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Monday, June 30, 2008 are being fired

Md. Hasan puts forward a serious issue in the Daily Star.
Hundreds of temporary employees of the country's telecoms operators lost their jobs in the last few months as major cellphone companies resort to cost cutting measures amid intense competition that leads to call tariff drops.The people who have lost jobs were mostly working in sales and services departments on contractual basis. Mobile company insiders estimate 50 percent of around 20,000 people directly employed in Bangladesh's six mobile phone companies is recruited on contractual or part-time basis. The massive job cuts started in mid 2007 when maximum mobile operators were fined by the telecoms regulator for their involvement in illegal international call termination business. Four companies --Grameenphone, Banglalink, AKTEL and Citycell-- paid Tk 585 crore in fines.Industry insiders said although the mobile phone industry witnessed a massive subscriber acquisition growth during the last one year from 26.66 million in May 2007 to 42.04 million in May 2008, maximum operators are yet to achieve break-even points, resulting in job cuts. But they said in the case of profit making Grameenphone the reason could be the strategy to get more profits with a minimum number of employees. After taking charge last year Grameenphone CEO Anders Jensen announced his cost cutting policy to retain the company's profitability. Grameenphone's operating profit dropped by 32 percent in the first quarter of 2008 compared to the same period of the last year on increasing costs behind a huge number of customer acquisition. "I have been serving Grameenphone for the last two and a half years as a contractual employee. When I was recruited the authorities told me that I would be a permanent employee after one year. But it did not happen and I continued working," said a former temporary employee of Grameenphone, who has lost his job recently. He also said there are other temporary employees in the company who are facing job cuts.According to sources, some 500 temporary employees lost jobs in Grameenphone in the last one year.Operators said they have to follow contractual human resources policy for running their sales and service departments."Since we are changing our business strategy, we have to cut some jobs at this moment. But it does not mean that the retrenched employees have no future opportunities," said a high official of Grameenphone." "We must value them and gradually give them opportunities when we go for new business projects," he added. Maximum mobile phone operators are going for contractual policy, said a Banglalink official, adding, "If you look at the advertisements of companies, you can find maximum jobs are offered on contractual basis."
So much so for the dazzles and charm of a telecom job. The bubble was bound to burst, it bursted. An already saturated job market which does not encourage entrepreneurship, hardly any presence of a good number of multinationals, unfair means of getting a deserving job etc. are only few of the issues plaguing young potential job seekers/holders. Certainly a buyer's market this job market is, especially the telecom industry. I shall not even think of quitting my dear job unless I am absolutely sure of what I am plunging into, as I know there are hundreds of hungry job hunters who are eagerly waiting to grab any piece of job meat thrown at their way, I just don't want to risk mine. God bless all.


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Anonymous said...

Just got to know this morning that yesterday there were overwhelmed mourners at Grameenphone lamenting their lay offs by the management. Someone who lost his mother 4 days ago also lost his contractual job with GP too, another one who recently got married saw his love jump out of the window as the job did the same too...he also got fired. What will happen with all these 'HR waste'?

Anonymous said...

The telecom bubble has let to a LOT of shortage in other areas (mainly insurance).

People thought that Telecom jobs were the most guaranteed because Grameenphone can only go up.

And from a personal point-of-view, GP employees (also mid-management) are full of shit. They hired too many young people who try to steer the company on their own policies. They are a waste of space. They occupy a lot of apartment buildings in Gulshan spanning several blocks for no good reason. The new GrameenPhone HQ is going to be gargantuan place in Bashundhara full of this waste of human resources.

On the other hand Banglalink, Citycell, Warid run a FAR tighter ship. Banglalink's headquarters doesn't span multiple blocks of Gulshan. Warid doesn't have excess human resources doing nothing nor are they planning a multi-acre Bashundhara headquarters. Citycell, probably tightest of them all (they chose CDMA over GSM for one) instead of having a million retail centers (like grameenphone) tied up with a bank for automatic bill payment and collection. This is how efficient the competition is. Grameenphone is just years behind.

NOTE: obviously there are talented GP employees, this is nothing against them. But even they know that Grameenphone does the same task with 15 people what Citycell can do with 2 (+ a little creative thinking).

Anonymous said...

Job cutting is not limited within temporary employees only! Recently Ericsson, the Swedish vendor, has axed some 40 permanent employees giving one day I heard its part of their global cost cutting plan. Then again they were hiring like anything just six months back. Sometimes I wonder is it the industry or the people within the industry short-sighted?

Anonymous said...

When the danger is over, GOD is forgotten...

May be this proverb is true for our telecommunication market.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how much gp is paying in the severance package? Any one here know any laud of staff of gp ? The official website is saying that gp paid a lot more than required by law but then why the protest by past employees?