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© airtel India 2011, All Rights Reserved.

• A brief about Airtel
• Organization structure & department levels
• Awards & recognition
• Attrition rate
• HR practices followed
• Compensation management
• Employees insight
• HR challenges
• Work environment, culture & values
• People investments
• Code of conduct for employees
• Ombudsperson
• Airtel ambassadors (alumni)
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strategic business units

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Sources : Business Today’s 10th annual edition of Best Companies to Work For
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Awards & Recognitions

• Airtel was adjudged the 'Company with the Most
Innovative HR Practices in the Asia Pacific
Region' at the Asia Pacific HRD conclave held
in Mumbai.

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• The average attrition in
telecom sector is 15%
across Indian
companies, a rate that
may rise to 25% in
2011-12 with improved

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• It has 15000 employees & with increase in
network, it has wide prospects.
• Provide attractive salary to employees,
performance turnover, ESOPs( Employee
Stock Options Program)
• Provides an opportunity for career growth –
from Management trainee to CEO.
• Gives an opportunity to employee to grow
vertically as well as horizontally.
• Gives an opportunity to move any part of
the country considering they have
network everywhere.
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HR Practices
• Strong Team building activities
• Walk the talk
• Flexible compensation structure
• HR steering committee (HRSC)
• PACE (Progressive Assessment of Culture &
• Goal Setting
• Family group meetings
• Open houses
• HR interface & HR intranet
• Managers communication forum
• Training & Learning

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Training & Learning

• During the learning phase, the most important

part HR plays is to actually check if people
enjoys their roles and no one treat his position
as a mere job.
• HR department mold the young entrants and
relatively less experienced professionals to the
• Backed by a strong training programme, they let
their employees decide their training needs.
• To encourage learning within the organization, the
company has set up a state-of-the-art learning
• Employees can get logged on to customized
training programmes developed by British
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Telecom (BT)
Healthy practices

• A philosophy of constant monitoring has been

established. ‘Measurement Boards’ for every
department are prominent where the
performance indicators are displayed
• Formal job description documents have been
issued to all employees that clearly mention
the ‘key result areas’
• Airtel also seeks to certify and re-certify every
employee on quality and IT on a continuous
• The quality of service and customer care is a
reflection of the quality of people and belief in
constant improvement and upgradation.
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Walk the talk

• The senior management is advised to walk the

talk and invite criticism from the employees

• Better interaction with the senior managers, they
began to play a more pro-active role in team-
building efforts

• HR success was powered by a well defined
rewards and recognition system.

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Flexible compensation structure

• Each employee is given individual targets that
are linked to these five performance
parameters: profitability, market share, brand
saliency, customer satisfaction and employee

• Performance-related bonuses, 60 per cent of the
employees are on a variable pay structure.

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Goal Setting

• This goal setting helped in communicating to

each employees, experiencing them and
establishing role clarity

Strong Team building activities

• The HR department sets up cross-functional

teams in times of product or service launches.
• Such teams typically constitute high performers
from each department, who collectively make
it happen.

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HR steering committee (HRSC)
• HR steering committee (HRSC) of the company
that has acted as the fulcrum of the HRD
efforts in the organization
• HRSC consists of the CEO, the COO and all other
functional heads.
• The committee meets once a week to discuss
various initiatives and the plan of action.
PACE (Progressive Assessment of Culture &

• Conducts an internal employee satisfaction
survey called PACE (Progressive Assessment of
Culture and Environment), the inputs of which
go into the company's annual strategy.

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Managers' communication forum
• Key HR initiatives include to undertaken once a
quarter, facilitates direct interaction of the
employees with the top management.
• Discuss issues relating to the performance of
the previous quarter, directions for the next
quarter, an update on the regulatory
environment and the key initiatives for the
Family group meetings

• Each HOD conducts meetings with his direct

reportees once a month, wherein issues other
than those related to work are discussed.
Open house

• The ‘open house’ conducted between the

departments and HR takes up individual
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Internal job postings (IJP)

• There is a strong IJP system at Airtel and jobs are
uploaded onto the website, wherein people can
apply and move across different businesses.

• Started promoting talent councils which identify
the people who are ready to take up senior

• These people are then put through in-house
training and are also participants of a plan
which aims at total development by seeking out
the right experiences.
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HR interface & HR intranet

• In HR interface, every member of the HR
department has been assigned two
departments each to discuss and sort out all
HR, personnel and administration issues.

• The HR Intranet provides information on HR
policies, organizational structure, training
calendar and the house journal.

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compensation management - strategic

• At airtel, philosophy of external

competitiveness and a strong pay for
performance culture whilst maintaining
internal equity
• Compensation strategy is defined by external
influences such as industry practices and
availability of talent also internal inspection,
talent harnessing and recognition play a key
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innovative work

• Online directory that allows an employee to
search for solutions to problems ranging
from routine to complex.

• Employees do not just rotate from circle to
circle but also from function to function to
make aware about practices across India.

• Permitted two employees to go on a sabbatical
with full pay and spend two years with the
"Teach for India" initiative. One even got the
promotion while on the sabbatical.

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• Neha Idnani, a commerce
graduate and an MBA in
Finance, has spent the last
four years at Bharti Airtel first
in Bangalore, then Delhi and
now Colombo, as Strategic
Business Advisor
• “This is a country where Airtel
is a start-up, we are taking
the lessons we have learnt
from our start-up rivals in
• “This was an opportunity for me
to develop my management
and soft skills”
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HR Challenges in

• Much of the challenge for HR heads in Airtel is
dealing with workers like Idnani; young,
impatient and outwardly ambitious workforce.

• Shankar’s biggest challenge is at the lowest
rungs of the ladder, where attrition is high,
particularly with 14 telecom operators feeding
off the same talent pool.

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SHANKAR Director-Human
• “HR has always had an important
role to play in talent building and
acquisition – in fact, we call this
endeavor an HR mission. It was
important that as a function, HR
identified how and where it could
add value to the larger picture.
Our HR people then highlighted
two major areas – first to
understand insights about the
people and second to try and
marry that to the given insights
of the business. Therefore, it was
all about understanding what the
business wants and looking at
new business trends.”
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Work Environment – Life at
• Encourage employees to diversify their skill sets
by moving across industry segments, after
having proven their capabilities in their current
• HR systems aim to create a sharp, performance-
oriented culture with the right reward
mechanisms that are benchmarked against the
• Variety of interesting and challenging
opportunities in an intellectually stimulating
workplace, and a chance to give back to
community in a socially responsible manner

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Work culture and
• Entrepreneurship
• Respect for all
• Passion for performance
• Teamwork - “the power of many”
• Building collaborative partnerships
• Believes in the power of informal
communication. Much of their work gets done
by picking up the phone or popping into a
team member’s cabin.

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• Campus Recruitment:
On-the-job training with cross-functional project

work to nurture and create a pool of potential

talent who can deliver superior business
• Senior Leadership Capability Development:
Tie-ups with international training institutes like

INSEAD and Center for Creative Leadership (CCL)

to value top talent with opportunities.

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code of conduct for
All employees are required to follow, effectively

embrace and sustain bharti’s values

• To be responsive to the needs of the customers
• To trust and respect each and every employees
• To continuously improve the services –
innovatively and expeditiously
• To be transparent and sensitive in dealings with
all stakeholders
• Committed to not only maintaining the highest
standards of operations through thorough
professionalism, but also creating an example
of operational success

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This policy aims to:

• Provide an independent forum by means of the

Office of the Ombudsperson, for employees to
raise concerns and complaints about improper
• Put in place a fair and equitable inquiry process
and redressal mechanism.
• Reassure employees will be fully protected
against possible reprisals, intimidation,
coercive action, dismissal, demotion or

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HR relocation challenges in its first Africa

• Unusual human resource challenge as it will be

completely different market than Bangladesh
and Sri Lanka.
• Zain operations were costly and lacking
efficiency so making losses, thus Bharti will
have trouble making profits on low cost model
• Large number of Bharti personnel will have to
relocate to kick start Bharti style of operating
with existing infrastructure.
• It offers huge opportunities to people in Bharti
for future growth as the company transform
itself into a global enterprise.
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airtel ambassadors
• It’s a great way for existing employee to
connect online with other former
colleagues, past employees & get
reacquainted with the company.
• Where an ex-employee can connect for query
related to Full and Final or Provident Fund.

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HR role at Airtel : the three legs of a

• Expertise Role : Which focuses on people who

specialize in certain fields like compensation
and benefits, leave management etc.
• Shared Services : Relating to transactional
business services.
• Business Partners : People who directly deal
with the business.

In effect the three legs continuously meet

people working in the various legs to takes

feedback on diverse matters in order to develop
solutions which are then applied across the
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Benefits for working
• Family friendly work options : Flexi time,
telecommuting (home/ remote office), part
time options.
• Maternity/ post natal benefits : 12 weeks
maternity leave, leave extendable up to 6
• Revised sabbatical policy : Allows for time
off for enhancing education upto 1 year &
personal exigencies upto 6 months.
• Mentoring program : Initiated for high
potential middle management women
employees - mentoring by senior women

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Snapshots of employee

• Medical support
Emergency medical assistance

Critical case concierge service

Emergency cash assistance

• Temporary loan to employees policy

• Group accident/Life insurance

• Hardship allowance

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