Jazz, Pakistan’s top internet operator, has increased the minimum compensation of its employees from Rs 50,000 to Rs 62,000 in the middle of an ongoing economic crisis where businesses are closing and people are losing their jobs.
At Dawn TV’s renowned programme “Zara Hut Kay,” where he was invited to discuss Pakistan’s startup culture and the state of telecoms in the current economic crisis, Jazz CEO Aamir Ibrahim revealed it.
Aamir responded, “Our employees are just like our family; just like you don’t get rid of your children in hard times, why would you get rid of your employees,” when asked how Jazz was able to keep and reward staff members despite the current economic climate.
Thankfully, neither the head office nor we have put any pressure on ourselves. Instead, we have supported the expansion and retention of our employees.
In spite of all the difficulties, he continued, Jazz treated its staff well this year and increased the basic pay to Rs. 62,000 per month.
“We gave our employees really respectable raises. We particularly over-indexed our support staff and the less experienced employees, Aamir said.
He added that lower-level personnel shouldn’t have to deal with regular kitchen issues while the more senior employees should be paid for their performance.
Aamir continued the conversation about the need of treating people well by stating that Jazz should hire all of Pakistan’s top talent, particularly in the fields of analytics, fintech, engineering, etc.
“To do that, I need to create a setting where they feel safe psychologically as well as intellectually.”
He explained that Jazz valued risk-takers and people who had tried and failed at new things more than those who came from secure professional backgrounds and showed no initiative.
Just like when you don’t get rid of your kids in your hard time, why would you get rid of your employees in hard times. What an inspiring approach by @jazzpk CEO @aamir_ibrahim01. Hope all employers adopt this approach!#JazzCares @ZarrarKhuhro @WusatUllahKhan @ShahzebJillani pic.twitter.com/jm8SOvwA9D
— Khayyam Siddiqi (@mkhayyams) April 7, 2023
Issues Facing the Telecom Industry
Aamir emphasised the disparity between the company’s profits and expenditures as a result of the conflicting policies controlling the sector when discussing the difficulties the telecom industry faces.
“Roughly 70%–80% of our payments, including those for spectrum, licence renewals, and telecom equipment, are made in dollars. We pay in USD but earn in PKR,” he claimed.
He also emphasised that while Jazz had been expanding, it hadn’t done so at a rate comparable to inflation. “Our growth stands at 15% if the inflation is between 25% and 30%.”
Aamir continued by saying that despite his longtime advocacy for these issues, Jazz’s and the telecom sector’s worries had received little attention.
“We give the government more than one-third of the money we gather, either directly or indirectly. The government would gain more if this industry, which is currently worth 600 billion, were twice as large, he claimed.
He continued by saying that a long-term policy strategy will aid the telecom sector’s growth and speed up digital inclusion in the nation.
Instead of taking the bigger piece of the pie, we should consider extending the pie. This is the situation where having a long-term, sustainable policy is most crucial.