness, cumbersome enrollment processes, cost of insurance and lack of trust in settlement of claims contribute to this low penetration. Lack of a proper distribution network and low renewal rates have also restricted insurance products becoming popular and pervasive in the Indian markets. Telenor's insurance scheme has been designed to address all these issues.

Speaking on this industry first initiative, Vivek Sood, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor India said, "This is an innovative product that will bridge the disparity in access to life insurance among the low and middle-income individuals. With insurance penetration being very low in the country, our scheme has the potential to empower society through financial security. Our deep understanding of mass-market consumer's behavior, a huge retail network and efforts to create awareness around services beyond basic voice will enable us to remove persistent financial risks faced by our customers. With Telenor's life insurance offer, we create a unique differentiation in financial services just like we have done with our affordable mobile service."


Value addition

Telenor India has taken a promise to offer additional value, and make its propositions simple and fair for all customers. To ensure more value for money to our mass market customers, we have tied up with our partners to offer Insurance which is easy to get and simple to understand.


Customers can avail this service by calling customer call center or dial the self help menu *121# or opt-in for it by approaching any of the 2100 Telenor stores. For every recharge done by the customer, a 100X insurance cover will be provided to him. For customers availing this offer, there is no separate documentation required.


To take the initiative to the masses, Telenor will work with Shriram Life Insurance and MicroEnsure for this product. At each customer touch point, trained staff will be available to educate the customers and address their queries. In the unfortunate incident of death of a customer, the claim will be processed by submitting relevant documents like the death certificate and the SIM card. The settlement will be done within seven days of submission of all relevant documents.


Talking about this unique partnership, Upanga Dutta, Chief Marketing Officer, Telenor India said, "This is a win win partnership to extend the benefits of insurance to the socially weaker segment especially in rural areas. The reach of Telenor India and the expertise of MicroEnsure will play the role of a catalyst in the overall development of society and mitigate the risks of a common man."


Shriram Life has a rich experience in insurance business and has already insured more than 1 crore lives. With an average ticket size of Rs 13000, Shriram Life has been focusing on mass market and has carved a distinct market position among the private insurers.


MicroEnsure will help in designing these mass-market insurance products and provide on-going operational support required to make a digital product work. It is the world's first and largest organisation whose exclusive focus is to address the mass market's need to mitigate risk. MicroEnsure serves 15 million people in 17 countries around the world with insurance, the majority of who have never before been insured.

 

 

 

 

 

Telenor India announces 6 mont...

With the objective to develop more female leadership in the business and encourage diversity

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Telenor India announces 6 months maternity leave

“If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.”  - Melinda Gates

With the objective to develop more female leadership in the business and encourage diversity, the Telenor group has adopted six-months paid maternity leave policy across all its 13 business units, including India. 

This new policy, effective from January 1, 2016, represents a major step forward in creating an equitable work-life balance for employees within the telecommunications industry, especially in Telenor's Asian operations, where the female employees are currently entitled to less than six months of funded maternity leave. 

Talking about it, Vivek Sood, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor India said, "We are extremely proud to institute the new global six-month standard maternity leave here in India. It is our goal to attract and retain the best of Indian talent, male or female, and we are confident that the revised maternity leave policy will make Telenor not only a very attractive place to work for men and women, but also a place in which women can build careers and continue to fill the ranks of our leadership." 

Making it better for the women folk 

Women start their careers with the same passion and commitment as men, they are intelligent and hardworking. One of the major reasons for this is break that they take from work to have children and raise them. Some of them do not even return, resulting in lost leadership opportunities and cost from staff turnover. Therefore retaining them becomes important not only to develop more female leaders but also to encourage diversity. 

Quazi Mohammad Shahed, Chief Human Resource Officer, Telenor said "Only one out of every fifth senior leader at Telenor is a female, especially in the Asian Business Units. One of the major reasons for this ratio is the challenges they face at the home front. Sometime back the flexi timings and work from home policy came as a sigh of relief for the working mothers and now the extended maternity leave policy, will definitely help us to retain and develop more female leaders and talents across Telenor India."

Diversity improves performance

A recent McKinsey and Co. research paper Diversity Matters (2014) suggests that diversity in the workplace provides multiple business advantages in talent recruitment, greater customer orientation, and increased employee satisfaction, better decision making, enhanced innovation, and improved financial performance. As per the studies, companies in the top quartile of diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians. 

The new maternity leave policy will strengthen Telenor's competitiveness in the markets by attracting the best talent from diverse backgrounds ensuring that the organization better reflects the world we live in, and attract, retain, and develop female leadership talent.

Getting future ready for a dig...

Khaga,

In the last few weeks the clamour around 4G has reached a new crescendo in India

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Getting future ready for a digital lifestyle

In the last few weeks the clamour around 4G has reached a new crescendo in India. Suddenly 3G is out of fashion and there seems to be a rush to get the first mover advantage by launching the next generation of mobile technology. Fuelling this frenzy is the news of a new player preparing to launch LTE services in December.

In this backdrop, as the fourth largest telecom operator, in the six circles where we operate, we have not been able to escape one question that pops up every time I am meeting stake holders (and at times even my colleagues don’t spare me). Everyone wants to know when will Telenor launch 4G in India? The more considerate ones bring 3G into the picture but the ultimate objective is to find out when we are launching 4G or LTE services.

It is very difficult for them to understand how Telenor has survived as a 2G player in the market for the last six years and even now is not talking about migration to a higher technology? This is not entirely true. We have initiated change on two fronts – one is on network side where a modernisation project is being implemented and the other is repositioning our brand from Uninor to Telenor. But before I elaborate on these points, let me put some facts on the table.

The market reality

As a telecom operator we have focussed on delivering quality basic voice and Internet services and it has worked well for us. We currently have around 48 million subscribers, out of which 24% access the Internet. We have been growing at almost 2.5 times the industry average and were EBIDTA positive in the quarter ending in June 2015.

But how long can we continue as a basic telecom service provider. The market is changing fast and data consumption has witnessed a surge in the past couple of years. Reports indicate that almost 35% of population is now accessing Internet of which nearly 95% is doing so on mobile devices.

However, for Internet and smartphones to be truly democratic it has to reach the mass market. As an operator that has kept its ears close to the ground to capture market trends, we expect it will take another 18 to 24 months before we can claim that we are living the digital lifestyle. Till then voice will still be the ‘killer application’, with nearly 35-40% of the population still waiting to get their first telecom connection.

Not immune to market need

In telecom change is the only constant and we cannot stay a 2G player forever. Despite the constraints of spectrum availability, Telenor has to be ready for high-speed Internet services that are relevant to the mass market. And to be future ready, Telenor has recently partnered with Huawei and is executing a mammoth network transformation project. 

The project involves one of the largest swapping of equipment on a live network of 24,000 sites. Telenor will also get new network architecture and Huawei will manage the network end to end. By the end of 2017, Telenor will have a modern network with new benchmarks on efficiency in place.

The new equipment will occupy almost 40% less space and will be 30% more power efficient. The indoor coverage will go up by 20% and spectral efficiency will go up by another 15%, and this will help better utilization of our network capacity and save millions in opex.

But more than anything, it will make Telenor future ready to launch any new technology by just making a software upgrade and a little tweaking of the hardware. Whether it’s LTE, narrow band LTE, VoWiFi or VoLTE, the new architecture will enable us to offer any technology depending on what customers need at that time.

At Telenor India we believe that more than the generation of technology, it is the service experience that will count ultimately. We will offer high speed Internet which will be good enough for our consumers to feel the difference but without getting into the debate of 3G or 4G.

Getting a new identity

Network modernisation is but one piece of the larger puzzle. Till the network gets ready, we will put another piece in place by repositioning our brand for the new era. On September 23rd, Uninor will change to Telenor. This is also a part of our transition to an Internet services company.

With the brand change, and a new network, Telenor will retain its focus on being the most affordable but topping it up with a value promise to be fair and surprisingly easy for our customers. 

This is a strategic shift from being a transactional brand to a value-driven position that will connect better with our young customers. With all these changes Ab life hai full paisa vasool -- life with Telenor in India will be truly value for money.

mTutor travels to Oslo

Uninor declared mTutor as the winner of Digital Winners India contest 2015.

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mTutor travels to Oslo

 “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ~ Nelson Mandela

 Uninor declared mTutor as the winner of Digital Winners India contest 2015. Velayutham Sundaramoorthy, founder director of mTutor, will represent India at the Digital Winners conference in Oslo, Norway. mTutor will now contest for ‘Best App in Asia’ in education at the conference to be held between October 21-22. The App was selected the winner from 71 applications shortlisted from nearly 200 proposals that were submitted by entrepreneurs, experts and students from all over the country. The theme for this year’s Digital Winners was ‘Education’.

Declaring the winner Vivek Sood, Chief Executive Officer, Uninor said, “Digital Winners celebrates innovation and recognizes the spirit of entrepreneurship in the country. Through this contest we try to identify ideas and initiatives that have the potential to create a positive impact on society at large. This is our way to align Telenor’s ‘Internet for All’ ambition with Prime Ministers Digital India mission. All the entries received at Digital Winners had the potential to improve lives in an Interne enabled era. I congratulate mTutor on winning the contest.”

mTutor offers an Internet-based technical education both on computers as well as mobile devices. It is promoted by the founders of Chennai-based Symbiotic Infotech, one of the largest value added services provider in the telecom sector.

mTutor is an application oriented tutorial app that helps students learn concepts of every topics of engineering. The content for the app has been created by professors from leading institutions and reviewed by professors from IIT and NIT’s. Being a multilingual app, mTutor allows students to get connected with university students, leading faculties in the country and also potential employers.

“The prime objective of mTutor app is to make students passionate about what they learn and make them employable, there by addressing the burgeoning problem in emerging nations. It is a first step to learning social. We are very happy to have been selected to represent India at the Digital Winners Conference and take this app to a global audience,” said Velayutham.

Nishchint, a parental education and monitor application, by Dubai-based Raghav Mimani was the first runner up. Gaurav Kakkar, founder of Spayee app, was the second runner up.

At the Digital Winners conference held in Oslo, Norway, over the course of two days, more than 40 speakers will share fresh and thought provoking perspectives on innovation and digital business opportunities. In addition to bringing the latest thought leadership to more than 300 senior executives, Digital Winners will also showcase top entrepreneurs and startups with our annual Digital Winners Awards. The winner of the ‘Best App in Asia’ will get a cash reward of NoK 100,000.  This is in addition to the support and mentoring by Telenor’s digital team on developing and taking forward the business case.

Last year Raghu Kanchustambham’s mobile app Livelihood 360 (L360) was judged as the ‘Best App in Asia’ out of the six nominated Asia region contestants. The winning application Livelihood 360 is based on rural Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform and supports livelihoods associated with agriculture.

Telenor Youth Forum

Uninor announced the launch of Telenor Youth Forum (TYF) 2015 in India. 

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Telenor Youth Forum

Our duty is to encourage everyone in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

If  you are

Between 18 and 28 years of age in 2015; fluent in English, Passionate about driving social, economic & or environmental changes in your community 

And with strong opinion with the selected forum topics and would like to share on a global stage………….

Then we want to hear your vision for better tomorrow:

​​Uninor announced the launch of Telenor Youth Forum (TYF) 2015 in India. The Telenor Youth Forum is held at Oslo in collaboration with the Nobel Peace Centre and UNICEF every year. Previously known as the Telenor Youth Summit, the third edition of Telenor Youth Forum gives an opportunity to millennials aged between 18 and 28 to join young opinion leaders from 13 other countries and cultures.

​Announcing the launch of Telenor Youth Forum 2015 in India, Vivek Sood, Chief Executive Officer, Uninor said, "Platforms like Telenor Youth Forum work as a source of aspiration for young minds to exchange ideas on societal change and assess the impact of mobile technology. TYF will enable dialogue and communication across boundaries to foster understanding, prosperity and ultimately peace. We hope to get some fresh ideas and perspective on social transformation when knowledge becomes available to all."

This is the third consecutive year that Uninor will be sending participants to Telenor Youth Forum. TYF alumnus Abhishek Gupta, Shikha Pathak & Jyotsna Kalra have already made their marks at Oslo, and Uninor looks forward to send a leader of tomorrow to this year's Forum.

TYF 2015 has a three tier shortlisting process – two in India and one at the global level that will identify young leaders and send them to the global platform. The first level search will happen at a circle level in India where applications will be screened and the selected candidates will present their ideas to a grand jury in Delhi on October 15th. From the selected entries, the grand jury will recommend four leaders to the global panel.

"We believe youth, growing up in a connected and digital time, are uniquely positioned to predict and advise on how to build a better digital future for all. With the Telenor Youth Forum, we gather young people from the Nordics, Europe and Asia to connect and share views and perspectives on the challenges and benefits facing an increasingly connected world. We are looking forward to welcoming two participants from each of the 13 countries we operate in, to an eventful Youth Forum during the Nobel Peace Prize week in Oslo in December," said Katja Nordgaard , Telenor Group's Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Affairs.

Who are we looking for?

Candidates who are young opinion shapers, with fresh perspectives and strong voices. Expertise within a given field is not required, but proficiency in English and interesting insights into how digital communication impacts people, learning and society at large is expected.

Some of the questions we hopes to answer with the help of participants at the Telenor Youth Forum 2015 are as follows: How will access to information and knowledge impact people, business and communities? What is the role of technology in bringing knowledge for all, and are there really limits to what technology can achieve?

The finalist will be judged basis the importance of mobile Internet element to the overall proposed solution, importance of social cause addressed, benefits of the idea impacting masses, ideas and thoughts, command on English language, Presentation skills, Exhibits confidence, relevance to topic, structure, creativity and communication of Idea.

The Telenor Youth Forum calls digital inhabitants to use technology differently and find successful solutions to empower societies, address & encounter social needs and drive inclusive growth and promote meaningful dialogue for peace across the globe.

Uninor appoints new CFO and CH...

The leadership strength took a new leap at Uninor with the appointment of Suresh Bagrodia as its Chief...

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Uninor appoints new CFO and CHRO

The leadership strength took a new leap at Uninor with the appointment of Suresh Bagrodia as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Quazi   Mohammad Shahed as its Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO  based at Uninor’s corporate office in Gurgaon.

“Suresh brings good finance management experience with right capabilities to set up a robust financial reporting process, policies and controls. With his proven abilities in finance, I am confident he will be able to establish an efficient financial discipline and build the organization for future to realize our Internet for All ambition,” said Vivek Sood, CEO, Telewings Communications Services (Uninor).

Suresh comes with extensive experience of more than 30 years in financial management and business strategy with different companies. In the last 18 years, he has been working in the telecom sector with proven  abilities in business partnering, negotiations, risk management, financial reporting, working capital and credit management. In his last role, Suresh worked as National Business Finance Officer of Vodafone India and had a long stint of 16 years in different capacities. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and has a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Calcutta University.

“I am delighted to join Uninor, an organization known for a highly motivated team and culture of transparency and empowerment. I look forward to bring value to the organization to deliver on financial goals and to contribute effectively on building organizational strength,” said Suresh.

Quazi Mohammad Shahed comes with an experience of over 26 years and has worked across geographies like South Asia, Middle East, Malaysia and UK in the leadership roles and on global projects for British American Tobacco (BAT). In his last assignment, Shahed was CHRO of Grameenphone (GP) in Bangladesh. He joined Grameenphone in November 2012.

“With his tremendous experience in HR across different markets, Shahed brings the right capabilities to develop extensive engagement program amongst Uninor employees. His proven expertise in HR, will help us to establish the right organizational competencies that will prepare us for the next phase of growth. I welcome both Shahed and Suresh to the Uninor family,” said Vivek Sood, CEO, Telewings Communications Services (Uninor).

“I am excited to be part of Uninor and look forward to be part of a highly motivated team. Passionate and inspired employees, and customer centricity are at the core of our strategy and together we will work to take our engagement levels to new height,” said Shahed.

Shahed has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from North South University, Bangladesh.

 

Uninor partners with Huawei fo...

Telenor India signed a contract with Huawei India to modernise its entire telecom network across all its ci...

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Uninor partners with Huawei for network modernization

  Telenor India signed a contract with Huawei India to modernise its entire telecom network across all its circles on August 12th,2015. All 24000 base station will be swapped with new equipments that are the state of art modern, efficient and future ready. The deal also involves Huawei becoming the mananged services partner of . This is the largest deal of its kind in the Indian telecom industry and also within the Telenor Group. With this initiative, Telenor India prepares for future to offer advanced internet services to the mass market customers. 

Enhance Network Capacity

This network modernisation will enhance Telenor’s network capacity to offer superior experince both on voice and internet.  With energy efficient and better coverage infrastructure, Uninor will deploy green energy solutions that will optimise network cost and improve indoor coverage to further strengthen Uninor’s “Sabse Sasta” position.

Vivek Sood, CEO, Telewings Communications Services (Telenor India) said, “We are glad to partner with Huawei on this transformational project that builds our network to be future ready. With this ambitious drive, we will be able to offer any advanced internet service to our customers and provide a superior experience both on voice and internet. Being a mass market player, we continue to focus on building our capabilities to offer better internet and voice services at Sabse Sasta prices.”

Modernisation of existing Network

The project will be spread over a period of three years and aims to modernise Telenor’s existing network with Huawei’s new architecture, platforms and equipment. This will enable Telenor to be future ready to address the exponential data growth in India.

Mr. Baker Zhou, Vice President, Huawei, “It is our privilege to collaborate with Telenor  India and I am happy to inform you that this is part of Huawei’s larger global Telenor partner engagement. In this project, we will modernise the existing BTS and install new single RAN green BTS which are future technology ready. This will provide superior voice and data quality, lower power consumption and better spectral efficiency. With our cutting-edge NGN and customer-centric model we will enable Uninor to a smooth transition towards future technologies.”

Under the current programme Telenor will benefit from Huawei’s “managed services” delivery system integrating multi-vendors that includes swapping of existing network with new and modern equipment, planning and optimisation, maintenance services and customer experience management. Huawei will bring its end-to-end network backbone elements to the project. This includes environment friendly green solutions that lower power consumption by almost 30% and increase spectral efficiency for a lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) in overall network management.

Last year Telenor India had expanded its network coverage by 30% and added 5000 sites across its six operational circles taking the network coverage to nearly 24000 sites. It continues to increase its footprint in 6 circles and will be launching commercial operation in Assam soon.

 

Project Sampark wins award for...

As part of the Telenor Group, Uninor has a vision to provide the power of digital communication   &nbs...

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Project Sampark wins award for excellence in CSR

“For every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward.” ~ Jim Rohn 

As part of the Telenor Group, Uninor has a vision to provide the power of digital communication, enabling everyone to improve their lives, build societies and secure a better future for all. Empowering society and creating a positive local impact is at the core of all our actions. Our approach of creating shared value won a prestigious CSR award last week. 

On 24th July, Uninor added another feather to its cap when its efforts to bridge the mobile gender gap in rural areas of India was recognised by World federation of CSR and World CSR Day. 

Uninor received the prestigious National Award for Excellence in CSR & Sustainability in the Best integrated Business/Innovation in the CSR category at an event at Mumbai. The award recognizes corporates and leaders who are contributing through sustainable practices that demonstrate capability for a better future.

"We're very happy that our work is being recognized all across. Uninor works to maximise the impact of communication services by creating shared value for society and business. Our CR is closely linked to business making us a responsible operator and thats what makes our projects more customer centric and unique," says Pooja Thakran, Chief Communications Officer, Uninor.

This is the third award that Uninor has won for CSR in 2015.

Project Sampark uses an innovative product and a unique distribution model to make simple and hassle-free mobile services available amongst rural women. The Project challenges the social barriers that discourage women to adopt mobile telecommunication services. It has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to address key issues like cost, cultural resistance, technical literacy and perception of values in the 87 villages of Aligarh district in Uttar Pradesh. 

For the project, Uninor joined hands with GSMA under their 'Connected Women' program, which aims at reducing the mobile gender inequality in the emerging markets like India. Through Project Sampark, Uninor has reached out to more than 15000 rural women in the target areas. The project is self-sustaining and achieved breakeven within seven months of its launch.

 

Uninor five times winner of th...

Uninor has won the Greentech Safety award for the fifth consecutive year attesting its passion towards safe...

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Uninor five times winner of the Greentech Safety Award

Uninor has won the Greentech Safety award for the fifth consecutive year attesting its passion towards safe business practices. 

Uninor has bagged 'Greentech Safety Award - 2015' for the fifth consecutive for demonstrating highest quality, standards and best practices in occupational health, safety, security and environment management (HSSE). 

The Greentech Safety Award which was instituted in 2000 recognizes companies and organizations that have excellent operations and systems in place and their positive impact on environment and business . Experts from government, academia and industry had evaluated the nominations for the award. Greentech Foundation has taken a lead role in promoting education, training, research and dissemination of knowledge, advancing the scientific, technical and practical aspects of safety at work place, environment protection and climate change.

This prestigious award in the Platinum category has been given to Uninor for "Outstanding Achievement in Safety Management". Uninor is the only Telecom company tp be awarded a Platinum Award in India. This is the fifth Sustainability Award for Uninor this year and also the fifth consecutive year from Greentech Foundation for our Health & Safety Performance. 

Commenting about this Award, Vivek Sood, Chief Executive Officer, Uninor said "Uninor has been a pioneer in implementing HSSE Management Systems since the beginning. Uninor is also certified for Integrated HSSE Management Systems that include OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001, IS 27001, SA 8000 and PAS 99 Standards. This award is a testimony of the good work Uninor is doing in creating an accident free, healthy and a safe working environment. The Sustainability efforts of Uninor sets a benchmark for other Telecom Companies to follow."

Through extensive Supply Chain Monitoring and internal audits and inspections, Uninor has set up a robust assessment and continuous improvement process for holistic monitoring of vendors. Business Critical and HSSE (Health Safety Social security and Environment) Critical Suppliers are inspected regularly and trainings conducted to cover gaps. Awareness sessions include celebrating National safety week, Road Safety Tips, Virtual Learning Module, Mock-drills and Tool Box meetings are organized regularly.'

The award ceremony took place in Goa (M&G Circle) during the Greentech Conference on Occupational Health, Safety & Fire, on 24th July 2015. The Award was presented by the Honourable Governor of Goa Ms. Mridula Sinha and Dr. T Vijayakumar, Head - Sustainability; Ethics & Compliance accepted the award. 

The Award function and the Conference was fully captured by CNBC Awaaz TV Channel live.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uninor announces appointment o...

Uninor  (Telewings Communications Services)  has appointed Quazi Mohammad Shahed as the new CHRO ...

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Uninor announces appointment of new CHRO

Uninor  (Telewings Communications Services)  has appointed Quazi Mohammad Shahed as the new CHRO . He has resumed his duties from August 1, 2015 and is based in Gurgaon. 

 

Quazi Mohammad Shahed comes with an experience of over 26 years and has worked across geographies like South Asia, Middle East, Malaysia and UK in leadership roles and on global projects. In his last assignment, Shahed was the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) of Grameenphone (GP) in Bangladesh. He joined Grameenphone in November 2012 and undertook many initiatives on the people front

At GP, he focused on building leadership capabilities and enhanced engagement within GP. As a result Shahed was able to improve employee engagement scores and for two successive years, 2013 and 2014, GP registered the highest EES index growth within the Telenor Group.

Shahed also established a peoples' council at GP to deal with employee issues. He was instrumental in creating a structured people development, remuneration and capability development framework to make GP a preferred employer in the country. For standing out in building culture and embedding customer centricity into the hearts of their employees, Shahed and his team got People Award at the Telenor Management Meet (TMM) 2015 at Hyderabad.

"With his tremendous experience in HR across different markets, Shahed brings the right capabilities to develop extensive engagement programmes amongst Uninor employees. With his proven expertise in HR, I am confident he will be able to establish the right organizational competencies that will take us on the path of vision 2020," said Vivek Sood, Chief Executive Officer, Uninor. Shahed was part of the management team when Vivek was the CEO of GP between 2013 and 2014.

Shahed started his professional career with British American Tobacco (BAT) in 1988 and was made manufacturing manager of BAT Bangladesh in 1999. He has worked in different roles within operations for BAT before moving to the human resource function as the HR Head of BAT Bangladesh in December 2001.

He has a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from North South University, Bangladesh.

Shahed is seen as a leader who believes that engagement is a journey that "you take with your team". His advice is to "break down the silos, go and grab people beyond your own function or even your own business unit and engage. It's not about us and them; it's about 'we' winning together."

​Shahed is a sport enthusiast and an avid traveller. He is married to Tasmin and has two children Shakir and Tashfia. While he settles in his new role at Uninor, we all hope to get tips from him on new and exciting travel destinations.

“Gaam No Faydo, Uninor No Va...

Launching services in villages in the Uninor Way

Nowhere is the need for cheaper tariffs, more......

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“Gaam No Faydo, Uninor No Vaydo?? launched

Led by the CEO, Yogesh Malik Uninor teams from Gujarat and Corporate Office recently concluded a road-show marking the next phase of business expansion in the state. Travelling a distance of 567 kilometers in 3 days covering key markets in the circle, Uninor announced the launch of “Gaam No Faydo, Uninor No Vaydo”  (Benefit of villages, Uninor’s promise) and the company’s plans of investing in the state to further widen its services in rural Gujarat.

Launching services in villages in the Uninor Way
 
Nowhere is the need for cheaper tariffs, more savings and more profitable local businesses higher than in the rural markets. It is in the small towns and villages where price-rise impacts daily livelihood the most. This is where the Gaam No Faydo, Uninor No Vaydo initiative comes in – expanding our network and retail presence into smaller towns and villages of Gujarat.
 
The program was started with the launch of services in Saroli village, on the outskirts of Surat. Uninor organized a day-long free health-check up camp for the residents of the village and this was inaugurated by Yogesh Malik and Jinesh Hegde together with the sarpanch of the village. The inauguration was followed by a unique ‘village storming’ activity that saw a camel-drawn cart leading the Uninor team into the small lanes in the village to meet the local retail shops.
 
The road-show included several such service launches – from Shuklatirth near Bharuch to Gana near Baroda and Ambasan in the Mehsana zone.
 
“It is clear that the small towns and villages are waiting for an affordable mobile service like Uninor. What was impressive was the way in which we are going into these villages – truly delivering on the promise of gaam no faydo – not just through the most affordable tariffs but also with the health awareness drives,” said Yogesh Malik.
Telenor Group’s Executive Vice President Hilde Tonne joins the roadshow
 
Hilde Tonne, EVP of the Telenor Group and Head of the Group Industrial Development program joined the Uninor team for the road show. Travelling with the team, Hilde joined Yogesh Malik in the zonal presentations and later in the market storming activities to launch a new town in Mehsana zone and meet retailers in Ahmedabad. In Mehsana, Hilde also joined the Uninor team and women from the Ambasan town to play the traditional Gujarat dance Garbha.
 
“When I see the enthusiasm, passion and a challenger mindset in the Uninor team together with the demand for internet and availability of affordable smartphones in the market, it is clear that that Uninor will spearhead the internet for all ambition in the Telenor Group. And you will do this in the Uninor way – focused on the customer’s needs and ultra-affordable,” said Hilde Tonne after spending the two days with Uninor in the roadshow.
 
Free U2U calling on Sunday introduced
 
Uninor has also announced a special promotion for all its subscribers in select rural Gujarat. Starting last week, Uninor is offering free Uninor to Uninor calling for a full day every Sunday in the select rural markets.
 
With this foray, Uninor will now take its ultra-affordable mobile services to the small towns and villages of Gujarat – markets where affordable basic services are the most sought need.

Pick of the Day
 
Continuing the momentum of the pick of the day, among a thousand glorious moments, Yogesh’s pick of the day from Gujarat road show has been Dilip Solanki for his positive attitude and strong will power. A 23 year old bright lad, Dilip from Anand- Gujarat, has been Uninor’s RSE since launch. He believes in “Never say Never” and has consistently delivered 100% on new activations & recharges year on year.

 

Uninor bags AIMA 4th Global In...

Instituted in 2009, it is awarded every year to organizations that have been doing exemplary work in the field...

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Uninor bags AIMA 4th Global Innovation Award

Uninor has been awarded the prestigious Breakthrough Innovation in HR Practices Award by the All India Management Association. Award recognises Uninor’s innovative people policies and practices.
Instituted in 2009, it is awarded every year to organizations that have been doing exemplary work in the field of innovation and the key parameters for evaluation are uniqueness, impact, and sustainability of the innovation.
 
Uninor was nominated for this prestigious award in recognition of its efforts to innovate and substantiate the value additions towards the long term success of HR in organizational structures.

The award ceremony was a part of a day-long convention that focused on “Breakthrough Innovations” that fundamentally changed products, processes and branding across various management functions and industry segments.

 
The award was presented by Mr. Vijay K Thadani, Chief Executive Officer, NIIT Limited at the 4th Global Innovation Conference hosted by AIMA. The award was received by Mr. Sumit Sharma, Chief HR Officer on behalf of Uninor at a ceremony in New Delhi.
Speaking on the occasion, Sumit Sharma, Chief HR Officer of Uninor said, “We started with an ambition to make Uninor stand out among peers in its work environment and people policies. We aimed at being more open, more transparent, more engaging and much flatter than others. We were tested in 2012 and I can attribute every success Uninor has seen in its response to a difficult business environment to the passion and commitment from its people. I accept this recognition with pride and on behalf of the Uninor team.”

When winning is a habit
 
24 companies from diverse sectors such as Manufacturing, Insurance, Services, Banking, and Pharmaceuticals industry were considered for this award. Of these, 14 were shortlisted for the jury round.  As part of the short listing process, a case study titled “the Uninor Story – Built around people” was submitted. The study detailed the challenges that Uninor and its reams faced during 2012 and the company’s people philosophy based on transparency and access not only helped it negotiate the turbulence but, in fact, perform better than ever during the year of highest uncertainty.
 

“I am impressed by the spirit, and passion of the entire organization was evident from the energy demonstrated by the team,” complimented Mr. Sunil Dutt, former Managing Director, Research in Motion (RIM), India who was part of the jury.

Power packed jury

The jury comprised of Dr. M M Pant, Chairman, Board of studies & former Vice Chancellor- IGNOU, Dr. J.S Juneja, Chairman, Global projects & Services Pvt. Ltd, Mr. Sunil Dutt, former Managing Director, RIM, India, amongst others. 

Uninor takes the Bollywood rou...

Uninor takes on engaging and entertaining its customers the Bollywood way while differentiating its product of...

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Uninor takes the Bollywood route

When it comes to India’s heart land nothing sells better than Bollywood. Uninor UP East puts on the filmy garb and paints the town blue with evergreen dialogues from Hindi movies.

Uninor takes on engaging and entertaining its customers the Bollywood way while differentiating its product offerings as superior against competition.
 
Sabse Sasta it is
 
Uninor challenges the competition; reiterating its product offerings as ‘the cheapest and the best among full talktime’ products. While several operators enter the lower price point recharge segment but with hidden costs and peak hour charges, Uninor’s products are transparently promoted – no conditions, no hidden charges, simply the cheapest.

Recharge vouchers 25 and 60, offering full talktime and extra talktime with unlimited validity are some of Uninor’s ‘value for money’ products doing just that!

‘Don’ and ‘Wanted’ themes help grab eyeballs

Some Bollywood dialogues have become iconic in our day to day life and we hear them so often around us. Uninor has integrated these famous dialogues with the products reiterating its lowest price challenge.

A famous dialogue from the movie Don features in our campaign reads as ‘Isse sasta milna mushkil hi nahi; na mumkin hai’ meaning ‘it is not only difficult to find a product cheaper than ours, but infact impossible’. Another is the dialogue from the Salman Khan starrer Wanted which reads ‘Ek baar sabse sasta plan ki commitment kar di toh kar di”, translated as ‘once a commitment towards the cheapest plan is done, its done”. 

Such well known Bollywood hallmarks help create the instant connect and high brand recall value for the customer”.

 
The interest generated by the new Uninor campaign is encouraging and is already showing results. It has grabbed eyeballs of not just the customers but competition as well and it been rolled out in other Uninor circles as well.

Uninor’s Customer service he...

In a town that thrives on the cultivation of oranges and cotton, a Uninor contact centre opened last month was...

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Uninor’s Customer service headways into rural India

Famous for its oranges, Sausar is a town and a Nagar Panchayat in Chhindwara district in the state of Madhya Pradesh. More than 90 percent of farmers produce oranges and cotton is grown in large quantities in the local area. It now hosts Uninor’s newest Contact Centre.

In a town that thrives on the cultivation of oranges and cotton, a Uninor contact centre opened last month was a unique opportunity for the youth to get into a blue collared job. One of our newest contact centers opened right in the heart of rural India is a special project in collaboration with Genpact and Ruralshores, one of our service partners in the northern region. This center at Sausar forms an extended arm that services our customers in UP East and UP West.
 
Employment opportunities to the rural youth
 
The centre has provided job opportunities to 230 youth of Sausar, out of which 33 per cent are women employees.
 

“Tapping into the talent of rural markets of India, Uninor has taken a step towards integrating the rural youth into the knowledge economy and contribute to the building of rural communities”, shares Sangeeta Jolly, Head of Customer Services.

The business process management delivery center in rural India increases job opportunities for young people in the area and drives inclusive growth. At the same time it benefits from lower attrition, committed work force and hence improved business outcomes.
 
“The call centre employees have been trained with all the necessary training modules of the Uninor way of customer handling in addition to training on HSSE. This way the agents benefit from quality trainings to build and grow their careers as well”, adds Sangeeta.
 
Sunita, Associate from Ruralshores, who is working for the first time in this kind of a job, shares, “A new and great experience so far, the partnership of Uninor, Genpact and Ruralshore has helped generate jobs for a lot of unemployed and educated youth of Sausar. The supervisors are quite helpful and the job itself has helped us in building our professional strengths. We are gaining a lot of confidence day by day as we are encouraged for all our good work”.
 
Service level satisfaction within one month
 
The center that was launched on February 1, 2013 handles an average of 14000 calls on a daily basis. Through this Rural shore contact center, Genpact has delivered on the required Service Level and has had an average customer satisfaction score.
 
“Ruralshores has surprised all of us by showing an impressive improvement in scores with each passing day. The associates are full of enthusiasm and take pride in identifying themselves with Brand Uninor. I am sure with this spirit they will set new standards and would be a role model for all to emulate, shares Arif, the call centre lead.

Recognizing tech startups in A...

This year a highly energetic and inspiring Digital Winners introduced a new twist to the annual conference hig...

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Recognizing tech startups in Asia

Digital Winners awarded Indian startup Concept Waves with "Best app in Asia" prize, for their mobile app L360, a business planning app for farmers in India.

This year a highly energetic and inspiring Digital Winners introduced a new twist to the annual conference highlighting corporate innovation. What started out as a small annual competition for primarily Norwegian startups has now evolved to showcase not only innovators throughout Scandinavia, but also entrepreneurs in selected Asian markets. “We are incredibly honored to have won the Digital Winners prize for best app in Asia. Asia is an enormous market, and it is vital for startups such ourselves to gain visibility. Through recognition from corporations such as Telenor, we can rapidly gain endorsement for our services, distribute our services on a larger scale and gain access to much needed funding,” says Raghu Kanchustambham, Founder&CEO, Concept Waves. ‘Learn more about L360 application’ – Link to video Digital Winners look to Asia “It was a tough competition with some fantastic candidates, but L360 was a clear winner, with its highly local relevance and contribution to developing Indian rural communities,” says, Irfan Khan, CMO, Telenor Pakistan, who presented the award. He adds, “Telenor plays a key role in providing Internet for All in Asia. However, if we are to reach absolutely everyone, we need to create local and relevant content. This means you need to work with those that who are providing actual solutions to people’s dilemmas and who understand the cultural context. This is why Telenor works increasingly close with entrepreneurs and startups at the forefront of innovation, in all our markets.” Digital Winners collaborated with Telenor’s Asian business units in choosing the strongest local app developer candidates from each market. Each business units nominated an app/startup, all of which were present at this year’s Digital Winners conference, and served with a highly exclusive networking arena consisting of corporates, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and digital experts. The nominees for Best Apps in Asia were: Banjir Alerts “Helps communities deal with flooding”, Malaysia/DiGi Claim DI “A mobile application for car owners to make accident claims”, Thailand/dtac Bagan Keyboard “Local language app in Myanmar”, Myanmar/Telenor Myanmar Project A.M.P “Providing affordable hearing services in Pakistan”, Pakistan/Telenor Pakistan Kaaktarua “A Live TV World app”, Bangladesh/Grameenphone L360 “A business planning app for farmers in India”, India/Uninor

Uninor runs ‘Go Play’ init...

The initiative

An engagement activity organized to celebrate the spirit of youth and vigor,...

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Uninor runs ‘Go Play’ initiative to stimulate the value of sports in a child’s life

Uninor under its CSR banner Uninor Unites organizes employee-volunteering activities on a regular basis. To mark the birth date of Hockey player Dhyan Chand and to encourage the importance of sports in a child’s life, Uninor organized the 'Go Play' campaign across its six operating circles. The event witnessed participation from around 200 employees of Uninor across Gurgaon, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Patna, Ahmedabad, Pune, and Hyderabad.

The initiative

An engagement activity organized to celebrate the spirit of youth and vigor, the go play initiative was held from 21st to the 28th of August. Uninor hosted a number of events in different schools and took charge of their basic refurbishment of sports equipment including sports kits, indoor games, shoes and refreshments. With the broader theme in mind, the circles identified a unit, where their employees went to play with the kids and actively de-stress themselves. The week-long activity saw volunteers of the Uninor Unites program reach out to children in schools and children shelters to encourage them to 'Go Play'. Uninor partnered with organizations including Govt. Model Sr. Secondary School (Wazirabad), Asha School for Disabled kids (Bihar), Devnar School for Blind (Andhra Pradesh), Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (Noida) , Ehsaas- Friends of Street Children (Lucknow), Yuva Unstoppable (Gujarat), Hope for the Children Foundation (Maharashtra) for the activity. "Today as we stand together as Uninor volunteers to commemorate the National Sports Day. I feel proud to be one of the only few corporates to take this step towards the development of children, not just on the surface, but rather a comprehensive holistic approach to their well-being and development. We are proud of the way our employees have responded over the past few days and participated with extreme motivation", stated Pooja Thakran, Chief Communication Officer and Head of Corporate Responsibility, Uninor. She added that as a responsible organization, Uninor has always promoted initiatives for health and wellness amongst its employees as well as the public at large. With this ideology at its helm, Uninor organized Sports Day in all its operating circles in order to involve more people in sports and activities.

Spreading the message: While the employees engaged actively with the kids and the organizations to bring a relevant change, a simultaneous wave was also observed on the social media. There were constant posts on Facebook as well as tweets with #GoPlay and #UninorUnites on twitter. A thorough indulgence with social media, to report the events, fueled the spread of messages by employees.

Changing lives by Empowering S...

B&J instrumental in touching lives The B&J Circle in collaboration with its partner AVCV agency cre...

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Changing lives by Empowering Societies

With a mission to empower societies, B & J, M & G and UP West Uninor has taken a wishful step of adding value to the already existing human resource. The circles have launched initiatives to empower young men & women by providing vocational & occupational education and skill training to help them build a viable career of their own.

B&J instrumental in touching lives

The B&J Circle in collaboration with its partner AVCV agency created sustainable job opportunities for young men & women from underprivileged backgrounds.
Based in Ranchi, Nexgen, the partner AVCV agency which takes care of the address and customer verification for Uninor B&J has got in collaboration with CAP Foundation, a registered trust and an innovative workforce development institution and provided nine boys & girls with vocational training followed by a job.
“We have been into these kinds of associations earlier as well where we had provided employment opportunities to more than thirty girls living below the poverty line at our outbound call centres in Patna. Extending a similar initiative at Jharkhand by getting associated with our partner AVCV agency, we have created job opportunities for young men & women who have come from the slums and other backward regions of the society. Ever since the team started working for us, the CAF errors and attrition rates have dropped significantly,” shared A. E. A. Jameel, CBH, B & J.
This team of enigmatic and young men & women from CAP foundation http://www.capfoundation.in/ have been working for the CSD process of Uninor where they handle CAF. All of these young men & women have been economically less fortunate and B&J thus took the initiative to strengthen them financially. The team here has been characterised by its values of keeping promises and commitments. Their inherent motivation and drive has contributed vehemently in the processing of CAF with minimum errors.

 

Turning dreams to reality in M&G
The Udaan project by M&G has embarked on a social transformation mission to equip the impoverished, with skills that could make them reasonably employable.
Under this project, the team at M&G associated with Global Talent Track, initiated a vocational training to offer skill development efforts, especially in the unorganised sectors. Along with GTT, M&G identified under-privileged students - with a qualification of class XII or higher and offered training and employment, thus providing a sustained livelihood.
Singh, CBH, M&G shares, “Today, youth forms a major section of the economy. These students come from the economically weaker sections of the society with no exposure. We consistently make efforts to give back to the society in every way possible way. Udaan is one of the channels we adopted to help spread empowerment in our community. Our endeavour was to recognise students with high potential and provide them with job opportunities in the interest areas of the trainees post the session.”
During the programme, students receive an “informative backpack” with materials on telecom industry. Apart from that, the students get a first hand exposure of store-handling, customer management, data expertise, as well as cross selling and up selling.
By the end of the training, students are equipped with knowledge and can easily become entrepreneurs by selling Uninor activations and recharges, or they can choose to join the organisation as CREs, CAOs or Call Centre Agents

 

Boosting confidence in UP West
In one of its initiatives, the circle CSD team of UP West recruited a physically challenged individual in its AVCV agency with the objective to promote people with special abilities and help them lead an independent life. Such initiatives have eliminated the alienation that the differently abled individuals otherwise feel.
Sonu Nagar is a living example of ample confidence, strength and optimism despite being crippled by polio. Joining KMS, the AVCV agency of Uninor in December 2012, he decided to remain put because he believes Uninor is his second home.
Garib, CSD Head, UP West shares, “Sonu is an example of an individual who take everything in life as a challenge proving to the world that they are no less and can do the same things as everyone else. It is inspiring to be associated with people like Sonu who are full of positivity in life; his growth within the organization is a testimony to his dedication and hard work.”

Leading from the front with pa...

In this interview, she shares her experiences, challenges and achievements of being a ZBM and how working w...

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Leading from the front with passion and determination

In a male dominated industry, Amrita Singh, the first and the only woman Zonal Business Manager of Uninor from the M&G circle is all set to embark on a journey never travelled before. As she completes 5 months in her role steering the team into new direction, we caught up with her for an interaction.

In this interview, she shares her experiences, challenges and achievements of being a ZBM and how working with Uninor has changed her life.

How does it feel leading a team from the front in such a competitive market?
It feels great to be at such a crucial position in the system however with this comes a great amount of responsibility and ownership. Every response and action counts and can lead to a widespread impact. The team looks up for guidance backed with logic and deep insights.

What according to you Telenor’s ambition of Internet for all mean? And how do you plan to drive it in your zone?
Internet forms an important part of the telecom eco system. Internet for all is an incredible approach towards making affordable internet services available to the various segments of society. I have complete confidence in the products, especially the insight of the product, which offers a strong proposition. With aggressive communication established in the market, our Internet for All strategy will be a huge hit!

How does being a woman change you as a leader?
Being a woman makes you more receptive and patient. I hold with much value and care the trust & responsibility bestowed upon me.

How would you describe your leadership style?
I respect every team member and also ensure I am open to new ideas. I encourage and welcome any one who comes to me with a thought. I am definitely more inclined towards the participative style of leadership, wherein I seek advice / feedback and involve my team members to address issues. Nevertheless at the same time there are areas where I need to take firm decisions on certain aspects which are non negotiable. Having said so I ensure, in either case, my team is well aware why any decision has been taken. It is very important to trust your team and make them realize that their contribution is extremely important and each of them is making a difference.

What has been your biggest challenge as a woman ZBM?
Thanks to the culture and values followed by all in Uninor, I have had no challenges internally as well as externally in the markets. I was warmly accepted by all the stakeholders.

Your advice to other women colleagues aspiring to be in the leadership role.
I believe perseverance is the key. One has to keep moving and not succumb to the challenges which life throws at you. We generally tend to say "we cannot get everything in lif.e” But I believe we can get what we want from life if we believe in our self. If you can't believe in yourself who else will?

A few lessons which you would like to share from your journey so far?
All in all, I believe that to be successful, it is of paramount importance to be in regular touch with the customers, distributors, retailers and of course the team and this is only possible if we all walk hand in hand in the market and be a part of where the action actually lies.

Three key words to describe yourself
Simple, Ambitious and Result oriented!

And on a lighter note, are women better leaders than men?
(Laughs on hearing the question) I really can't confirm this definitely but yes women have the ability to handle multiple things at a time whereas men are better subject experts. It completely depends on the kind of role you are in and the kind of expertise required in handling a certain profile. For a leader I believe one needs strong personality traits, needs to be persistent and a peoples person. This only gets developed with your upbringing, experiences, background etc, I don’t think it has anything to do with one’s gender et al.

Uninor books over 10,000 Smile...

The Book collection drive was organized at over 100 locations across the 6 operating circl...

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Uninor books over 10,000 Smiles

Uninor’s Book a Smile campaign, collected close to 10,000 books from across its operating Circles. The campaign is a part of Uninor’s employee driven Corporate Responsibility initiative, Uninor Unites.

The Book collection drive was organized at over 100 locations across the 6 operating circles of the company and the corporate office. The collection will be distributed among children with limited access to education and resources through the network of partner NGOs.

A cause close to heart
67-year-old Vishwas Joshi, a Uninor customer, is an avid reader of Marathi literature since his childhood. Vishwas has been collecting all his books since his college days. When he came to know about the campaign, he dropped off around 200 of his favorite books in an auto to place at a collection center in Pune.

Sandip Bhowmick, a Uninor employee in Patna, has been one of the most enthusiastic participants in the drive. Not only did he get books from his house, he also setup a collection point in his neighborhood. “It is easy to buy books and contribute but being a part of the effort to spread awareness and empathy for others was truly remarkable”, shares Sandip.


Highlights of Book a Smile campaign:
• NGO partners - Goonj, Hope for Children Foundation, Sarthak Foundation and YUVA
• Campaign partners - RED FM in AP, Phoenix mall Pune, Himalaya Mall Ahmedabad and P&A Mall Patna.
• 8636 books collected from over 100 Collection points.

Spectacular debut of Uninor Unites
The Book a Smile campaign marks a spectacular debut to the Uninor Unites program under which Uninor employees will participate as volunteers in several initiatives. The action area for the Uninor Unites program will be focused on children this year.

Bringing Mass Market Mobile In...

What is the new Internet strategy about? Uninor is shifting its approach in Internet strategy and it is all...

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Bringing Mass Market Mobile Internet for Consumers in India

In Conversation with Amaresh Kumar, Chief Product Officer – Uninor on the new Internet Strategy of Uninor.

What is the new Internet strategy about?
Uninor is shifting its approach in Internet strategy and it is all about moving out of data and moving into internet services. We are changing our approach from offering data packs to a consumption based services offers with Sabse Sasta Facebook and Sabse Sasta Whatsapp. Data is a commodity – at best a unit of measurement and Internet is what customers use. Selling data in Rs. Per GB is like selling air tickets as Rs. Per Km. Uninor’s approach will change from serving MBs to serving ‘services’ like facebook and whatsapp. On these, we will be most affordable (Sabse Sasta).

How is our Internet strategy different than the incumbents?
The strategy in general for the industry has been to offer data as MBs and price it as such. Uninor too has offered per MB data packs as STVs in the past. We are now moving to a new mindset where it is the services that are offered and priced and not the units consumed by users. Uninor is the first operator to offer an hourly access to Facebook (FB). This is not just a product variant. This means we are the first operator to work in deep engagement with FB. Also, the first to map and integrate all access routes to FB gives full flexibility to the user to access FB in the manner they like – through the website, the application, WAP, links etc. We realize that voice mobility explosion was not driven by the high ARPU few but the mass market many and this will be no different for internet. The real mobile internet story is millions of low ARPU users posting on Facebook, browsing, chatting and emailing and we are creating the Internet strategy for them.

Why this sudden shift in Uninor’s strategy?
Internet has experienced exponential growth by 40% over last year and is expected to reach 245 million by June 2014. Out of this, around 50% of the users will access the internet only through mobile. There is a huge potential for us at Uninor to penetrate the mass market with mobile internet services. We have been offering data services as done by the industry which is per MB data packs as STVs however we are now making a shift to a new mindset where it is the services that are offered and priced and not the units consumed by users. This move has been made keeping in line with the Telenor Group’s philosophy of ‘Internet for All’, aimed at making Internet affordable and relevant for the masses.

Tell us about the “Telenor – Internet for all” ambition and how does Uninor’s strategy ties into the bigger objective?
Internet for all is about education, healthcare, business, family, friends, and community. It’s about growth and development of societies. It’s about empowerment. It’s about people. At Telenor Group, we are committed to building a digital future for ALL the people in Asia, and we believe that the internet is a catalyst for growth. Keeping in line with the Telenor Group’s philosophy of ‘Internet for All’, Uninor is committed towards building and promoting a digital future for our customers by offering affordable and relevant internet services as we realize that mobile internet is an ideal medium for exploring new opportunities, create awareness and empower societies.

What changes are being made in the infrastructure? Does it mean additional resources and more investment?
While the front end of the new Internet strategy is about the flagship Sabse Sasta Facebook and Sabse Sasta Whatsapp products, Uninor is investing over INR 5 billion on capex in India this year. A significant part of this will go towards expanding our Internet services. We are making major changes in our technology and infrastructure to support the expected surge in. The capacity expansion project includes enhancement of packet core nodes, creation of dedicated resources only for these services and enhancing transmission and compression mechanisms. Adding to the front end too – with dedicated internet service kiosks at all stores, adding internet specific customer service capabilities at call centres. With these, and other measures, Uninor network infrastructure will be able to support two times the Internet demand than what it is today.

What other internal changes are being made to support the increased data usage by Uninor subscribers?
Uninor is also about to conclude an internal project to make the sales, distribution and customer service functions ready for the expected increase in Internet usage by subscribers. Towards this Uninor will set up stand-alone Internet service kiosks in each of its exclusive retail outlets, recruit additional resources at its customer service facilities and conduct internet specific training for all service agents.

Is this change applicable pan India?
The launch of the new Internet strategy, together with the flagship products on Facebook and Whatsapp is starting today at Gujarat and then at Maharashtra and Goa. These are also the two circles where Uninor has seen the highest Internet consumption over the past year. In Gujarat, Uninor’s Internet revenue has grown by an impressive 88% in 2013. In Maharashtra, every fourth Uninor subscriber is an active Internet user. Over the next few months, these new offerings will be made available across each of Uninor’s operational circles.

What results are expected with this change in strategy?
While Uninor will continue to offer attractive tariffs on Internet, the focus will now move entirely to ‘service based offerings’ from the ‘unit or volume based offerings”. With this strategy in place, Uninor is aiming at an 80% increase in data revenues and 100% increase in data ARPUs in 2014. The company also aims at doubling its data penetration to reach 50% active data users on its network from the current 25%.

Can Uninor subscribers expect more service based offerings in the future?
Uninor is ready to realize its vision of empowering societies by building on its ambition of “Internet for All” through affordable basic internet services. This being the first in the series of more such services that we are preparing to provide our customers in the months to come.

Will Uninor move into offering 3G or 4G services in the near future?
Our focus is on basic services. With Internet, this means basic Internet. The mass-market consumer is not concerned about the technology. The mass market needs reliable Internet for their kind of usage at the most affordable tariffs. Today, the majority of the mass-market usage is served better with affordable tariffs using the 2G/EDGE platform. Should this change, we always have the ability to launch more sophisticated services since our entire spectrum is liberalised.

Now 25% more network capacity

The company has successfully acquired additional spectrum in the 1800 MHz band in four of its six existing ...

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Now 25% more network capacity

After a 10 day spectrum auction, Uninor has emerged with additional spectrum in four of its six circles. Simply put, this increases our network capacity
by 20 – 25% straightaway. We are ready to take on more customers and offer them quality services at sabse sasta tariffs

The company has successfully acquired additional spectrum in the 1800 MHz band in four of its six existing circles – UP East, UP West, Bihar and Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh - and added a new circle of Assam at an investment of INR 8,447 million. With this additional spectrum, Uninor will be able to enhance its voice and data capacity by approximately 20% to 25% in the four existing circles of UP East, UP West, Bihar and Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.

“It is critical that mobile tariffs remain affordable for the mass market after the auctions. With its auction strategy, Uninor has ensured that it can continue to offer the most affordable tariffs in each of its seven circles while maintaining a healthy business case. We have now secured a spectrum platform for continuing growth and profitability in each of our circles,” says Morten Karlsen Sorby, nominated CEO of Uninor.

In Gujarat and Maharashtra, Uninor will improve capacity and coverage through a significant expansion of network sites. The company has already announced its largest ever network expansion of over 30% to be completed in 5 months. With the new circle of Assam, Uninor will now be able to potentially serve an additional population of more than 30 million and will shortly announce the launch of its sabse sasta (most affordable) services and bring new competition into the market. With these auctions, Uninor’s footprint now increases to seven circles.

“Telenor Group has always stated that we have a long term perspective on our investment in India. I am pleased that Uninor through this auction has strengthened its competitive advantage as a cost efficient operator. Uninor is now well positioned to continue its growth path through offering affordable mobile services to even more customers in India, both in existing circles and in Assam where we believe the Uninor model fits very well,” said Sigve Brekke, Head of Telenor Asia region.

 

The all-new Retail 2.O

Uninor’s Retail strategy is well thought-out and operates one of the most efficient networks in the I...

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The all-new Retail 2.O

Uninor’s Retail strategy is well thought-out and operates one of the most efficient networks

Uninor’s Retail strategy is well thought-out and operates one of the most efficient networks in the Indian telecom industry. Over the last year, Uninor Retail has expanded 180%, riding on the successful delivery of ‘Retail Next’. What’s next?

Branded retail stores provide seamless customer experience while creating a strong brand in the marketplace. Retail has been a game of learning through testing and trying things differently while finding out what actually works on ground and doing it more to achieve growth. It is more of reforms in the way Uninor Retail works. As the industry matures, disciplined and strategic approaches with focused execution are the key requisite for sustainable performance. Introducing ‘Retail 2.0’ – a series of intervention planned to derive a marked improvement in retail services at all direct and indirect customer touch points.

“Retail Next is a clear illustration of how strategy, coupled with strong and meticulous execution, in addition to keeping grounded has been an effective in building a robust customer base. The success of Retail Next has led to the foundation of Retail 2.0 – the roadmap for 2014 and the years ahead,” says Rajeev Sethi, CMO of Uninor.

Retail Next: Building the foundation

Retail Next was introduced with the objective of converting customers into advocates by providing a seamless user experience across channels and deriving customer loyalty. It offered a new store operation model where the role emerged as a ‘brand and product showroom driving revenues across all channels’ rather than a mere sales avenue.

Retail Next has been one of the most successful initiative of the Retail team whose success was acclaimed not only by the industry but also in the attention of top B-schools including IIM’s, ISB and IMT’s studying the same as a case study.

Retail 2: Roadmap for future

Uninor’s retail strategy is to build customer posting as a ‘Service, Experience & Engagement’ touch-points. This will be achieved through specially designed vehicles based on Technology deployment, People development, Partner engagement and Consumer experience enhancement.

“Retail Next has not only been the center of attention from all eyes in the industry, but also has been a topic of interest at top business schools in the country. The results have been truly motivating. It has inspired the retail team to not only continue delivering its targets, but also excel them by having an innovative retail infrastructure foundation,” shares Sharad Juneja, Head of the Customer Experience team at Uninor.

Components of Retail 2.0

RESA: Building on Customer centric

Retail Essential services Act (RESA) charts out the key Retail service KPIs with Zero tolerance and compliance guidelines. It has been designed to go beyond the retail team and function as a single point charter for enhanced retail service to customers.

UAC Next: The 1st prepaid loyalty program

Uninor Advantage Club (UAC) has been redesigned for providing a structured agenda that allows to manage customer loyalty and their progression plan. The program is in existence for 2 years now and with feedback from customers, changes has been made to make it more effective and get additional extraction per customer while reducing the churn.

ARMS: Technology enabling efficiency and reducing cost

Advanced Retail Management System (ARMS) is a customized way out for managing Retail POS as a means of operations efficiency with lower execution cost. ARMS is a single window solution to all the future retail requirement. It is not only simple and efficient; it also allows opening up a plethora of information related to retail store services available to customers.

MBMC 2.0: Enhancing APRU and reducing churn

“Mera Bts Mera Customer” (MBMC) is considered to be one of the technological marvels of Uninor Retail. The program has made it easy for retail stores to come closure to customer and helps in providing preemptive services. MBMC has been restructured with the introduction of new features and today it enables daily interaction with around 50,000 Uninor customers based in all circles.

Super 100: People are our Brand Ambassador

The Super 100 is a unique program in the industry for identifying top talent in Retail and supporting the Operations team right up to the end. This initiative has improved the resource retention score and manages progression planning.

“Retail next is a good example of how Strategy meets ground level execution and keeping up pace with ground level needs based on which we have formulated Retail 2.0 which will be our strategy Roadmap for 2014 and beyond,” adds Chandresh Mahendru, Retail Team, Corporate Office.

Uninor empowers youth on Swami...

Rewards youth with ‘Achiever Awards’ for sharing their thoughts on the principles of Swami Vive...

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Uninor empowers youth on Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary

“Awake, arise and stop not till the goal is reached” – Swami Vivekananda

Rewards youth with ‘Achiever Awards’ for sharing their thoughts on the principles of Swami Vivekananda through ‘Uninor Yuva Jagriti’ program.

Advocating Swami Vevekananda’s philosophy on the eve of his 150th birth anniversary, Uninor, the India entity of global mobile operator Telenor group conducted the ‘Uninor Yuva Jagriti’ award ceremony on January 12, 2014 at Patna. Mr. Nitish Kumar, Honourable Chief Minister of Bihar graced the occasion as the ‘Guest of Honour’. Delivering his keynote address, Mr. Kumar inspired the youth achievers for making positive choice and dream big. The award event witnessed active participation from senior government officials of Bihar, bureaucrats, media, academicians along with youth from educational institutions of Patna.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Rajiv Bawa, Chief Representative of Telenor in India said, “We’re pleased to host the Yuva Jagriti 2014, a youth program that shares Swami Vivekanand’s values in recognizing today’s youth as agents of change and the leaders of tomorrow”.

30 students were selected as winners for the ‘Youth Achiever Awards’ from a pool of 400 participants representing various institutions of Patna. The winners were chosen through an extempore competition organized over a period of 3 weeks. Selection criteria for the winners were based on narrative skills, applicability and innovation of ideas and thoughts on the theme “How can Bihar emerge as a powerful and developed state”.

The final round of the extempore competition was held on January 11, 2014. Out of these 30 students 3 Grand Prize winners was awarded the ‘Uninor Yuva Jagriti Trophy’ along with a cash reward of Rs. 10,000/- each and the rest 27 students were given Youth Achiever Awards.

The concept for the ‘Uninor Yuva Jagriti’ program was developed with full support from Shri Abhyanand, DGP Bihar Police, Shri Rahul Kumar, MLA and Shri Pratya Amrit, Sectary, Rural Road Department and Bihar Rajya Pool Nirman Nigam Ltd. The program was launched by Uninor on December 19, 2013 wherein top 15 institutions of Patna, representing colleges, management institutes, medical colleges, engineering and technical institutes participated. Apart from traditional media, the event was also promoted through social platform like Facebook and Twitter, generating active engagement from students.

The award ceremony concluded with an entertaining evening wherein emerging Kolkata based Sufi band ‘Humsufi’ mesmerized the audience. ‘Uninor Yuva Jagriti’ program was a huge success in terms of participation throughout the event.

“Bihar is rich not only in culture and heritage but also in terms of talent and has been continuously moving on the path of development. Yuva Jagriti has been able to bring a gathering of great minds who have given direction to the youths on how they can lead Bihar towards a better tomorrow. Uninor will keep contributing significantly to help Bihar emerge as an empowered and developed state”, shared A E A Jameel, CBH, B&J circle, while commenting on the youth engagement program.

Uninor’s CEO signs up as an ...

Mass market distribution is a key competitive advantage for Uninor across India. At the last mile of Uninor...

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Uninor’s CEO signs up as an ‘RSE for a day’

Mass market distribution is a key competitive advantage for Uninor across India. At the last mile of Uninor’s distribution system, we find the Retail Sales Executives (RSEs). RSEs visit a set of retailers every day, ensuring outlets are well stocked and staff informed about the latest products and offers..
 
Putting all hands on deck
 
“RSEs are important to the success of our business. The battle for mobile customers is on the streets of smaller towns in India: this is where you make or break it. RSEs are the faces and the hands of our company, and it is their sales skills and relationship building abilities that ultimately bring in our revenues. At the last lap of our breakeven journey, I decided to join our frontline warriors and give a hand on the deck,” said Sigve at the beginning of his day as an RSE in Surat, the second largest city in Gujarat.

No stranger to the hustle and bustle of Asian streets, Telenor’s Asia Head was in high spirits as he reached the distributor point at 9 am on a busy Friday in December. The morning kicked off with a gate meeting, where the daily targets and the beat to be covered were handed over. Sigve accompanied one RSE whose beat he would cover for the day.

 
Attitude is everything
 
One of the key strengths of an RSE is the interpersonal relationship with the retailers. During his day in the field, Sigve worked closely with Uninor RSEs, but also met with field force staff from other operators. In comparison to other RSEs, Sigve found Uninor’s fleet of frontline sales force to have an edge:
“Uninor RSEs are disciplined; they understand customer needs, our products and their KPIs better. But the most important difference is their attitude. They may be ambitious and competitive at the gate meeting, but with retailers they are humble and respectful. That’s crucial to build lasting and mutually beneficial relations,” said Sigve.

 
Small town India wants Internet for All

While servicing retailers in Surat, which has a mix of migrant workers and local Gujarati businessmen, Sigve was pleasantly surprised to see that demand for data is on the rise and to learn that most of the feedback from retailers and customers is about strengthening Uninor’s data position.
So how did Sigve do this day? He surpassed his targets, and added a little more push to an organization inching towards one of its most important milestones so far: Breaking-even.

Uninor welcomes new CEO

Morten Karlsen Sørby steps into the role of CEO just as Uninor reached cash flow break even at the e...

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Uninor welcomes new CEO

Telenor Group today announced the appointment of Morten Karlsen Sørby as the new Chief Executive Officer of Uninor, effective immediately.

Morten Karlsen Sørby steps into the role of CEO just as Uninor reached cash flow break even at the end of 2013, after only four years of operation. Morten replaces Sigve Brekke who has served as interim CEO of Uninor since early November last year. Sigve Brekke continues as earlier in his role as Executive Vice President and Head of Telenor Group’s Asia Operations
 
Morten Karlsen Sørby, a Norwegian national, brings significant operational and strategic mobile telecommunications experience to Uninor. He joined Telenor in 1993 and has been a member of the Group’s executive management team since 2003. He most recently served as the Executive Vice President in charge of corporate strategy and regulatory affairs in Telenor Group. Morten was previously Executive Vice President and head of the Norwegian and Nordic mobile and fixed network operations of Telenor. Morten holds a Master of Science in Business Administration from the Norwegian School of Economics, has additional education from IMD in Switzerland and is a state-authorized public accountant in Norway.
 
“Uninor enjoys a firm market position in India as a leading mass-market, best-on-value operator. When Morten Karlsen Sørby now steps into the role as CEO of Uninor, he will meet an organization that is highly energized, market-savvy and possesses a tremendous innovative spirit. Morten’s vast experience from the global mobile industry and solid leadership skills will inject new energy and further insights into the already empowered Uninor team,” said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and Chief Executive Officer of Telenor Group. 
 
“Uninor’s journey has just begun. We will continue to build on the company’s competitive spirit and innovation skills to capture new ground, both in basic services and by providing affordable internet services to the masses,” said Morten Karlsen Sørby, CEO of Uninor. “The strategy is clear and our model is proven. My job will be to deliver on this strategy alongside the management team and every single Uninor employee. I have actively contributed to the development of our India operations since we first entered in 2008, and now I look forward to joining the remarkable Uninor organization.”
 

Sigve Brekke while introducing Morten states, “I welcome Morten to Uninor, a team of committed warriors who has proved that with determination and passion, one can achieve the toughest of targets.”

Uninor on an award winning str...

“Porter Prize” for outstanding performance 
As a part of it...

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Uninor on an award winning streak

Uninor’s innovative approach towards technology and business and choices that it has made to serve the mass market with sabse sasta basic services have been recognized at two prestigious  platforms – Aegis Graham Bell Awards 2013 and prestigious Porter Prize recently!

“Porter Prize” for outstanding performance
 
As a part of its competitive strategy, Uninor has made strategic choices – to serve the mass market customers and focus on the most affordable basic services. This strategy of being the best in basic services with sabse sasta has allowed Uninor to take a strong and unique competitive position that is “not easy to match”.
 
For these specific competitive choices Uninor has made and its ability to execute them strongly in the market, Uninor has been awarded the prestigious “Porter Prize” in the category of “Exploiting Trade-offs”. The prize has been named after and endorsed by Prof Micheal E Porter, the renowned thinker, Harvard faculty member and the father of the modern strategic field. The category of “Exploiting Trade-Offs” recognizes choices that make strategies sustainable because they are not easy to match or neutralize.
 
Speaking at the award ceremony, Prof Michael E Porter said, “The purpose of this prize is to inspire businesses – that they continue to add value, be distinctive and raise the bar. We are proud of you, the winners of this prize.” 
 
Telenor Group’s Head of Asia operations Sigve Brekke said, “Uninor has been navigating an extremely competitive landscape over the past years, and has excelled at exploiting trade-offs in its operation and business strategy to emerge as the most successful newcomer in the Indian telecoms sector. This prestigious recognition showcases Uninor yet again as a company that champions competitive excellence and innovation in the Telenor Group.”
 
Aegis Graham Bell award for the next generation operating model!
 
Aegis Graham Bell Award® was conceived in the year 2010 as a tribute to the father of the telephony, Sir Alexander Graham Bell by recognizing excellence in the field of Telecom, Internet and Media. The awards recognize innovation and outstanding contributions in the telecommunications industry. The award was held with the support of Cellular Operator Association of India (COAI), 22nd Convergence India 2014 and PwC as Knowledge Partner & Auditor of the award.
 
The judges assessed Uninor’s model on the scale of innovativeness, market and social impact, sustainability and inter-operability and after a comprehensive analysis declared it the winner. The Uninor team also presented a paper on Next Generation Operating Model at the event.
 
Speaking at the award ceremony, Yogesh Malik, CEO said, “This is an enormous recognition for us. The award has recognized our innovative business model which reiterates the uniqueness of our organizational machinery and processes and structure. It highlights the high importance of the cluster approach and partnerships that we apply to ensure low costs and efficient operations. We share this recognition with our business partners who have defied the norms with us to make these choices come alive as mass market Sabse Sasta for our customers. Our journey towards empowering societies through affordable mobile services has only just begun.”

Uninor opens a zonal office in...

Geared up on a business expansion drive, Uninor took an important step in its business organisation in UP E...

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Uninor opens a zonal office in Jhansi

This means faster activation of new connections, better product availability and better customer focus for Uninor's customers in Jhansi

Geared up on a business expansion drive, Uninor took an important step in its business organisation in UP East. The company has converted Jhansi into a full and independent zone and launched a fully equipped zonal office. For the company's customers this means new Uninor connections will be activated faster, various products and services will be better available at all retail points and overall customer focus in Jhansi will improve.
With the commencement of Jhansi Zonal Office operations, Uninor now has 7 zonal offices in UP East with nearly 200 employees. The move reiterates Uninor’s strong focus on further expansion of business in Jhansi with an aim to tap a larger customer base in the district.
Upanga Dutta, Circle Business Head, UP East said, "With this new office and conversion of Jhansi into a full zone, our customers should expect a further strengthening of our services in the city. Now Jhansi will get its very own Uninor zonal office and zonal teams to focus on the customers and retailers in Jhansi. At 25 paisa/min, our tariffs are by far the cheapest in UP East and this focus on sabse sasta tariffs will continue."
 
The Jhansi office was formally inaugurated by Mr. Upanga Dutta, Circle Business Head, UP East, Uninor in the presence of other senior officials and Uninor employees.

New licenses received for the ...

This marks the final steps in a process that began with the spectrum auctions in November 2012 where Teleno...

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New licenses received for the 6 circles

A year after successfully winning fresh spectrum in the auctions, Telenor's Indian company Telewings has now received the new licenses and the Uninor business has already been transferred to this company.

This marks the final steps in a process that began with the spectrum auctions in November 2012 where Telenor Group secured spectrum for 20 years for the six circles of UP East, UP West, Bihar and Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
“This is an important milestone for Uninor as we celebrate the start of our new legal entity ‘Telewings’. We will continue build on our brand proposition and stay committed on our year-end target of break-even. This has been a great achievement for the team that worked tirelessly in the last few months to help Uninor secure a future as a new entity," says Sigve Brekke, Acting CEO, Uninor.

Everything continues as before
Uninor services are now being offered in the new company Telewings, instead of the earlier Unitech Wireless. This is just about the only change that has taken place. There is no change in the brand name with this move – it continues to be Uninor. The focus continues to be on Sabse Sasta services for the mass market – a position that has brought remarkable results for the company with a strong customer preference and healthy growth in revenues.
 
Ready for the future
Uninor now has a platform to plan for the future. With this final step underway, Uninor now has 20 year platform in its 6 circles to plan future investments and future growth. This will come by way of further strengthening the network coverage and building strongly on the portfolio of data and internet services.  Uninor has achieved strong growth in its revenue and customer market share in the last three quarters and is the only operator that has shown steady progress each month. In Telenor Group, it has a majority shareholder that has demonstrated its long term commitment to the India operations and reiterated its intentions of growing further in India.

Uninor celebrates World Intern...

Uninor also shares the same sentiment and has taken a position of building a digital future for all the peo...

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Uninor celebrates World Internet Day!

Every year, 29th October is celebrated as International Internet Day. It is a day that symbolizes an open and fair access to internet for everyone, linked to the basic idea of liberation that connects the world to each other.

Uninor also shares the same sentiment and has taken a position of building a digital future for all the people of Asia and make internet affordable, relevant and safe for customers in farther corners of the country.
 
Taking this commitment forward to make basic internet service available to the masses Uninor launches kiosks in M&G and Gujarat circles. 
 
Under this project, Uninor has launched its first free internet kiosk at village Rahuri, dist. Nashik which is located 265 km away from Pune circle office. The main aim is to provide internet education to villagers and students for exploring better health care, agricultural and better higher educational opportunities. A group of villagers will be taught how to access internet through regular classes starting from 9th November. The   Kiosk setup at Vidya Mandir school premises will empower villagers to access useful information about online railway ticket booking, banking, agriculture information, career & higher studies and latest updates etc.
 
At the launch event, Mrs. Ghugeh, Gram Pradhan said “We always promote women centric activities in our panchayat and this is yet another great opportunity for the women of this village to explore valuable information and enjoy benefits of the internet. We feel privileged that Uninor has chosen our village and given us a window to access with the outside world”.

The internet empowered Rahuri Village
 
Similiar kiosk are also open in Gujarat circles at village Ghana, Dist Anand and village Ambasan, Dist Mehsana.  Uninor will provide Internet classes to 325 schools students and villagers to make optimal use of the internet services at both the centers.
 
Announcing the launch, Ritesh Circle Business Head, M&G, shared: “Internet is emerging to be a lifeline for the rural community, an important educational tool for the children in the villages and a necessity for the farmers’ business! M&G is proud to be a part of this journey of extending mobile and broadband access into rural communities, thus helping to bridge the urban-rural connectivity divide. This will not only help in infrastructural development, but also enhance literacy, make life simpler, increase empowerment and enrich our society as a whole.”
 
All the kiosks will remain open during the day time for villagers and students.

 
On the launch, Pooja Thakran, Head of Corporate Communication  said”, Uninor is committed to bring the benefit of Internet service to the masses.  Just like voice telephony transformed the lives of people living in towns and villages through affordable access, providing basic internet services in an affordable and easy access to the masses will ensure we transform the way people live and work. Access to internet open a plethora of opportunities like e-governance, e-panchayat, healthcare, agriculture, education all at the click of a button. This one service has the capacity to bring people from all walks of life on one platform. This is fostering a new revolution of empowerment.”

Uninor seeks participation fro...

Youngsters aged between 18 and 25 are invited to share an idea based on the mobile phone technology that ad...

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Uninor seeks participation from youth for the Telenor Youth Summit 2013

Uninor calls for entries from the youth on the theme ‘My Mobile Idea’ that can bring about positive social change in India.

Youngsters aged between 18 and 25 are invited to share an idea based on the mobile phone technology that addresses a major social issue in India.
 
Two participants with the best ideas will fly to Oslo this December to represent India at the first Telenor Youth Summit. The contest is live on Uninor’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/uninorindia and will be open for submissions till October 15, 2013.
 
The Telenor Youth Summit is a new global initiative that will be hosted by Jon Fredrik Baksaas, Telenor Group President and CEO. The summit coincides with the Nobel Peace Prize event and is being conducted in partnership with the Nobel Peace Centre. The focus of the summit will be to develop and define ideas to solve social challenges with the use of mobile communication technology. the Telenor Group is inviting two young participants between the age of 18 and 25 from each of its markets to represent their country at this Summit.

The Summit will comprise a 3-day program in Oslo of collaborative workshops, inspire sessions and social activities. The outcome of the summit will be a video presenting the participants ideas – as a digital bouquet of ideas, which will then be presented to the Nobel Peace Center and used as an input for an exhibition at the Peace Center called Social Media and Democracy in May 2014. The ideas will also be presented at the global telecoms event – the Mobile World Congress in 2014.

In order to be considered for this event, youngsters aged between 18 and 25 are invited to submit their ideas on Uninor’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/uninorindia through a brief written entry and a short video upload.
 
Please note that this contest is not open for Uninor employee's family, relatives or its business partners. However, you are encouraged to reach out to your friends and acquaintances and invite them to submit their ideas.

Ideas will be adjudged on the criteria of:
• The scale of impact of the social challenge being addressed through the idea
• The centrality and extent of use of the mobile phone technology in the idea being proposed
• Ease of deployment of the proposed idea
• Ease and extent of possible commercialization of the idea – such that it generates revenues and is self sustaining

First Uninor Lokvani store ina...

‘Lokvani’ is state government project that was formalized to create awareness about e-governanc...

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First Uninor Lokvani store inaugurated in UP West

Uninor associates with the District Administration in UP West to connect with its customers through Lokvani, a government project to create awareness about e-governance and provide them with one stop solution at their doorsteps.

‘Lokvani’ is state government project that was formalized to create awareness about e-governance amongst the underprivileged population of Uttar Pradesh.

The project could not be implemented due to various constraints. This is when Uninor decided to associate with Lokvani and inaugurated its first Uninor Lokvani express store in Sikandra Rao in Aligarh zone of UP West.


Reaching to masses

By embracing Uttar Pradesh government’s vision, Uninor endeavours to further popularize Lokvani amongst larger audience especially women and youth and coach them to learn and access basic health and general well being schemes as citizens of the state. With this initiative, we would be bring Uninor closer to our customers.

“With Uninor joining hands with Lokvani we aim to further intensify our efforts, connect with more people and increase awareness amongst people in Sikandra Rao. We also wish to take this initiative to other regions of the state, over a period of time,” says KC Narendran, Circle Business Head, UP West.

He further added, “We will focus on educating and empowering women and youth to seek financial assistance from the Government to become entrepreneurs to reduce migration from villages to urban areas.”

This initiative in the long run will increase the footfalls at our express stores and would thereafter make them profitable. This initiative will ensure that our customers get the maximum benefit of the schemes available through Lokvani. Similarly, the Lokvani Customers would get the opportunity to experience the ‘Sabse Sasta Sabse Accha’ schemes of Uninor and thereby we become partners in our mutual growth.

What is Lokvani?

Lokvani in common terms means ‘Voice of the Masses’. It is a unique public-private partnership programme in improving governance, in the district. It enables the citizens to interact with the government without physically visiting any government office.

It is a community owned self-sustaining system driven by a profitable business model. It provides easy and convenient access to information through a hassle-free citizen-government interface thereby ensuring fairness, accountability and transparency in administration.

Now, free GPRS Days across cir...

Data is not the same as 3G Often, people confused data as 3G.

For the mass market, where Unino......

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Now, free GPRS Days across circles!

As a part of its focus on encouraging data usage across its network, Uninor has now announced a free GPRS day in four of its six circles. “This means free internet, free browsing, free chats, free facebook – use as much data as you like for a full day and then move to one of Uninor’s most affordable data packs”.

Data is not the same as 3G
 
Often, people confused data as 3G. For the mass market, where Uninor operates, data means the ability to browse the internet, chat with friends, use facebook and send and receive emails. This is the bulk of the data consumption in the mass market – and none of this needs 3G. Infact, with its modern network and ultra-affordable tariffs on 2G/EDGE, Uninor is best placed to meet the data demands of the bulk of India’s mobile user base.
 
With this in mind, Uninor invited its subscribers in four circles to experience the internet in Uninor’s unique affordable way.
 
Double usage reported on Free GPRS Days
 
Over the past month, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar & Jharkhand and Maharashtra & Goa circles announced a free internet day each. In just one day, Uninor saw a 45% rise in unique data users in the four circles. A large number of these subscribers have since started using GPRS services on the Uninor network on a regular basis.
 
“This is evidence of the demand for data in the mass market – not expensive and complex services – but basic data at good speeds and low costs.”
 
Four circles lead the drive
 
On the occasion of Friendship day, Gujarat circle announced its Free Internet Day, where all Uninor customers could access GPRS free for the entire Sunday. The team also ran a front page ad in leading newspapers to promote this. As a result, daily users almost doubled and a large number of new customers joined Uninor that day.
 
The Andhra Pradesh circle has seen a surge of data usage in the past months and a significant increase in unique data users in August over July. AP offered free data usage on August 21 and September 9. Gitanjali Parida, the Marketing Head of the circle shares, “We decided to launch a series of focused GPRS products which included high benefits for the customers. Our main objective was to increase data penetration and in turn uptake revenues. It’s heartening to see our efforts are being paid off as we have witnessed excellent growth.”
 
Bihar and Jharkhand too has seen a healthy increase in GPRS penetration in August. Also data is now contributing a major share to the total VAS revenue, which clearly indicates its growing usage.
 
Rahul Mohan, Marketing Head of M&G, shares, “We aim to be the best in product offerings and the road forward will include data infrastructure augmentation so as to provide our customers with a better and more holistic internet experience.” The current trend in M&G shows an increase in usage revenue as it has doubled in the last two months and GPRS users have increased significantly.
 
Array of Products Launched
 
From sachets to paper vouchers and from free data bundling with first recharges to low priced unlimited packs, Uninor across operating geographies is geared up to offer customers with a wide variety of products to choose from. Uninor’s packs range from 1 day to upto 2 months of validity with prices as low as Rs. 5. Recently the company has also added special low cost high validity packs as well as talk time discounts in regular data packs for its subscribers.

Independence from expensive ta...

Uninor is known to utilize topical occasions to creatively to reinforce its ‘most affordable tariffs&...

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Independence from expensive tariffs – Uninor’s Independence Day campaign says “Saare Jahan Se Sasta??

Sabse Sasta is in Uninor’s DNA. The one single proposition that makes us a service of choice for India’s value conscious mass market. On Independence Day, we wore this with pride – Saare Jahan Se Sasta.

Uninor is known to utilize topical occasions to creatively to reinforce its ‘most affordable tariffs’ proposition. We struck a whole new level with the Independence Day campaign this year. This was the largest such tactical initiative that was rolled out across all circles – finding its way onto PoS material and outdoor hoardings.
 
No TV commercials, no celebrity talks, Uninor sells more, faster and easier!
 
Most affordable tariffs need the most cost effective operations. This is the key to sustainability – the only way a service provider can take the affordability position over a longer term and not compromise on financial viability.
 
In its advertising and marketing strategy, for Uninor this means no national TV commercials, no star celebrities – simply a solid brand positioning driven through interesting and compelling communication.
 
This year’s Saare Jahan Se Sasta campaign followed the Uninor way. Implementation was low cost but effective. The campaign utilized print and outdoor media to broad-base the communication and extended to posters, retailer boards and comparison sheets.
Description2 Sabse Sasta in every circle
 
Saare Jahan Se Sasta communicates the real facts on the ground. In each circle that Uninor operates, it offers tariffs that are among the most affordable and often as much as 40% cheaper than other operators’.
 
“When we say sabse sasta, we take a very definite position that must be met with facts in the market. This means that Uninor’s offerings must indeed be easy to understand and significantly more affordable than competition,” says Arindam Sengupta – Brand and Marcom Head, Uninor.
 
Equipping RSE/KAMs with proof
 
While the posters, banners and hoardings captured Uninor’s lowest tariffs position, the proof of claim must be made at the point of sale. This is where we prove our position to retailers and give them confidence to make this promise to their customers. What better way to do this than to equip our RSEs and KAMs with comparison sheets.
 
As a part of this campaign, Uninor’s sales executives carried such comparison sheets that detailed all competitive product offerings from other operators – showing how Uninor is anywhere between 20% to 40% cheaper than any other.
 
“Using this sheet, I am able to educate myself and my retailers on the products available in the market. This is what my retailers need to see – so they can position us as the most affordable with their own customers.”, says Shabbu Bhai from Mendhiratta Traders.
 
When retailers say “I use Sabse Sasta Uninor”
 
What do you use is often the question a smart customer asks his shopkeeper. The logic is undeniable. Among the plethora of confusing options in the market, the simplest way to find the best is to ask the seller for his own preference.

Team Uninor goes market stormi...

Starting at Lucknow and travelling to Gorakhpur, Azamgarh and Varanasi – and several villages that fa...

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Team Uninor goes market storming in UP East

Back after a break and starting the second leg of Dhoom Macha Le, Yogesh Malik and team UP East set out on a road show to cover a distance of close to 471 kilometers over 3-days. Starting at Lucknow and travelling to Gorakhpur, Azamgarh and Varanasi – and several villages that fall en-route during this road-show, Uninor team met its customers, retail and distribution partners and employees in various locations to announce the launch of new network sites.

Starting at Lucknow and travelling to Gorakhpur, Azamgarh and Varanasi – and several villages that fall en-route during this road-show, Uninor team met its customers, retail and distribution partners and employees in various locations to announce the launch of new network sites.

Experiencing being ‘Built Around People’
 
Travelling to 10 districts to meet 100 retailers, 300 RSEs and 500 distributors and congratulating them for doing a brilliant job, Yogesh met Mohd. Jafar - one of Uninor’s Retail Sales Executives. Jafar took charge of his own destiny to do bigger in life and challenged himself to be amongst the first 10 micro distributors of Uninor. On meeting the CEO of the company he loves to work for, the gleeful Jafar proudly conveyed, “Uninor has inspired & given me the vision to start my own business and be my own master.”
 
Like Mohd Zafar, Uninor has touched the lives of a thousand of its partners and their families by providing them a sense of ownership towards the company. With ownership comes passion and that was seen in full throttle across the journey among employees, partners, customers, retailers and distributors.
 
One such moment was also when the ‘Dhoom Macha Le’ caravan moved towards Gorakhpur and en -route met a committed distributor, Navin Kumar from Gorakhour zone. With extreme passion and enthuse, he awaited the arrival of the cavalcade and met the Uninor team at 11'0 clock in the night.
 
The proud Navin said, “More than me, my family wanted to meet Uninor team and share how proud we are being associated with Uninor. We also wanted to meet the new CEO of Uninor. It was great to dance with him in the true spirit of Uninor. We’ll cherish this moment for years to come.”
 
Yogesh shares, “I felt so honored and moved by the spirit of Navin and his family including his two little daughters, who waited for us since evening as we were running behind schedule. It was almost midnight but that did not deter their enthusiasm and fervor. It was an amazing and unforgettable experience.”
 
Beyond Business - Ek Daud Apne Liye
 
To celebrate its expansion in the city, Uninor also organized a Daud in association with the local Rotary club and FM channel Radio Mantra. This run was flagged-off by Yogesh Malik and the company’s Circle Business Head for UP East Upanga Dutta and saw participation from over 1100 youngsters from the city. Held at Regional Sports Stadium in Gorakhpur, the participants covered a route of over 4 kilometers and were joined by the entire Uninor team.
 
Pick of the Day!
 
Continuing the momentum of the pick of the day, among a thousand glorious moments, Yogesh’s picked Ashish from Ashish Communications in Gorakhpur zone.  In this fiercely competitive market with 90% of the phones sold are dual sim, Ashish ensures every customer takes  Uninor as one of his SIMs and enjoys the benefits of Uninor's Sabse Sasta proposition.
 
“Whoever buys a dual sim phone from my shop, I take it as my responsibility to explain to my customer the benefit of using ‘Sabse Sasta’ Uninor”, says Ashish.

CEO leads the Uninor team on a...

Uninor announced the launch of its next phase of expansion across the state. The company’s CEO togeth...

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CEO leads the Uninor team on a 700km road-show across Maharashtra

Uninor launches major expansion, auto recharge kicks off in Nasik and run flagged off in Ahmednagar

Uninor announced the launch of its next phase of expansion across the state. The company’s CEO together with Uninor teams from Maharashtra & Goa and the Corporate Office went on a 3-day road show – Dhoom Machale travelling to small and big cities of Maharashtra covering a distance of close to 685 kms.

During this road-show the Uninor team met its customers, retail and distribution partners and employees in various zones and also launched new network sites at Bhiwandi, Nasik, Pimpalgaon and Ahmednagar.

6000 retailer stores, 300 more network sites and 60 new Exclusive shops

 
Uninor will now scale up its network presence by over 300 more towers sites and increase its retail presence by 6000 more retail outlets and 60 additional Franchise owner Franchise operated outlets. This expansion was announced by Yogesh Malik, CEO, Uninor along with Ritesh Singh, Circle Business Head-Maharashtra & Goa, Uninor. With this, Uninor will now have close to 3500 network sites and 70,000 retailers across the circle.
 
“Maharashtra for us is all about bold innovations. This is the circle that announced a 25p per minute product while the industry announces tariff hikes. This is also where unique concepts like auto-rickshaw recharges; milkmen and newspaper vendors as innovative retail partners have been launched and seen success,” said Yogesh Malik, CEO of Uninor. “While financial break-even is a goal that we are actively pursuing in Maharashtra, Uninor will not wait for this milestone to launch its next phase of expansion in the state. We are scaling up in Maharashtra right away to meet the expectations of our subscribers.”
 
Commenting on expansion and the company’s ‘sabse sasta’ tariffs, Ritesh Singh, Circle Business Head of Maharashtra and Goa, said, “We are strengthening our network in each zone where Uninor is present. We are expanding our retail presence to now 70,000 outlets and 300 exclusive stores. While we do this, there should be no doubt that Uninor will continue to be sabse sasta in Maharashtra. There will be no cheaper mobile call or more affordable SMS that a mobile user can send than Uninor. This is our commitment.” 

Auto-rickshaw recharge concept launched in Nasik

 
Uninor today brought is innovative and successful auto-recharge concept that was launched earlier in Pune, to Nasik. In the first phase, 15 specially branded auto-rickshaws with extensively trained drivers will make Uninor connections and recharges available to their passengers. This number will be scaled up to 100 branded auto-rickshaws in Nasik within the next 6 months.
 
“When 90% of India’s mobile users simply want affordable basic services to be easily available, this is where operators should innovate. For Uninor, this will be the focus,” said Yogesh Malik. “In Maharashtra, we now offer a call that is 60% cheaper than any other operator’s in never-before ways - in auto-rickshaws and through newspaper and milk vendors. Truly mass market, truly sabse sasta, truly the best choice for the everyday mobile user.”
 
Uninor Daud: Flagged off in Ahmednagar
 
As a part of Uninor’s 3-day road show to the towns and villages of Maharashtra, the company’s CEO today joined hundreds of youngsters of Ahmednagar in the Uninor Daud. With over 200 participants, this was the biggest ever sporting event and the first such activity to be hosted in the city hosted in Sarda College covering a route of 3 kilometers. The run was flagged-off by Uninor CEO, Yogesh Malik along with Ritesh Singh, Circle Business Head, Maharashtra & Goa, Uninor, accompanied by Mr. Girish Kulkarni, Founder of Snehalaya NGO along with his team. Participants across all age groups joined the run,  which was promoted as a ‘run for health’ – promoting the idea of healthy living and perseverance.

The company also announced that it will be adding 11 more BTS in Ahmednagar for better network.

Uninor bags the award for Most...

Jinesh Hegde, Circle Business Head of Gujarat accepted the award on behalf of Uninor in a day long conventi...

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Uninor bags the award for Most Promising Telecom Company of the Year

Uninor declared winner for “Most Promising Telecom Company of the Year 2013” award at 4th Annual India Leadership Conclave 2013

Jinesh Hegde, Circle Business Head of Gujarat accepted the award on behalf of Uninor in a day long convention held at The Leela, Mumbai.
 
Remarkable innovations - the success mantra
 
In recognition of the company’s achievements and path breaking innovations in the telecom space and for its achievements towards consistently maintaining the growth in all six operational circles, Uninor has been named the most promising telecom company of the year.
While focusing on basic services for the mass market on the one hand and offering the lowest tariffs among all operators to its subscribers on the other, Uninor has been able to demonstrate its ability to reach break-even in three of its six circles. In each, this is the fastest break-even by any mobile operator.
 
Uninor focuses on a strategy based on three priorities – to be the best in basic services, to excel in mass market distribution and to be the lowest in costs among all operators in the market. Through innovations in the market such as Rocket Recharge that provide recharges customized for each individual subscriber based on his or her usage patterns; an IT based distribution system based on the principles of speed and transparency and innovative new retail formats including auto-rickshaws and express stores, Uninor has emerged as the most successful new operator in the market. The company’s operating model focuses on constant simplification, smart IT, innovative network planning and deep partnerships based on the principles of gain sharing – together making Uninor’s cost per minute among the lowest in the industry. This further strengthens the company’s ability to offer the lowest tariffs in the market in a sustainable manner.
 
The Most Promising Telecom Company of the Year award is an acknowledgment of the success of Uninor’s strategy and operating model in India.

India Leadership Conclave & Indian Affairs Business Leadership Awards
 
India Leadership Conclave & Indian Affairs Business Leadership Awards are conferred to Companies & Individuals who have made their mark through remarkable performance towards “making India Proud!”.  Since last three successive, the platform has felicitated more than three hundred fortune 500 Companies, towering captains, and leaders of the country.
 
The selection process for these awards was based on research, voting and jury adjudications.
 
On receiving the award, Yogesh Malik, CEO, Uninor said, “Uninor is pleased to receive this award on behalf of its customers, partners and employees who are the core of our successful business model.  We are built around people and whatever we offer is keeping the needs of our customers in mind.  Being a mass market operator focusing on basic services at the lowest tariffs, on ultra low cost operations, we have continued to offer shared value to our stakeholders.”

 

CEO leads Uninor to meet custo...

The theme was this roadshow, that was launched in UP West and will soon travel to other circles, was of cel...

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CEO leads Uninor to meet customers, distributors and retailers on the streets of UP West

With belts tightened, employees at Uninor UP West hit the roads early this month to meet its customers and business partners at their homes, shops and streets.

The theme was this roadshow, that was launched in UP West and will soon travel to other circles, was of celebration. Dhoom Macha Le chanted the zonal employees as they met the company’s CEO Yogesh Malik and later walked the markets in their area.
The team covered a distance of over 630 kilometers – travelling through cities, towns and villages of the circle. Starting with Moradabad, the team travelled to Rudrapur, Lamra Village (Rudrapur), Haldwani, Dhampur and Meerut.

“Dhoom Macha le is about writing new chapters, enjoying every moment, every victory, and realizing your dreams. Let us make the journey to break even, celebratory and full of fun”, says Yogesh Malik, CEO, Uninor. The company has a declared ambition of reaching profitability in each of its circles within 2013, while offering the lowest tariffs to its subscribers.
 
Continuing the momentum across the value chain
 
The three day power packed show included sessions with the entire value chain from informal luncheon discussions with women Customer Activations Officers (CAOs ) and Retail Sales Executives (RSEs) to dinner with Cluster Leads, TSMs and Distributors in Moradabad and Haldwani. 
 
Kick-starting the event in Moradabad Yogesh said, “As we continue to drive the momentum of our strong business performance, it is also important for us to take note of our achievements and be proud of what we have created together. Let’s take pride and celebrate our successes so far and move ahead with the same passion.”
 
“It was a wonderful experience to meet the CEO of the company. I had never imagined sitting next to a CEO or interacting with him. This has boosted my self-confidence immensely and I will never forget this moment”, says Aradhana Shrivastav, a CAO from Moradabad.
Catching the pulse of the market
 
Starting off at Moradabad, Yogesh Malik together with the Circle Business Head KC Narendran took to the streets on bikes along with the RSEs and other team members. Interacting with retailers and distributors and gathering feedback, the rally covered more than 50 points of sale in the city.

“I have been working with Uninor over two years now. Today, in my market, Uninor is the most preferred service operator because of the value for money propositions that the company offers”, says Sunil, an ‘A category’ retailer of Uninor who is famous for his smart business approach.
 
180 percent instant utilization at new BTS
 
A New Base station was launched during the road show at Lamra, a village located on the outskirts of Rudrapur. The site witnessed 180 percent utilization instantly as soon as the base station was switched on.
 
“The utilization going as high as 180 percent within minutes of being on-air, is proof that more and more customers are waiting to use Uninor services. With the new expansion plan in place we are expecting to add more high value customers which will help the circle move faster towards profitability”, explains K.C.
550 run with the CEO at Haldwani.

The last day witnessed a four kilometers Uninor Run in Haldwani flagged-off by Yogesh and KC, where hundreds of keen participants gathered at the Forestry Ground early in the morning. A unique concept, this run was not about Uninor or its business. This was a platform to encourage healthy living and an active lifestyle among the youth of Haldwani.
 
“This is the first time any such event has been organized in Haldwani and we are thankful to Uninor for giving us such a platform. I am feeling really happy and excited after taking part in the Run”, shares Rahul, 25, one of the runners.
 
Announcing 250 new network sites and 4000 additional retailers
Concluding the roadshow at Meerut, the Company’s CEO and UP West’s Circle Business Head together addressed a press conference. Uninor’s decision to add 250 new network sites, connectivity in 411 new towns and villages and 4000 additional retailers across the circle was announced to over 30 media persons gathered at the press conference.
 
“UP West is among our top priority circles. Uninor will certainly invest further here,” said Yogesh Malik.

Uninor Sets Foot in the Steel ...

Speaking on the occasion, A. E.A. Jameel, Circle Business Head, Bihar and Jharkhand, said “If you use...

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Uninor Sets Foot in the Steel City of Bokaro

Uninor expands in Jharkhand by bringing the benefit of its Sabse Sasta service to the people of Bokaro. The steel city that is central to the Dhanbad zone and known for its industrial base will now be able to save as much as 60% on its mobile calls.

Speaking on the occasion, A. E.A. Jameel, Circle Business Head, Bihar and Jharkhand, said “If you use your mobile phone the most for voice calls, sms, emails and internet browsing, why spend 60% more than you need to. Today, the cheapest mobile phone call you can make in Jharkhand is a Uninor to Uninor call. We are now delighted to bring the state’s most affordable service to Bokaro.”
 
The Blue Brigade in Bokaro
 
The launch of services in Bokaro took place in the true Uninor style. Team Uninor stormed the market to greet nearly 500 prospective customers who were eager to hear about the company’s offerings.
 
“We have launched Bokaro with 225  transacting Points of Sale (POS) and the customer response at these outlets is very positive. Infact, customers are rather surprised to learn how much extra they were spending on their mobile calls after comparing our tariffs with those of other operators. We are expecting a strong customer demand for Uninor’s sabse sata services and have already planned to increase our retail footprint by another 50 points of sale,” adds Jameel.
 
Gour Patnaik, the Sales & Distribution Head of the circle shares, “This road show is special and we are focusing on basics of the business make it click in the market. We are ensuring that we focus on excellent execution of our plans, because we know that our strategy works. We have the support of our distributors and retail partners. Together with an ubeatable service offer for the customers, we have what it takes to succeed in Bokaro.”
 
Creating a steel-like connect
 
The Marketing team painted Bokaro blue from Points of Sales shutters to roadside joints and vantage walls and from team stalls to low cost sun-pack signages. The team created a buzz in the market stating the message clear that Uninor had arrived in Bokaro and would now resound in every home there.
 
Retailers & Customers Speak
 
The Sabse Sasta Campaign has engaged our retailers and customers positively as they all echo in the same voice that Uninor is best on price in voice. The brand has clearly established as the best for voice, sms and internet, which has been acknowledged by both trade and customers especially the youth.
 
“I am a Uninor customer from Ranchi but my family lives in Bokaro. Now with Uninor services available here, I plan to get a connection for my family too so I can save money using Uninor to Uninor calls,” says Chandan Kumar, a Uninor customer from Ranchi.
 
“So far, Uninor network offered connectivity in areas around Bokaro city but I am happy that it is now available here as well. I have heard from other city retailers that Uninor has an automatic commission payments system which no other operator offers and we are all looking forward to that here,” said Deepak Kumar, owner of Sweta Variety Retail store in Bokaro.

A friendly match with children...

The finale marked the high-point of the league where the finalists played a friendly match with the kids fr...

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A friendly match with children marks the finale of the first edition of the Uninor Premier League

Corporate Office team at Uninor participated in the Uninor Premier League – a short format cricket tournament  earlier this month. It was a two-week gala of cricket matches amongst 10 teams that created fervent excitement within team Uninor.

The finale marked the high-point of the league where the finalists played a friendly match with the kids from Save the Children, a leading NGO working for Child Rights. What made the contest extra-special was that the kids won the match handsomely !!

Spreading the Joy with children
“The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.”
― Robert F. Kennedy

The ambition was to put together a day of fun and cheer for the kids through a sport that, perhaps every child in India knows and loves to play. What started off as a friendly 5-over match became quite competitive with the youngsters putting up a stiff challenge to the Uninor finalists. Aged between 12 to 16, the children’s team won the day with a 5 wicket win and of course won the hearts of the players and spectators alike.

“Every small effort that can bring positivity and cheer in the lives of children is an effort worth making. We are glad that we could integrate this match with our UPL Finale and bring a smile on the kids face,” says Yogesh Malik, CEO, Uninor.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Charu Sethi, National Manager, Corporate Marketing for Save the Children said, “I am thankful to Uninor for having this match organized for the kids. It is heartening to see the warmth and the spirit of the Uninor employees who supported and cheered for our team. The kids had a wonderful time, memories of which they will cherish for a long time”.
 
The event witnessed the entire Management Team of Uninor present to cheer for the kids. The match was concluded with an award ceremony where gifts were distributed along with a tri-cycle that was presented to the NGO. 
 
“We are so glad to have won this match and will practice hard to ensure that we beat the opposition team within 3 overs, the next time we play” said one of the kids from Save the Children.
 
About Save the Children:
 
Save the Children is an international organization working for children's rights in 120 countries. In India, they are working across 14 states on four thematic focus areas namely Child Survival, Child Protection, Education and Humanitarian Response and Disaster Risk Reduction. Their vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. Their mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives

 

Uninor holds the largest sport...

Endorsing the idea of ‘Uninor Daud’ or ‘Run’ for Mathura’s citizens, Uninor&r...

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Uninor holds the largest sporting event for people of Mathura

On April 28, more than 800 enthusiasts from Mathura city participated and ran with high spirits in the 4km ‘Uninor Daud’ – the first such activity ever hosted in the city.

Endorsing the idea of ‘Uninor Daud’ or ‘Run’ for Mathura’s citizens, Uninor’s UP West circle hosted the run for the city and pledged allegiance to include running as an integral part of their lives.
 
“Why should runs and marathons be restricted only to large metro cities? Our idea was to offer a platform to the people of Mathura to participate in a run of their own, right in their own city,” said K.C Narendran, Circle Business Head for UP West.

“Uninor’s message through this run is clear – we encourage the people of Mathura to keep healthy – both in body and mind. This Run is to remind all of us of the importance of challenging oneself to accomplish what may appear impossible. Don’t worry even if you fall behind, push yourself, never give up,” added KC.

 
More than 1500 registered for the run
 
The build-up to the Uninor Daud began a week in advance that witnessed participation from more than 1500 people registering themselves at registration counters placed outside Uninor retail outlets and specially designed trucks travelling around the city. The build-up also saw street plays being enacted at various locations in Mathura.
 
A 'Street Play' to encourage participation at the Uninor Daud in progress trucks travelling around the city. The build-up also saw street plays being enacted at various locations in Mathura.
 
Painting the town blue
 
Energized and charged, the event was marked with extensive Uninor branding, signage and merchandise across the city leaving the market looking blue as ever. Participants sported their t-shirts and flags and Uninor branded merchandise added to the color and fun.
 
“It was an extremely motivating sight to see so many people come together charged and energized early in the morning. Activities like these contribute to the continuation of trust and confidence we have earned with our partners and consumers. It is a sight most of us are unlikely to forget,” shares Rishi Raj, Head of Brand and Marcom UP west who lead the planning and execution of the run.
 
Run for a cause
 
The participation included Uninor customers, employees, students, children, friends and families to support the event that took place in Pt. Deen Dyal Upadhyay Veterinary University sports arena.
 
“Uninor is a successful mobile operator in Mathura. But this initiative was beyond business. This was about the people of the city and an effort to partner them in making positive changes to their everyday lives”, concludes K.C.

In just one month over 3.8M su...

Simply said – “We know your usage, we suggest to you your ideal recharge and we give you extra ...

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In just one month over 3.8M subscribers fetch their customized Rocket Recharge offers

Uninor has launched its new innovation of “Rocket Recharge” across its 6 operating circles of UP E, UP W, Bihar and Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa and Gujarat.

Simply said – “We know your usage, we suggest to you your ideal recharge and we give you extra bonus talk time on top when you take it. Instead of a normal recharge, you can now get a customized Rocket Recharge.”

How is it different

“What makes Rocket Recharge also different is the 100% automation. This means instant ‘best offer for you’ suggestion, instant bonus talk time to the customer and instant bonus commission to the retailer – within seconds of the Rocket Recharge transaction,” said Amaresh Kumar, Chief Product Officer, Uninor.
 
Rocket Recharge is not only for talk time benefits but also for customized offers on tariff, SMS, STD and Value added services. Depending upon customers’ usage and preferences, dialing *234# gets them a tailor-made recharge offer for their own specific needs.
 
“We have state-of-the-art systems that give us detailed information of what kind of usage you as a Uninor customer have. You should expect us to make this information benefit you. This is the Rocket philosophy,” said Rajeev Sethi, Chief Marketing Officer of Uninor.
 
“When we know what you use, there is no reason why you should have to settle for what’s in the market. The days of ordinary recharges are definitely over. If you are due for a recharge, go for Rocket,” added Sethi.

How Retailers see it

“We get commission immediately in Rocket recharge, this is a great service by Uninor,” says Monu from Garg Service Store, Saharanpur (UPW Circle).

“Recharge is my core business, opportunity to earn more commission is the best thing about Rocket Recharge” says Harpal from Radha Communications, Saharanpur (UPW circle).

Plans Ahead – To get better day by day

Uninor is actively promoting Rocket Recharge by incorporating the learning of each month and making the offers more relevant for the customers. This also includes ensuring a target number of new retailers also try the Rocket Recharge concept each month. The team is also continuously improving the technical platform, as Rocket Recharge gains scale – both in terms of customer and retailer participation and successful recharging with the recommended offer.

 

Uninor wins International Safe...

The award was formally presented to the winners in a grand ceremony at the Grosvenor House, London on the 2...

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Uninor wins International Safety Award 2013

Uninor becomes the only telecom operator to be awarded the prestigious “International Safety Award 2013” by the British Safety Council. This is the second consecutive win for Uninor in the ‘Merit’ category.

The award was formally presented to the winners in a grand ceremony at the Grosvenor House, London on the 26th of April 2013.

“It’s a matter of immense pride for Uninor to be the only operator in India to have won this award, the fact that this is the second year in a row makes the win even better”, says Sumit Sharma, Chief Human Resource Officer, Uninor.
 
“Accolades such as these underscore the emphasis we place on integrating responsibility into every aspect of our business”, adds Sumit.|
 
The British Safety Council is a global health, safety and environmental charity that works with businesses to improve health, safety and environmental management. They campaign and influence good practices in the area, and are champions of young worker safety.
 
The Council runs award schemes to recognize commitment to good health and safety management across the world and bring such efforts to a common global platform. The International Safety Award is one such platform which showcases organizations that have done commendable work in the field of Health, Safety, Security and Environment or HSSE.
 
“I am delighted by this news and this award has been only possible due to the excellent teamwork and commitment of everyone at Uninor towards making a real difference in HSSE in India”, says Dr. T Vijayakumar, Business Assurance Head.
 
“We have been very focused right from the beginning towards spreading HSSE awareness and making Health and Safety truly integrated in the way we do business. Now these efforts are being recognized not just locally but on a global stage”, adds a jubilant Vijay.

Going beyond the obvious in cu...

Taking a deeper plunge into its philosophy of seamless customer centricity, Uninor has launched one-of-its-...

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Going beyond the obvious in customer centricity

When others open stores, Uninor puts them on wheels. The latest innovation in mass market retail and customer centricity comes from the Maharashtra and Goa circle, where, for the first time, auto-rickhaw drivers will be doing much more than taking passengers to their destinations.

Taking a deeper plunge into its philosophy of seamless customer centricity, Uninor has launched one-of-its-kind mobile recharge facility that allows mobile recharge on the move. First time in the city, offering mobile recharge convenience to customers where they least expect it but most need it, Uninor has empanelled auto rickshaw wallas to sell recharge vouchers to customers when they travel from once place to another in Pune. In two months, 14 auto drivers conducted over 50 SIM sale and recharge transactions while driving customers to their destinations.
 
Auto wallas selling while at work
 
The auto recharge initiative promotes the brand visibility through Uninor branded uniforms and branding on the vehicle. All Auto Recharge vehicles sport Uninor stickers at the back of the driver’s seating saying ‘Uninor recharges available right here’. In addition, the rickshaw driver also informs every passenger about the availability of Uninor recharges and SIM cards. Since they have been well trained on the various products, they market the different Special Tariff Vouchers available with them to the passenger while dropping him or her to the destination. They have also been trained extensively on how to fill up CAF forms including which supporting documents can be accepted as valid ID proofs.
14 autos were on boarded initially as Uninor retailers in Pune on the basis of the areas they were serviced, including the airport, railway station and key bus depots. The rickshaw drivers were trained on the products, method of recharge and how to fill forms. Information about various Uninor Services and recharge benefits has also been made available to them.
 
“You are now the newest face of Uninor in Pune. This is being done for the first time in the city by any telecom company”, said Ritesh Kumar Singh, Circle Business Head of M&G, addressing the auto drivers during the launch of this initiative.

“Hold your head up high as this will not only help you earn additional income but we will also train you regularly in personality development and sales, which will create a world of new opportunities for each one of you”, he added. The auto drivers were also presented with exclusive Uninor kits on the occasion.

 
Extra income for auto drivers
 
"The response has been encouraging. By being near the customers, our mobile retailers are two to three times efficient compared with regular retail channels, which translates to more business," said Uninor's chief marketing officer, Rajeev Sethi. Uninor's strategy is also helping boost incomes for these new agents. According to Sethi, the monthly income of the auto driver, for instance, can up to as much as Rs 2,500. The driver ends up getting the same commission per transaction as a shop retailer selling Uninor's products, he added.
 
Nasir Shaikh, one of the auto drivers says, "I am very happy to be associated with Uninor. In the last month itself, I earned Rs. 1200 without spending any extra time from my daily job. I took my family for an outing to the park as well as movie thrice that month, without having to worry about the expenses. We are all very excited and look forward to this association for a long time to come."
 
Thousand auto rickshaws in next six months
 
“We have been receiving an overwhelming response from the auto rickshaw wallas with an increasing number showing a keen interest to join the program. In the next six months, we will hopefully have a thousand auto rickshaws associated with M&G Uninor. It also makes us satisfied contributing to the society and help better the lives of at least some in our community through our business”, says Ritesh.

Uninor wins CRY Child Rights a...

On the 9th of Dec, the world recognized the contribution of two Nobel laureate, Kailash Satyarthi and Malal...

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Uninor wins CRY Child Rights award for WebWise

The cause of the child rights and protection.

On the 9th of Dec, the world recognized the contribution of two Nobel laureate, Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai, towards the cause of child rights and protection. For Telenor group companies, especially India it was re-affirmation of what we have been doing from the last 5 years.
 
Right from creating sustainable business practices to supply chain relations, creating child friendly policies has been an important aspect of how we conduct business in India.
 
Our corporate responsibility strategy is founded on shared value – contributing to society through responsible operations and by maximizing the value of being connected. This thinking is equally relevant in the context of children.
 
Last year, Uninor moved into becoming an Internet company from being a voice operator. This again called for the need of making sure we conduct business keeping our commitment towards children’s safety as the focal area. This was recognized by CRY, a special jury award was bestowed upon Uninor for the WebWise Safe Internet initiative. The company has been the first telecom to launch such a program towards creating a Safe Internet experience for Children.
 
Child online safety – a top priority
 
"At Uninor, we firmly believe that children should be equipped not just with the means to access the Internet but with the right information and guidance to be able to safely navigate the digital world. WebWise is a key initiative of Uninor, which is aimed at not only increasing the awareness of potential threats but also towards empowering children. I am extremely proud of the efforts our WebWise ambassadors, who have selflessly taken up this cause and are strengthening Uninor's reputation of being a responsible operator. " said Vivek Sood, Chief Executive Officer, Uninor.
 
In 2013, Telenor Group commissioned a BCG report to study the online habits of children and the key issues surrounding online safety. The study examined 12 countries and showed that Indian children face the worst risk combination of high access and low resilience.
 
As a Telecom provider, our networks serve as carrier for the content that reaches the end customers making it imperative for us to play a responsible part. WebWise program was launched in Uninor in February 2014 with the objective of creating awareness in young children and building digital resilience. Through a school outreach program, children are equipped with practical information and learn digital life skills.
 
“At Uninor, the corporate responsibility program is built around creating a shared value both for business and society. Children are the future of the country and we believe telecommunications has the potential to impact and positively influence their growth. Since internet is widely used by children for their school work and research, ensuring their safety online is primary, Our efforts are focused on staying committed towards creating programs that build awareness and knowledge necessary for digital natives. We are honoured to have received the CRY child rights award for Webwise. This goes to all the volunteers of WebWise you are passionately driving it." said Pooja Thakran, Chief Communication officer & CSR head, Uninor
 
In a short span of one year, The Webwise program has reached out to 15,000 children across various schools in the six operating circles of Uninor. The ambition is to take this program to additional 20,000 children this year. Additionally, regional Safe Internet Forums have been planned in order to reach out to larger group of audience that includes schools, parent groups and child rights organizations.
 
Commitment towards Child Rights
 
The Children’s Rights and Business Principles contain recommendations and guidance for how companies should integrate concern for children into different areas of their operations. They include both actions that companies should take to ensure respect for children’s rights and voluntary actions to support these rights.
 
Mobile phones enable instant sharing of images and a range of other content. This can sometimes facilitate bullying. Fostering responsible use of new technologies is a priority for us, which is why we seek to empower children, youths, parents and teachers in order to understand and address potentially harmful impacts of mobile phone usage among children through our Safe Internet program.
 
About CRY Child Rights Champion award
 
The CRY Child Rights Champion Awards has been instituted by CRY (Child Rights and You) a reputed NGO, in an effort to recognize corporates that give special focus to children's rights and have demonstrated their commitment to children. The award recognizes companies who have ensured that their business policies and practices include children as an integral stakeholder.

Safe Internet sweeps across In...

One hundred and thirty-four million Indian children will be active on the internet by 2017, revealed a Tele...

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Safe Internet sweeps across India

As the fastest growing telco in India, where internet use is soaring, Uninor is the latest Telenor business unit to take on the responsibility of encouraging adoption while keeping its young customers safe online.

 One hundred and thirty-four million Indian children will be active on the internet by 2017, revealed a Telenor Group-Boston Consulting Group study from 2013, up by nearly 100 million since just 2012. An India-specific study conducted recently by Uninor reached out across 29 schools, covering more than 10,000 children. Among its most startling findings: 34 percent of children rarely speak to their parents about their online activities, which include school research, social networking, downloading music and movies.
“These studies were eye openers on just how vulnerable children can be – without the proper awareness or guidance – when using the internet. And they really illuminated for us just how rapidly internet adoption is sweeping across India,” said Pooja Thakran, Chief Communications Officer, Uninor. “One learning is to avoid discouraging the child from using the internet, however we need to monitor their activity and have rules that keep their use in limits and create awareness on principles of online activity like safe passwords or not to provide personal information to anyone online.”
The BCG study conducted for Telenor Group indicates that nearly 180 million children in Telenor markets will access the internet by 2017 – up to 85 percent of them via mobile. This study examined 12 countries and shows that Indian children face the worst risk combination of high access and low resilience. The study also indicates that 30 percent of Indian children accessing Internet have experienced some kind of cyber harm including cyber bullying, cyber stalking, hacking and defamation.
Wising up with WebWise
 
Based on the studies’ results, Uninor launched the WebWise program. Its objective: to build resilience amongst children against internet related risks and foster improved communication between them and their parents or guardians. The program was designed to build awareness on internet safety for children and familiarize them with habits that can give them a safe and positive online experience.
“At Uninor, we firmly believe that our new users should be equipped not just with the means to access the Internet but with the right information and support system to be able to navigate the digital world safely,” said Morten Karlsen Sorby, former CEO, Uninor. As part of the WebWise program, Uninor is currently conducting workshops on safe internet for school children. The use of live examples, interactive sessions, small skits and entertaining videos ensured that the children would relate to the issue and understand the importance of online safety. Program mentors explained how to deal with cyber bullying or stalking, how to use safer passwords, the operating cyber laws, and creating stronger privacy settings.
In just six short months, the program has reached more than 15,000 children, and Uninor plans to further expand it to cover an additional 20,000 children by January next year.
Uninor’s plans include expanding on the WebWise programme by developing an active web portal, new social initiatives and a child helpline in the next phase starting in 2015, representing much needed industry-first safe internet projects for the hundreds of millions of future internet users in India. To review the full Uninor WebWise report and for more details on the program, visit www.uninor.in/webwise. Follow https://www.facebook.com/BeWebwise for tips and updates.

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