Breaking: Wateen Lays off Employees, Outsources Call Center, Shuts Down Business Centers


Wateen today fired notable number of employees, outsourced its entire call center and shut down business centers across country, confirmed us official sources from company.

Wateen is reportedly facing tough time for its WiMAX division, amid tough business environment and sluggish growth that has impacted company’s margins and made it hard for the company to keep the WiMAX operations running.

Through sources close and inside the company, we are communicated  that Wateen is set on its track to to give WiMAX business a last try (through restructuring and outsourcing major part of business) to make it profitable or to eventually shut it down in near future.

Having said this, Wateen has its obligation towards Government of Pakistan through USF projects, which will continue and may get withdrawn as per rules and procedures defined by Universal Service Fund.

Wateen’s WiMAX operations, back in 2007, was world’s largest WiMAX deployment and was initially seen with a lot of prospect and had brought with it several WiMAX operators namely wi-tribe, Qubee and Mobilink Infinity, promising tremendous career opportunities for Pakistani telecommunication professionals.

However, tough competition from PTCL EVO (which is allegedly using extra spectrum without paying dues) and low ARPUs, WiMAX operators are now finding it hard to keep up with their businesses.

Wateen didn’t communicate us the number of employees who are going to get impacted by today’s layoffs – but said that the process may take a week or so. Our sources mention that about 40 percent of Wateen’s permanent and contractual employees, including AMs and executives, mainly from consumer division will be laid off.

Reportedly, Wateen will outsource its whole call center to TRG, which it claims to have arranged better packages for employees, while Wateen’s eight business centers across the country are going to get closed immediately.

Activity at Wateen’s offices remained high today where firing of employees is underway. Morale of workforce has been low, naturally; who are uncertain of their future.

In an email to all employees today, Mr. Naeem Zamindar, CEO Wateen, said:

“Every business comes with its share of challenges. Whilst we are sad that many of our esteemed colleagues will no longer be with us, the current restructuring will enable us to align our cost structures, to ensure business sustainability and success.

I am confident that by working together in a positive and energetic manner, we will succeed in achieving our vision of transforming the lives of every Pakistani. Wateen has come a long way since its rebirth and the company has seen much progress in the past year.

While WiMAX continues to be a challenge for all operators across the industry, Wateen’s other business lines have shown considerable improvement. The company’s LDI business has grown from being number eight to the second largest player in the industry and the enterprise connectivity and solutions business is prospering.”

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

    • I still remember very well, and it is still available in this same forum “Pro Pakistani” when WATEEN was re-launched. At that time we, the frustrated customers of PTCL repeatedly proposed to the WATEEN with the Best Possible Advises. But unfortunately, some planted persons from the WATEEN, instead of listening to our comments, stupidly and arrogantly refused to listen to us and did not bother to convey our sincere feed back to their top management. At that time me and many other people who were interested to be Customers of WATEEN decided NOT to join WATEEN community because of such a haughty behaviour.

      At that time I also predicted that WATEEN may NOT survive if its top management walks on this path. Here is the proof.

      Now I am again proposing to the top WATEEN management, go back to the old posts of this “Pro Pakistani”, read the all comments of that time when you people had re-launched, and then FOLLOW the sincere public feed back, other wise, Mr. Naeem Zamindar will get a new good job somewhere else, but the poor souls working for the company may be job less.

      “WATEEN, listen to the public opinion before your final Closure”

  • Wateen HR has forcefully asked Contact Centre employees to sign on their resignations (pre-typed-printed) to save the 3 months due in case the company fired/terminated them.

    • hey hey give him a break. Tariq Malik destroyed the business. Naeem Z got the company in financial shambles. Hes doing the right thing but maybe a little late.

      he should not have done a fake turnaround story with colorful adds with pretty girls. he should have done this restructuring when he took over.

      • I agree with Mustafa on all posts. TM destroyed the company and btw he had a LOBSTER in his aquarium too :-)… as a pre launch employee i was very enthusiastic to be a part of them but what TM killed. Zamindar buried. and you are right about NZ and company not being laid off and enjoying for NOW.. but they have till december till the honey moon is finally over. Shame on TM to destroy such an ambitious project and shame on every one else who destroyed a multi million dollar organization. Shutting down of a company is never a good sign for any one.

      • Dear Mustafa…dnt agree on that Naeem is doing rit things..reducing the head count is not the solution always..people who are killing wateen day b day are still there and if u conduct the survey you will find out that 80% people who were fired were actually the people behind the relaunch and they have done really really hard work ..but this time of firing favoritism was on peak..Wateen will sink for sure..poor management by Naeem and its its heavily payed Team of jokers..

    • Agreed, so by the end of next year, we will hear the sad news of wimax being shutdown :(.

      My inside friend has told me that the company has wasted millions, at such a crucial times in the name of trainings. The exclusive Naeem n Company are being benefited and all the old staff and management is being fired!

    • Turnarounds take years to achieve. WiMAX is a challenge not only for Wateen but all other operators

      • Please sell this crap to someone else. Wateen has been in the doldrums since the last 3 years. I am one of the few and stupid people to buy their shares in ipo and have been screwed.

        Obviously you are one of the few employees they did not layoff but please do not give excuses for terrible and pathetic execution. It is not fair on investors and hardwroking employees with families.

        I am not blaming Zamindar for the state of Wateen.i am only saying things could be better if he had taken action before and now Wateen would be recovering.

        If there is one person to blame it is that scoundrel Tariq Malik who blew investor money buy buying exotic fishes for his aquariam and awarding projects that were never completed to his crony family members.

        • Sorry I dont completely agree.
          Zamindar is to blame also. Why he is giving all these interviews on TV about his turn-around story when the company is doing all this hell in the industry??

  • Infact a sad news for the employees of wateen, I wish they get better jobs. But this is the future of wateen, a very very bad service, their sales team insist me to return their device as the network quality at my home place was bad and they said it will remain bad since they will not going to upgrade the service in near future, after receiving 50 calls from them I returned the device and they said they will return my security deposit 100% but its now 2 months and they have not sent me the pay order :). I was wateen’s customer from 2nd day of its launch

  • @Mustafa K. Ataturk Please stop blaming Tariq Malik for this. Its been 1.5 years he left the company. It was Naeem and Zohair who have managed to collapse the organization. Same they did with Mobilink broad band

    • I blame Zohair and Naeem for acting slowly. But Tariq Malik Pervaiz Shahid and Bashir Tahir destroyed Wateen and Warid. Zamindar inherited a company burdened with debt. It was a sinking ship made to sink by Tariq Malik and his cronies. Zamindar and Khaliq could only help bring it to shore.

      Don’t confuse the situation, the original monkeys are to blame for strapping this company with debt that nobody could repay.

    • On that note, @salman, did TM feed you something like he fed the exotic piranhas in his aquariam???

  • This is really a sad news for all the wateen employees, who forcefully asked to leave the company. Inshallah they all will get the better approunity. This is not a blame game, we have to learn from our mistake. and prayer for every body

  • Firstly, this is a sad news for the broadband industry of Pakistan. such kind of news will keep haunting the news headlines until the govt takes action against the monopolist PTCL which is actually eating the competition of Pakistan.

    Secondly, i agree with the comment of top management drowning the ship of wateen.

  • A sad day for Watten and its employees. but i don’t think so we blame to Naeem Zaminder bcoz he is the last hope for watten. he did his 100 % efforts for survive to watten. but bad luck. I hope all the employees who got fired forcefully will get new job ASAP. INSHALLAH

  • Wateen is going down day by day. They don’t have any competitive packages and they are trying anything to catchup with competition .

  • No need to get personal. Talk on merit . Who had promised a turn around ? Was it not Naeem , Asad Rizvi and all h is child hood friends ? Whom he hired on double tripe salaries ? Who had said that he will make this business profitable ? If he knew it well then why he spent millions on trainings and other expenses which he could save ?

  • The usual acts by Wateen. Wateen was always considered to be shaky employer due to their constant layoffs since it’s birth. The bad management has always struck poor employees. Naeem Z is indeed a gentleman but Wateen is not the place to be driven by single driver.

    • Ha ha ha gentleman who used all his close friends all his life. Liar Liar pants on fire. Ask those who know him closely

  • hey Guys i was the employee of wateen totally fu**ed up very well downsizing only parmanent employee was fired so we should think this that rather its good or bad but nice one for ahmed saeed and farina mir that they are out of this company

    • guys, so sad to hear people leaving. this is life though. what i am so amazed about is that comment from junaid subhani. you were terminated from wateen due to bad and poor performance. you were told many of times by quality team and others to improve. please do note name people who have nothing to do with it. it is a norm with all telecom, bad performers have to go. so, did you.

      • Madam uzma i am very pleased to know about this think that wasnt low performance sorry to say in wateen telecom there is only numbering game if any body have proof then tell me madam quality is measured by man power and man can also do mistake. in quality in my time there qa manager mr usama which wasnt only a mean person he always take personal guarge in professional life and he was thats why he is out from this company i dnt know you even not in call center. if you wana take details contact me take my number from your source check my details maam then talk with me.

      • and i wasnt terminated i have give my resign and i have still proof your HR also knows my case so discuss with them then talk. Blame game is bullshit . . . .

        • Abeh Junaid, there’s nothing wrong with being fired. Itna personally kiyoo leh rahe ho. You can always go back to the farm and work with bullshit. Since you are so good at it… Bringing it up in front of women. Have some respect.

  • The reason is simple, survival of the fittest.

    Wimax operators do not have competitive packages if compared to DSL and EVDO.

    This is bound to happen at Wi-tribe and Qubee as well!

  • Broadband and wimax need to revise its rate only a very small group of people can pay 1000+rs per month

    If these CEOs want to save wimax have to target the masses by bringing in affordable rates

    Only then this industry can boost up and create more jobs

    • — only a very small group of people can pay 1000+rs per month

      Most of the growth of broadband is from people paying more than 1000/mo. So how can you say that?

  • Well sad news indeed! However Wateen was the 2nd largest in LDI in 2008 even. So this shows that restructuring is not showing results. And while we see new employees after the so called downsizing, we may have other school of though as well. Why hire if the backbone isn’t that strong…they may call it right sizing so the last in can be first out in next phase… phew! WiMAX, or why max? Who is zimedar for this new round of losing jobs!

  • Wateen was going down day by day since last couple of months.
    They were ran out of Devices since last 4 Months in Gujranwala.
    Now a couple of days ago, they terminated Companies Main Office in Gujranwala (Located near New Railway Station) And now this news.
    Today i was thinking to move back to PTCL or World-Call for my small Usage in Office.
    Thank you ProP and mainly Saad Malik for this news.

  • I don’t know where to start first, this is really sad day for WF. There were several good things happen after NZ in company but there was a great financial misuse, mistrust on old employees & mishandling of business.
    Fr& n Family employees are still safe & getting high paid salary for doing nothing but forwarding work on a big post.
    Few old champ & NZ trustful fr&s did huge corruption more then a govt organization. Centralized organization ruling other region staff like donkey. No HR and Management best practices were seen. I must say W HR z worst then the SETHA culture. No company could rise until they have best HR professionals who are doing the HR best practices. The worst organizational structure they had.
    Head office have big pool of AM more then executives you can find almost four to five AM in a single deptt of 15 ppl.
    I can laugh on such decision of firing the lower staff on a statement of financial crisis. I must appreciate Wi-tribe have best organizational structure but not a good HR too:)
    NZ paid huge amount for company acceleration without any control power this shows poor finance decisions.
    Yeah its true that NZ is a sincere person and had done good effort but his plans got failed to rebirth Wateen. I’m dam sure the next strategy will be more flop than they had.

    Truth is bitter but it’s all true.

    • This is the story of most of organisations in Pakistan public or private. If the business is good they become arrogant and mistreat their customers when the ship is sinking they fire the poor employees instead of the upper management showing some shame and ethics and resigning as it is the norm in the world. But then again expecting most of these organizations to be ethical is maybe asking too much.

  • What a situation in private sector ,i am surprise… where our country is going. World is moving forward and here companies still changing techniques to survive.
    Progressive minded Leads are required to move forward the organizations with defined milestones.
    Best of luck Wateen .

  • Wateen is a very very good employer. I have got the opportunity to work with some of the finest people in my career.

    The problem was not with Mr. TM or Mr. Naeem Zamindar. Trust me, both of them sincerely tried their best to make Wateen successful.

    The problem lies with the beggars of our country who want everything for free. All those who are still yelling for more competitive rates to be offered; I challenge you all to manage & run a company for 7 months if not 7 years with that low rates that you yourself are expecting from Wateen. The problem is with the business environment of Pakistan. The problem is with law & order situation. The problem is with availability of energy resources. The problem is with the regulator & the corrupt authorities. The problem is with Govt. who thinks that telecom companies in Pakistan have oil wells & they can impose as many taxes as they want, go & see how other countries facilitate & protect the investors unlike us. We are worried about the pick pocketers & mobile snatchers out there in the streets but our govt. & we as a nation are doing exactly the same thing. The problem is with the mentality of the people who want everything for free be it call rate or wireless internet. The problem is with the cut throat competition being imposed by PTCL, we could still have fought you PTCL quite well if you did not have back door support from authorities.

    Sad but true that Wateen was launched in a wrong country.

    • 110% agreed with u the problem is the beggars want every thing for free on their end they cry petrol prices,electricty high tariff and all that but never realize these companies also have to bare these expenses…in simple MUFTON KO BAS APNE PARE HA R APNA FAIDA NAZAR ATA HA…m nt a employee of wateen but i realize how hard it is to run a business in this country with where arpu is so low and still beggars r crying free call da do free sms da do free internet da do…IT NOT ZARDARI WHOS TO BE BLAMED ITS THE NATION, JSE AWAM VSE HUKMRAN….

      • Listen Wateen retained employees we all admire your loyalty since I guess you are still on the payroll.
        I take affront that instead of self reflecting you guys are blaming Pakistani nationals.
        Nobody said investing in Pakistan doesn’t come with risks. Because you didn’t see those risks doesn’t give you the right to blame the country or its people.

        With the stories of corruption I heard about the Management before Naeem saab, I can tell you Wateen would have been a failure anywhere. If not shut down for corruption, the loans that this company has would never be allowed in other countries. The company would have been declared bankrupt, stripped of its assets and sold off to the lenders.

    • No wonder the organization that you are working for is going down the drain with this kind of attitude thinking of your customers as beggars I can imagine what kind of service you were providing to your subscribers. Organizations fail even in the most conducive environment its all up to the higher management.

      • @above two patriotic actors

        I would prefer to follow the below quote:

        “Never argue with an idiot, they will bring you down to their level & beat you with experience”

        • Sure Asad, when you don’t have an argument others become Idiots? What does it make you?

        • @Asad Ghuman

          Is that your defence? err you are an idiot and I’m so smart? On that note, you’d actually be better of following a more appropriate quote…

          “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

          Abraham Lincoln

          • BTW you seam to be my present or ex-colleague. Just noticed this. Sorry for any harsh words. Frankly speaking there is no honour or pride in being retained as all the lay offs were purely based on financial conditions of the company & not due to poor performance of any employee.

            I myself know that all those laid off were not less than us. Rather I can with all honesty say that many of them were much better than us. Some of them were real gems & we really miss our colleagues all the time. My point in saying those words was that no one is safe & well appreciated for his efforts until the financial condition of our country is improved. We as a Nation (including myself) want everything for free, we don’t want to pay for anything. So one has to face the fate one day or the other, one way or the other. No harsh feelings. Peace!

  • No advertisement, poor old packages, volume based caps, poor management all leads to one thing >> Disaster.

  • Upper management should be fired because they failed to make decisions which are profitable to the organization, employees down in hierarchy will always work as what upper management plans for them, For any organization going down, upper management employees should be fired first not the operational staff.

  • So they have gone for Downsizing compromising on their Goodwill.But they could have launched a marketing campaign, could have comeup with better business strategy.

  • this thing will happen mostly when company provide poor quality of services, wateen is one of such company which provide poor service, one experience with me, i need wateen connection i placed my order 3 time from wateen web site but no response from there end, then i call the support and placed order, they promises me they provide me connection in 2 hours but still no response from there end, i am still waiting for their call, every time when i call on wateeen help line they give me 2 hours Allah know well when these 2hours come.

  • I am not surprised if the same story is repeated in WARID and ALFALAH….??????
    – Why not proper investigation is being done on financial frauds in this GROUP… frauds like..
    — Alfalah Cooperative Housing Society Bedian Rd. Lahore.
    — Construction and maintenance contracts to close family & friends on very high rates than market.
    — Poor HR policies based on un-justice.
    — Nepotism
    — Wateen IPO… forced selling of shares to employees and customers.
    — Poor performance of higher management and blame on lower staff.
    — lack of professionalism at all levels.

  • well, it is all due to mismanagement in every aspect. You can understand their mismanagement with the following informtion.

    Wateen is sister concern of Bank Alfalah and I worked 5 years in Bank Alfalah, they often offered some special packages to Bank Alfalah employees. One of the bigest deal was offering Lenovo Laptops back in 2009. Thousands of our employee get the laptops on easy installment plan(Rs. 1800 p/m). They even allow to get laptops on their names for their relatives. Many of my friends avail this offer AND THAN…. after 2,3 months one of my friend had some hardware issue he called to Wateen for warranty… after few verification, Call Centre person said this laptop is not in our record we are not responsible for its warranty…. than my friend stooped paying installments… and believe me he paid just 3,4 installments and enjoyed a epxpensive gadget free of cost… The same thing happend with few other employees as well and than yeah bat Jungle may AAG ke tarahn phal gaye… :) and slowly people stopped paying installments… and wateen doesn’t have any record for this… Few employees continued paying with this fear that one day wateen will deduct amount all together… BUT……….. After few more months they also stopped paying and there were no such check and balance for recovery AND….. when wateen office get fire all record has been burnt(internal resource khaber :)

    I know only this small mismanagement which cause millions of rupees loss… I dont know what is happening inside… so jo kuch ho ra ha asay he hona tha ek din…..

    • I am not with Bank Alfalah but your story tells me it’s US not others who are to be blamed.

      When given a chance WE will rip off anybody.

      Do we NOT fear the hellfire or have we become practical Atheists. Ahh, some atheists have better values than us.

  • Today Guys Receving calls from HR depart that you are no more wateen part thanx for working with us kindly collect your letter from HR Depart..

    • hahahahahahahahahaha yara dnt worry there is alot of jobs waiting for you boy so dnt take tension are you on NLI or wateen permanant?????

  • First of all its sad news for employess and wiMax industry in general

    Second, if this laptop scheme blunder is TRUE then this is the ultimate destination, that is totally due to mismanagement … and ill processes.

    • It is 100% true… I was employee in Bank Alfalah… you can confirm any other person in Alfalah… I told you it was a big deal… and many other small which I did not mentioned few of them were free discount internet packages with zero line rent, no device security and than no record who availed free devices… :)

  • The management team build up and then after decision & Policies wateen adopted were not good in duration period of 2008 to 2010, upper management looting a lot ,I’m very well know that time when wateen had announced three occasion bonus in 2008 to 2010, this duration then the corruption of upper management allow this company at the edge of sink. The Personal relational managers not experienced and much younger ,They quickly deployed their own subcons, Give them any type of businesses with creating competition .

    They open business centers, companies ,Subcons, Suppliers, Higher Personal relations ,Upper management allow them to open these companies with some percentage ,now you seen wateen is drown company. Now Watene environment is without business strategy, without moral of loyal employees, without employees’ competition environment, no sustained business policy, no feasibility of survive.

    I have survived 5 times downsizing in wateen proudly give resign from this company for better prospects in my life and made name in same wimax industry and believe me every time wateen announce lay off I did allow to lose one good loyal employee of wateen excepts of personal relations .I feel ashamed in front of my current colleagues when they talk about wateen current situation and crisis. if 7 or 8 current name lay off before two years then wateen can be survived but before two years wateen not decide it now situation is in front of all of us .

  • Oh Paa jee why u people are fighting with each other this is happening only because of PTCL. PTCL motive is to kill all companies. If you people remembered about Pak net what they have done with ISP’s. (Internet Service Providers)No of ISP’s was in past and currently How many ISP’s are today? I personally know one person in PTCL who wants to kill all his compatitors and he is doing. So we did not blame any one else.

  • Wateen has four core businesses. Consumer which is already dead and major layoffs were carried out in this unit. Solutions which was never profitable, which no one understands as to why it exists? LDI the only profitable business unit, which has improved rapidly. And the Enterprise Unit recently handed over to the management which does not have a clue regarding SALES & COMMERCIAL strategy. I have previously worked in a related Solution’s Company which than become Part of Wateen. I know that only enterprise and LDI business will grow. NZ should be careful with enterprise business as a tech guy will not take care of the enterprise arm. He needs a strong sales guy to run the show.

    LDI however will keep working the same way. Great job LDI guys, you are giving my company a hard time :)

  • lamest management of wateen has bombed every year of their employees…1st they hired too many ppl and fires more and again start hiring….its totally bullshit….there is no system…this wimax technology is pioneer achievement of Pakistan’s grooming industry but some how big fishes and low level cranes are still inside company stimulating image of wateen…that is one big truth…
    sorry for such words….

  • The game is much deeper than you guys see or know :)

    This game includes Warid, Wateen, Warid Uganda, Warid Ivory Coast, Warid Congo and sold out Warid Bangladesh and so on.

    This story is of a Shiekh who’s net worth was not more than a few million dollars. That shiekh requested his old friends two brothers to help him multiply the wealth. He gave them a free hand. They made good use of the Shiekh’s name. Took loans and the bank became big. Warid’s were born Wateen was spun off and Al Razi, Tauwaan, Wincom and so many other mushroom companies were born. Sheikh became billionaire in the process. Once he had used the brothers and baby CEOs he kicked them all out. Now he has another group of Friends and Family.

    Do you guys know ?

    Zohair Khaliq had his real brother in law appointed in Wateen. Naeem has all his child hood friends at Wateen at top positions. He lives in company guest house, eats from company guest house. There is a complete bazar of loot and plunder which is going on. Obviously shiekh does not care because he is like them. hahahahahahahah

  • Creating a History, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has been honored by U.S.-based Environment Systems Research Institute (ESRI) with the “ESRI Special Achievement in GIS Awards 2012”

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