Remote training and skills development to be the ‘new normal’ for Team Airtel

Starting with the initial lockdown in March 2020, Airtel Lanka has been doubling down on
digitisation of employee upskilling, learning and development and the results are already
starting to show.
“With the prevailing pandemic situation, workplace cultures which were once designed to
meet face to face, inspire and collaborate is becoming obsolete. This disruption presented a
new challenge especially for the continuation of learning and development. Whilst many
organisations resorted to cost cutting in different forms, we believed that learning was more
important than ever before. Capabilities aim to make organizations and individuals more
resilient, adaptable, and innovative.” Airtel’s Managing Director and CEO, Ashish Chandra
Over the past two quarters, over 85% of the company’s workforce switched to digitised
training programmes which includes the Airtel Executive Development Programme
conducted in partnership with the Postgraduate Institute of Management, Sales Leadership
Development Programme conducted by the Colombo Business School and all other internal
training programmes. These programmes have even directly targeted ground level sales
Employees were also encouraged to take up any e-learning courses including Coursera and
the Airtel i-learn programmes which they believed would align with and enhance their job
knowledge. As an incentivised measure all employees who exceeded in these programmes
were awarded with an e-learning championship. Additionally, employees across the board
participated in 4G Capability Development programmes in response to the telco’s
acquisition of superior 4G spectrum and impending roll-out of 4G LTE services across Sri
Digitising the capability development function has a provided the telco with access to
international training partners, enabling the telco to source from among the best 4G
specialised trainers and training systems from across the globe. Following through on the
telco’s values of being Alive, Inclusive and Respectful these digitised HR process have been
extended to interviews, induction and on boarding of new and existing employees.

“Developing strong, diverse teams is one of our most important leadership functions. This
means that all our employees need to have the skills necessary to thrive even if they are in a
remote work environment. That is why we are digitising all facets of our HR process. This
could mean something simple like motivational sessions, to managerial training and even
recruitment, all of which were conducted via remote video conferencing.” Airtel Lanka
Head of HR, Kanishka Ranaweera said.
The telco’s hire rate over the past two quarters have been a testament to this undisrupted
functionality enabled through digitised processes. Similarly these digitised processes include
Airtel Lanka’s HR connect sessions which serves as a vibrant, collaborative platform for all
of Airtel’s cross functional teams to network and stay engaged through internal events  like
“Airtel Tech Talk” where industry experts and internal subject experts conduct insight
driven forums for employees.

About Bharti Airtel Lanka
Bharti Airtel Lanka (Airtel Lanka) commenced commercial operations of services in Sri
Lanka on January 12th, 2009, and was the fastest operator to reach 1 million customers in
the country. With its network footprint panned out across the nation and capturing
strategic ranking positions in various areas in less than three years of operations, Airtel has
emerged as Sri Lanka’s fastest expanding network, thus ensuring coverage across the whole
island. Registered under the Board of Investment in Sri Lanka, Airtel provides digital mobile
services which include voice and data services. To learn more, visit

Airtel’s employee’s during a virtual capability development session.

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