AT AIRTEL, OUR ASPIRATIONS ARE INTRINSICALLY ALIGNED WITH OUR PEOPLE. TO PIONEER INNOVATION, WE RELY ON THE EXCEPTIONAL SKILLS AND CAPABILITIES OF OUR TALENTED WORKFORCE.
At Airtel, our employees truly embody the spirit of 'I am Airtel'. Adoption of the three key behaviours of GPS - Start Green, Deliver Promises and Solve problems, enable our people to inculcate habits and practices that truly empower us to deliver superior services. Our people policies are designed to foster change - catered to the development of a future-ready workforce.
Deep Learning Culture
Our organizational success is built on the engagement, commitment and capabilities of our employees. To put our strategies to action, learning and development programs play a crucial role in enabling employees achieve specialized skill sets. At Airtel, we have curated diverse learning modules – digital and interactive classroom trainings, that are easily accessible to our employees to deliver high-quality learning programs.
Learning Across Employee Life-cycle
Role based induction | Functional induction
Leading Self | Leading others – Embark, Elevate, Ascent 2.0
Performance on the job
Demystifying Telecom Network | Essential Skills | Functional Learning Journeys | Change Management | Think Digital - Pluralsight, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, Airtel 101
Next Role Readiness
Airtel Leadership Academies
Total learning hours
Total training interventions
Amount spent on all trainings
of all employees were assigned trainings
Core Learning Structure
We continued to focus on improving our learning culture, with an integrated module that creates multiple opportunities for development and career growth. It encompasses training methodologies focused on the core aspects of Functional, Behavioural and Leadership training.
At Airtel, our employees are our priority and we strive to enhance functional efficiency through adequate skill training and capacity building activities. Our functional training program is designed to improve domain knowledge and incorporates a customer-centric attitude to keep pace with the changing times.
Behavioural training plays a crucial role in the overall development of our people. As part of our allencompassing strategy of building a learning culture, we have included modules of collaborative relationship, problem-solving, design thinking and communication in our behavioural training program.
With a firm focus on building resilience and boosting operational efficiency, our leadership training programs are designed to mentor and build future leaders. It provides learnings and knowhow on responsibilities and challenges of higher managerial roles, effectively laying the foundation for creating leaders of tomorrow.
Integrated Learning Modules
At Airtel, we rely on efficient and effective learning and training modules, enabling our employees to stay abreast with a dynamic industry environment. In FY 2019-20, we continued our focus on strengthening the functional, behavioural and leadership aspects with dedicated training programs. As the nation continued to fight the pandemic with a complete lockdown, at Airtel we kept our employees engaged through multiple learning initiatives with our work from home policy. Some of these included curated digital learning programs for employees across multiple functions, internal and external webinars for honing functional expertise, and customised online content for managers at different levels.
In our endeavour to create a transparent environment with an open dialogue culture, we launched the first-ever people stimulation classroom program ‘Elevate’. The program enabled experienced people managers to initiate developmental conversations with their teams to discuss about employee lifecycle, importance of continuous feedback and coaching for better performance.
The Program involves a transition from the role of an individual contributor to that of a people manager, by learning the practical skills needed to lead a team effectively.
The initiative revolves around building high performance teams by creating a compelling team vision and fostering collaboration, ensuring effective communication and coaching.
A learning program focused on improving hiring methods using scientific and structured tools for recruiting employees at manager levels and above.
We launched a dedicated classroom training program ‘CRACKING the - GROWTH CODE’, focused on building essential business and leadership skills, across three managerial levels – Junior, Middle and Senior Management. Programs were structured around communication & presentation, problem solving & analysis, personal productivity and change management.
N-Rich program was launched in FY 2019-20 with an endeavour to elevate the technical knowledge of our network employees. The training program and workshops were conducted in collaboration with our network vendors. Employees got an opportunity to widen their knowledge spectrum on various topics like 5G, Cloud & Virtualization, Packet Core & Small Cells, Network Security, IoT, Volte, Mobility Core and IP. Apart from classroom trainings, a digital learning module ‘Digital Learn-A-Thon’ was also conducted to encourage network employees to utilize our online learning platforms like Airtel 101, iLearn & Coursera. Additionally, a 9-month long transformational leadership program for 30 Band B3 employees of the network team was also launched to help them develop a digital mindset through various interventions including workshops with globally renowned trainers. Furthermore, a series of internal training sessions, titled Gurucool was also conducted by experts in Network focusing on multiple network related issues. Further, a series of virtual sessions named TECHx Talks was also started to provide a digital learning experience for the students from top ranking engineering colleges on various upcoming technologies in telecom.
1,000+ employees attended the classroom workshops, either in person or through video conferencing, covering more than 8,000 learning hours
The network employees completed around 7,590 courses over various digital platforms – Airtel 101, iLearn & Coursera
The Learning-on-the-Go (LeGo) program was designed and launched with a focus to enhance functional product knowledge for employees of Airtel Business. The program was structured around multiple videoconferencing sessions and self-paced learning modules to identify and assess the current knowledge levels of employees and improve learning around high growth products and products with less pass percentage.
Employees who participated in the program
We continue to harness digital capabilities to enable 24x7 learning and development throughout the employee lifecycle. Our digital learning platforms are designed to provide employees with newer and advanced learning methodologies, enabling them to enhance their productivity levels. We launched the New Learning Management System in FY 2019-20, enabling Airtel to stay ahead in the digital curve. It included the following key measures:
- One-stop digital shop for all learning needs.
- Fully integrated across desktop, tablet and mobile devices; with an integrated mobile app. (60% of the organization leverages mobile app to access learning).
- Course categorization by skills and functions.
- Democratized way of learning through self-enrolments.
- End to end learning cycle from course enrolment, course assignment, calendarization of workshops and online feedback on learning interventions.
Online training interventions
Employees took online training
Man hours of online training
To successfully cope with radical changes in the industry, at Airtel, we seek to redefine processes to rejuvenate employee engagement. We facilitate employees to think, operate and collaborate in ways that enhance skill sets. iLearn is an integrated learning application that provides on-the-go learning to our employees by bringing content from platforms like Coursera, LinkedIn and other in-house content within the ambit of a single application.
Employees used the platform
Strongly integrated with our learning strategy, we encourage employees to complete courses available on the Coursera platform and receive certifications from international universities. It is open to employees of Band B1 and above, on a self-nomination basis.
With a vast course library catering to diverse skill sets, LinkedIn Learning is preferred by employees to access their DAPs and facilitate learning on-the-go.
To enhance the functional knowledge of our employees, this mobile app was launched to provide different types of course material in the form of byte sized units that can be easily accessed from anywhere.
Online video training courses, with a focus on latest technology and innovation, provided to select employees at Wynk and Engineering division, on a nomination basis.
Gurucool - Engineering
A peer-to-peer learning program that engages discussion on cutting-edge technologies that can create a positive impact.
The program encourages peer-topeer learning to increase employee awareness about the technologies used by Airtel.
With a dedicated learning platform for knowledge sharing, it comprises of internal and external experts sharing best industry practices on product management.
With insightful sessions from external industry specialists, the program focuses on attracting digital talent and creating a stronger digital brand.
Airtel X-Labs continues to evolve into a steady in-house Research and Development centre, adopting latest technologies ranging from IoT to AI, to create innovative service offerings for our customers. In our endeavour to build a digital and agile team, Airtel X-Labs has hired top tech talent across India to build plug-and-play platforms and transform brand Airtel into an industry-leading digital force. The employee value proposition for digital talent is focused on creating digital solutions that create an impact by solving complex problems. Airtel X-Labs remains an innovative centre of excellence, encouraging risk-taking and experimentation while inspiring the best minds of the country to work together. Driven by the values of Customer Orientation, Collaboration, Curiosity & Innovation, Bias for Action, Ownership and Courage, Airtel X Labs provides employees a platform to explore the digital future by solving complex problems and creating unique disruptive solutions.
Building Leaders of Tomorrow
The zeal to excel and ensure business leadership is inherent to our work culture. At Airtel, we believe in leading by example, by nurturing and grooming our talented workforce to reach the high pedestals of future leadership. With an aim to assure organizational viability and strategic effectiveness, we invest in leadership programs that enhance skillsets.
Airtel Leadership Academy
With a common vision and enthusiasm to steer the organization ahead, our leadership transition programs foster a culture of continuous learning for future growth. Taking a step forward from the earlier academies, the current academic framework is now widened to provide opportunities across functions and businesses with a common structured development framework. The multiple programs under the aegis of Airtel Leadership Academy focus on strengthening the talent pipeline within Airtel and aims to carve the best development path for individuals. The common Academy framework strives to provide opportunities to employees across all functions and businesses, preparing them for senior positions within the organization.
The new Leadership Academy Framework provides opportunities to employees for career growth and development, along with exposure to cross-functional skills. The pipeline of talent created through these academies, thereby helps us in succession planning and cross-LOB (Line of Business) movements. The programs are detailed, structured and comprise of continuous development journeys for employees through focused Individual Development Plans.
Airtel Leadership Academies:
Developing Core Leadership at all Levels
Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) to groom candidates for First Time Manager Roles
Introduced for the first time in the fiscal year, the program was launched with an objective to build a ready pipeline of internal talent for significant positions across functions, which later transition to managerial roles. The program is structured to build leadership, behavioral and functional skills.
Advanced Leaders Program (ALP) for training Functional Heads
The program is aimed towards creating a strong and sustainable leadership pipeline (for Circle / Functional EC / Vertical Head roles), through a well-defined developmental approach, designed for candidates with great potential and ability to deliver better performances. The program included Leadership Bootcamp, Individual Development Center (Virtual) and Executive Development Program to provide an immersive focus on strategic thinking and execution centered around leadership and agility.
Employees participated (Batch 2019 and Batch 2020)
Leaders trained through multiple developmental interventions across Airtel Leadership Academies
Succession rate – Middle to Top management
Future Leaders Program (FLP) for mid-level roles
The program focuses on developing skilled candidates for mid-level roles across the organization through an objective & structured development framework. It comprised of a leadership Bootcamp which included leadership sessions from AMB leaders, Individual Development Center (Virtual) designed around strengthening behavioural, cognitive and logical reasoning and a Management Development Program at IIM Ahmedabad focused on strategy, customer value, design thinking, digital transformation, commercial acumen and leadership.
Employees participated (Batch 2019 and Batch 2020)
Executive Leaders Program (XLP) to train CEOs
The XLP journey is aimed at enabling select VPs/SVPs/UCs to take over senior leadership roles over a ~18-month development journey. The participants are provided with tools / opportunities that help in developing their vision beyond the roles they are currently employed in. Some of the program elements included self-discovery, Leadership Bootcamp and Management Development Program at INSEAD, France, centered around strategic thinking, people development, digital disruption and leadership laboratory.
Employees participated (Batch 2020)
Recruiting the Best
With an eye on improving organizational efficiency and fostering innovation, employees at Airtel are nurtured to further enhance their skills and expertise. To endow our workforce with the right set of skills, we continuously aim to create programs that extract and attract top talents, thereby contributing towards the creation of future leaders.
Young Leaders Program
Initiated in 2001, the Young Leaders Program is aimed at creating a pool of business leaders for tomorrow, who are mentored under the direct leadership of Airtel Management Board. The 12-month structured program focuses on nurturing young recruits from premiere B-schools who are exposed to multiple operations within the organization, with opportunities to participate in Functional trainings, Cross-Functional programs, & Corporate Social Responsibility endeavours. The recruitment of talented young individuals helps Airtel strengthen its human capital and train individuals for a better career path with us. Similar to this is our Young Technical Leaders program. It is a program where graduates from top ranking engineering colleges are recruited and offered exposure to cuttingedge technolgies along with best engineering minds from Airtel's Network, Engineering, Product, Wynk and Supply Chain teams, to groom them into technical leaders.
Young Leaders (14 females) were recruited in FY 2019-20
Campuses visited for Young Leaders Program
Young Technical Leaders (16 females) were joined in FY 2019-20
Campuses visited for Young Technical Leaders Program
Retention rate after the 2-year Young Leaders program - 2018
Young Leaders moved to the next level after one-year program
- Airtel’s flagship B-school competition, iCreate attracted over 14,000 participants from premier B-schools in India and helped to recruit some of the Young Leaders
- Hired 11 Product Managers from premier technology and business campuses for the first time
- Revamped the hiring process for TSMs & Store Managers, from campuses across India, by introducing a standard national online test
* Across functions like Network, Engineering and Supply Chain (excluding APMs, Design, Network R&D)
Introducing Digital Recruitment and Induction
In FY 2019-20 we launched a hiring platform ‘Engage’. It enabled seamless conduct of recruitment processes and increased our onboarding frequency. Apart from continuous candidate engagement, the application enabled the recruitment team to view candidate history, launch customized engagement campaigns and capture data in a dashboard with inbuilt analytics. We also launched mobile-first pre-boarding application, enabling candidate engagement prior to joining, with a complete digital pre-boarding process. The NewBee mobile application, a digital induction tool is built and tailored to eliminate classroom programs. The application has reduced the time to workstation by 60% for new joiners, allowing them more time for people interactions, market visits and shadowing leaders.
offers rolled out
offer drop rate
(improved from 35%)
Pre-boarding platform highlights
average candidate engagement post offer acceptance
reduction in time due to elimination of classroom trainings for new joinees
Engagement Across Employee Life-cycle
An engaged workforce is essential for long-term organizational growth. At Airtel, we make sincere efforts to understand how our employees feel at work and identify areas of improvement. Our in-house digital engagement platforms are designed to enhance internal communication and empower employees to excel at their work.
A dedicated chatbot, Amber helps to run the engagement survey and reaches out to employees across multiple touch points. Amber’s unique engagement feedback structure allows to capture employee perceptions, expectations and satisfaction levels, across the employee lifecycle. The tenure-based feedback mechanism helps derive meaningful data about each employee, to deploy it for necessary retention and growth strategies.
Employee Engagement score (out of 5)
Strengthening leadership and employee connect at Airtel has been an important pillar for strengthening the internal communications and emphasising the company values. Apart from written communications, a transparent and continuous engagement channel for exchanging thoughts was established with the ‘Open House’. This includes a quarterly townhall meeting, where the leadership team initiates a dialogue on the latest highlights of the company and offers a platform for employees to share their thoughts. Organization-wide CEO townhall meets are arranged every quarter along with monthly business unit townhall meets by business unit leaders.
Leadership connects like “Chai pe charcha” and “Coffee connects” help leaders connect with key talent, new joiners and hi-performers in an informal setting.
Driving Engagement through Learning
In addition to digital learning, each business unit drives learning through monthly Learning Days and “Paathshaalas” on topics requested by the teams. Our digital engineering teams invest time in peer-to-peer learning through “Gurucool”, while product and design teams attend “Product School” where both internal and external Product leaders impart knowledge and insights on various topics of interest.
A one-stop solution, Hive is an information sharing app with an easy user interface, available to all employees at Airtel. Designed to enhance knowledge, the quest for walking the extra mile to gather information stops with HIVE.
- Amber score for ‘Learning’ pillar improved from 3.62 in Q3 to 3.76 in Q4 FY 2019-20.
Safety, Health and Wellness
Employee health and safety remains an integral part of our people philosophy. We strive to continuously strengthen our operational and process safety measures with detailed policies monitored by definite actions. Our dedicated policy framework includes:
Employees underwent safety trainings in FY 2019-20
- Workplace Safety Policy
- Health, Safety and Environment Policy
- Domestic Travel Safety and Security Policy
- Policy for Safety of Women
- Health Insurance Policy
- HIV / AIDS policy
- Parental Leave Policy
- Flexible Work Policy
- Group Mediclaim Policy
Further, various activities are conducted round the year to ensure employees' health and well-being. Some of the activities include free of cost health check-ups, wellness camps, introduction of Occupational Health Clinics in place of traditional medical rooms etc.
Rewards and recognition boost employee morale and and are essential for reinforcing the trust of the workforce towards the company. Recognition is divided into planned and instant awards. Each leadership forum has a reward and recognition division to publicly recognise group and individual achievements through planned awards.
We celebrate the zealous efforts and relentless contributions of our employees to sustain Airtel’s market leadership, year after year. At Airtel, we acknowledge exceptional contributions through our employee recognition program, Kudos. Different award categories including Instant Awards, Planned Awards in the nature of Silver, Gold and Diamond Awards and Long Service Awards have been specially curated for our people.
Long Service Awards
Planned Awards (Silver and Gold)
Diversity and Inclusion
Creating a work culture where every employee can contribute is imperative for an organization to succeed. At Airtel, we remained focused on increasing representation of women and underrepresented nationalities across our management framework to drive growth and business sustainability. As a diverse and inclusive workforce lends a well-defined competitive advantage, we initiated several workshops to foster an environment that promotes employee equity, at all levels.
Women out of total employees
Of management workforce consists of women employees
Our response to COVID-19
At Airtel, we took immediate steps, after the government’s directive to impose a country-wide lockdown. We took proactive measures to ensure employee safety across our operations to ramp employee engagement and consistent flow of information. Our established stateof- the-art security operations centre enabled us to securely move to a virtual platform in a matter of days. Within a short period of time, we initiated ‘work from home’ modules for our employees. We launched dedicated programs, digital learning journeys, internal webinars, external webinars etc.
At the very onset of the pandemic, we rolled out communications with health advisories and a dedicated helpline number for all our employees. Further, to enable easy contact tracing and swift employee quarantine, the communications team in collaboration with the engineering team, rolled out a daily SMS based survey seeking health/ travel history of the employees.
We partnered with our medical insurance provider ‘MediBuddy’ to offer online medical consultation support to our employees for COVID-19. We also partnered with www.1to1help. net, India’s leading psychological & wellness solution providers to offer employees and their families round the clock professional support to ensure mental and emotional well-being. Additionally, daily health & wellbeing tips were rolled out, along with weekly webinars with the leadership team to engage with employees, keeping their wellbeing and safety as the highest priority.
Business Continuity Plan
In line with our commitment to sensitise our employees, associates and partners in respect to COVID-19, we launched a complusory training module to familiarise them with the basics of BCP and re-emphasise its importance.
To ensure seamless recruitment during the pandemic, a virtual endto- end onboarding experience was designed and implemented. Our new in-house digital platform NewBee was also utilized to introduce new joiners seamlessly. We also onboarded 50 summer interns from India’s Top-B schools and redesigned our flagship Young Leaders Summer Internship Program to make it fully virtual. The internship program was virtually conducted without compromising any of the vital aspects.
Remote Desktop and teleconference applications
Employees provisioned to enable work from home
Of our NOC workforce was on site and rest were all virtual.