Telenor Pakistan CEO Asks Employees to “Hold the Line”

Amid tough economic conditions and growing news of Telenor / PTCL merger, Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO of Telenor Pakistan, has urged the employees to stay put, do their best and focus on delivering their best rather than being distracted by what’s beyond everyone’s control and turn a deaf ear to any concerns coming their way.

The CEO, in a detailed message to employees, underscored that the global as well as local economy is at its lowest since the inception of Telenor Pakistan, and hence may require extraordinary effort from the team at this stage of economic turbulence.

He said that mitigating these tough conditions would require super skills, firm dedication, and a spirit that’s never been seen before.

And as if these ongoing tough economic conditions were not enough, the Telenor Group is also trying to re-align its focus that stirred the news of Telenor / PTCL merger, leaving the employees of Telenor Pakistan concerned and unclear about their future.

Irfan, to settle down the uncertainty, messaged employees that Telenor Pakistan is here to stay, and any realignment, if it may occur, may take at least two years, if not more, to realize.

And hence, the company, employees and the growth-path are going to stay intact for longer than what a lot of Telenor Pakistan employees are assuming, he said.

He emphasized that the proposed merger, if it concludes successfully – as no one knows how it may pan out – may take years and till then, it’s Telenor Pakistan employees who have to sail the boat all along to the shores.

He also hinted that the re-alignment (that’s what he is terming the proposed merger) may also not happen at all. And hence, it’s too early to speculate, judge, and reach a conclusion at this stage.

Telenor CEO stated that this is a challenging time on many fronts, and staying together, clear, and focused is what is needed from the team – more than ever before.

Below is the complete message of Telenor CEO, as it is:

Toughest Soldiers get the Hardest Fight

Since last year we have been discussing strategic opportunities for Telenor Pakistan and how we position ourselves for our future and for Pakistan. As a result of this, there could be a number of possibilities and outcomes, but I would like to talk about something that transcends potential possibilities and outcomes.

First things first, no matter the outcome of a structural opportunity, whether an organisation expands or realigns its operations, talent is bound to flourish and grow.

It’s the people that propel any organisation forward and beyond, and dependable people with necessary skills, acumen and expertise will always be in high demand, no matter where your ambitions are to take you.

Talking about strategic opportunities, I want to share some information on how these considerations work, the extensive evaluation process that they are and what can we do today to secure our tomorrow in a world marred by economic crisis.

If we look at our Telenor operations, from Norway to Malaysia and Thailand, the process of evaluating and executing strategic options was a thorough, demanding and time consuming exercise.

The fact of the matter is that the process of structural reviews and then going ahead with a decision per se, requires in-depth layers of understanding, opportunity and probable success for all parties involved.

It also means there can be a number of outcomes from a strategic review. Until then, it’s really business-as-usual! Based on my humble experience in going through multiple such strategic opportunities and realignments, it’s the people that stood tall amidst it all, those who held their ground and attitudes, that went places – their learning, professional grit and optimism towards the future helped them progress.

Strategic opportunities is one side of the story.

We have just embarked on a new strategy and journey this year and I urge you all to stay committed to our collective success, working towards our strategy that will pivot us towards sustainable profitability, growing and progressing together.

As Telenor Pakistan employees, we also must remain objective before we reach conclusions on speculations, and ensure we keep our backs towards rumours.

I would encourage you to maintain a balancing act, staying focused on your learning and upskilling, while fulfilling your jobs and responsibilities to the best of your abilities.

I understand the times are tough. Whether we look at a global perspective or a local one. With negative news taking up our spaces, I also understand that it impacts and concerns. But there will always be things that are not in our control, and those that are.

I would encourage you to try and keep a positive outlook on what you can do, believing and depending on your abilities and talents, and staying focused on propelling Telenor Pakistan forward, no matter what the future holds.

What remains still in our control, is our will to breakthrough, to learn, to be better, in our individual roles, compounding to make a positive impact for Telenor and for Pakistan.

I hope this message helps you in understanding our position as Telenor Pakistan, and your position as Telenor Pakistan employees. Your best interest will always be a top priority for the leadership team and rightly so.

And for you, you may choose to be weighed down by all that is not in your control, or you may decide to learn, develop, grow and stand-out no matter how circumstances evolve over time.

It’s always the toughest ones, the ones who stand tall, against the odds, who get the toughest challenges, and with that belief I remain optimistic that together, we will continue to break through with our go-getter attitude, just as we always have.

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