Robi moves to cut manpower to reduce cost

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Nov 13,2019


Mobile phone operator Robi Axiata Limited has moved to cut jobs by offering voluntary separation scheme (VSS) after three years of its merger with Airtel with a view to reducing cost in a ‘competitive business environment’.

‘Robi, for the first time, has announced a voluntary separation scheme (VSS) for its employees,’ Robi Axiata Limited chief corporate and regulatory officer Shahed Alam said in a statement on Tuesday.

The operator, however, did not specify the number of employees it would reduce though the procedure but it said the VSS would create a ‘win-win’ situation for both the parties.

Currently Robi has around 1,550 employees and authorities have estimated that the number would come down to close to 1,000 through the VSS.

‘It’s worth noting that VSS has already become a common practice in the industry. Robi has decided to extend this opportunity to its employees who wish to avail it,’ he said adding, ‘This purely being a voluntary scheme, no employee is compelled to accept this by any stretch of the imagination.’

‘Over the years, it has become apparent that survival of a telco in this highly competitive industry depends on having an efficient cost structure,’ said Shahed.

‘Given the intensifying market competition, transformation of the company from traditional telco to a digital one and ever increasing regulatory barrier, cost structure has become an ever more important issue for our business,’ he said.

To this end, the telecom operator has already issued an internal notice along with intimating the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission on Sunday.

The voluntary retirement scheme in the telecom industry was first floated by Banglalink and that was even followed by leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone.

GP reduced the number of its permanent employees significantly under a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS).

The Robi management has recently decided to offer additional early settlement remuneration with its regular service benefits like gratuities, provident funds and an additional basic salary for each month.

BTRC chairman Md Jahurul Haque said that the commission had nothing to do regarding the VSS of Robi.

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