Bharti Airtel Limited Stakeholder Engagement Framework

We believe that being sustainable means taking into account the expectations of all those who have a stake in our business, our "stakeholders". This standing is based on the belief that strong and satisfactory relations with our stakeholders is the key to ensure a long term success of our business.

 

This Stakeholder Engagement framework outlines Airtel’s approach in communicating and working with our stakeholders that applies to all our operating entities and functions at a corporate and regional level. Engagement is an integral part of developing an understanding of stakeholders’ needs, interests and expectations. The primary objective of this policy is to:

 
  • Facilitate our ability to understand stakeholder concerns and interests, and incorporate them into our processes and activities
  • Improve the way we communicate and engage with our stakeholders, including enhancing the clarity, accessibility, relevance and timeliness of our communication throughout our engagement processes
  • Continue enhancing stakeholders’ trust and confidence in our processes, decisions and activities.
Identification and Prioritization of Stakeholders

The stakeholder engagement process in Airtel follows the guidelines set in the AccountAbility 1000 relevant standards: AA1000. In particular, wherever feasible, Airtel integrates stakeholder engagement within its Governance, Strategies and Operational plans. The Engagement Process includes

 
  • Identification of Purpose, Scope, Ownership and Mandate
  • Profiling and prioritization of stakeholders
  • Settling of Engagement Levels and methods
  • Definition and Communication of Boundaries of disclosure
  • Drawing up an Engagement Plan
  • Choosing Indicators for measuring engagement activities
  • Identification and Mitigation of Engagement risks - through inviting, informing and briefing the stakeholders
  • Evaluation of stakeholder capacity
  • Carefully listening to the stakeholders during the engagement
  • Documenting the engagement
  • Enhancing our engagement activities, review the outcomes of the engagement and report on engagement results.

To have a systematic approach with all stakeholders, we classify our stakeholders into following categories

 
  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Suppliers and Partners
  • Non Profit Organizations
  • Regulators
  • Communities we operate in (Vulnerable Communities such as indigenous tribal communities, below poverty line communities or other marginalized communities)
  • Media
  • Investors

The stakeholder identification process is based on the following phases:

 
  • 1. Analysis of business processes
  • 2. For each process, identification of all interested, and impacted groups
  • 3. Grouping stakeholders in homogenous categories (according to relevance to the company or to the stake they hold)
  • 4. Identification of priority groups within each category.

Priorities are assigned according to either the relevance of the stakeholders to the core business of the company, or because the company’s impact is high on a particular stakeholder for, e.g., supporting the economical or cultural growth.

 
Our Engagement Process

At Airtel we promote a culture of ongoing engagement with every stakeholder group and collecting their feedback in addition to a formal engagement process every two years. The formal engagement is conducted by external third party to ensure that the stakeholder interests and concerns are captured objectively without biases. This also ensures that the formal stakeholder engagement is conducted by competent experts trained in collecting information, especially from local communities, vulnerable groups and ensure necessary capacity building of stakeholders, if any. A thorough review and analysis of formal stakeholder engagement feedback is done internally as well as by the consultant to gauge the success of the exercise.

 

The ongoing engagement is led by each function in every main geographical regions during their normal course of service delivery in line with the stakeholder engagement governance structure. The modes of engagement is dependent on the type of stakeholder group and the feedback that is being collect. For each group of homogeneous stakeholders, the most appropriate engagement tools and methods are identified in line with the stakeholder engagement process, ranging from one-to-one meetings, post-delivery feedbacks, point of sale feedbacks, information sessions, joint projects, surveys, focus groups, etc. In normal course of business, the engagement mode is always a mix of 2-3 methods of interaction. Throughout the engagement process due consideration is provided to make the stakeholder comfortable to the best of our ability and also appreciating their time, communication ability, awareness and other factors which may hinder their capacity to interact with us. Individual group head are responsible for the ensuring the ongoing interaction happens in a structure manner and concerns if any are captured accurately. The group head can bring up the concern along with the stakeholder impacted during the Business update meetings with Airtel Management Board (AMB) members. In addition to this a periodic briefing (at least annually) is done to the CSR committee at the Board level on updates to the business responsibilities policies and stakeholder engagement.

 

Depending on the level of engagement and the risk associated with engagement different kinds of stakeholder relationship are grouped under the following categories: Information, Consultation, Dialogue, Partnership. In order to mitigate engagement risks (conflict of interest, lack of stakeholder integrity, participation fatigue etc), proper planning is undertaken to understand the stakeholder profile. Steps are also taken to facilitate a stakeholder to have an open and honest dialogue with Airtel. The various methods of engagement are outlined in our stakeholder engagement table below. The material topics mentioned in the table have been captured at local and corporate levels.

 

All our communications and interactions with our stakeholders is conducted within the preview of law, any contractual obligations (such as confidential etc.) and any other Bharti Airtel’s internal corporate communication guidelines.

 

For each stakeholder group, on the basis of analysis of the feedback, their needs are captured, followed by a study of the possible solutions which Airtel can offer in order to meet their needs. During this stage the Company evaluates the risks and opportunities arising from each potential solution, the gaps to be filled in order to implement the solution, the effort required in order to implement such solutions. According to the relevance of the stakeholder for Airtel’s core business, these considerations enter either the Company’s strategies and operations at the topmost level or the strategies and operations of a particular business unit or line. The outcomes of the entire exercise is communicated through various modes including the annual sustainability report to all stakeholder groups internally and externally.

 

Every stakeholder group has a separate grievance redressal platform in the organization details of which are present on the Company’s website. In addition to this, any concerns or queries can be emailed at sustainability@airtel.com and for violations of code of conduct through email at ombudsperson@bharti.in
In writing (hard copy) to

The Ombudsperson
Bharti Airtel Limited
Bharti Crescent 1, Nelson Mandela Road
New Delhi 110070

or at the CWI portal (www.cwiportal.com)

Stakeholder Group

Engagement Channel

Material Issues

Customers

*Customer Satisfaction Surveys
*IVR feedback post each customer call
*Briefing and press Releases
*Advertising
*Face to face and electronic communication

*Network Accessibility and affordability
*Digital Inclusion
*Pricing
*Network Quality
*Service and product related

Employees

*Annual Employee Survey
*Town halls
*Regular Employee Communication Forums
*Skip Level meetings
*BT-Indicus People Strong Survey Results

*Employee Engagement
*Talent Management skills and Development
*Competitive Remuneration and benefits
*Motivation
*Health, safety and security

Communities / NGOs

*Impact Assessment of Interventions carried out by Bharti Foundation
*Direct Stakeholder Consultations
(conducted as part of the sustainability reporting process

*Health and Safety
*CSR Activities (ensuring community empowerment)

Industry Associations

*Face-to-face electronic correspondence
*Public Policy Advocacy
*Briefings and press releases

*Policy Advocacy
*Sector Sustainability

Partners/ Suppliers

*Partner meets
*Partner Satisfaction Surveys
*Quarterly Retailer Satisfaction Surveys
*Supplier audits
*Supplier Awards
*Face-to-face electronic and correspondence

*Cost Effectiveness
*Ethical conduct
*Supply chain security and sustainability
*Terms of payment
*Code of Conduct

Regulatory Bodies

*Face-to-face electronic and correspondence
*Public Policy-Lobbying

*Policy Advocacy
*Sector Sustainability
*Licensing and permissions
*Compliance with existing / new requirements
*Tariffs and competition
*Access and inclusivity of telecommunications
*Energy and Climate change
*EMF Radiations

Investors

*Annual General Meeting
*Annual Reports
*Face-to-face electronic and correspondence

*Short and long term financial viability and performance
*Sustainable governance practice and accountability
*Risk Management