Jazz Increases Permanent Employees’ Minimum Salary to Rs 62,000

In the midst of an ongoing economic crisis, where businesses are shutting down and people are losing their jobs, Jazz, Pakistan’s leading digital operator, has raised the minimum wage of its employees to 62,000 from the previous Rs 50,000.

Jazz CEO, Aamir Ibrahim, disclosed it at Dawn TV’s famed program ‘Zara Hut Kay’ where he was invited to talk on Pakistan’s startup culture and the state of telcos in the current economic meltdown.

When asked about how Jazz was able to retain and reward employees amid today’s tough times, Aamir said, “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?”

“Thankfully, we don’t have any pressure from the head office, nor have we taken any pressure ourselves; we have rather defended the retention and growth of our workforce.”

He added that this year, despite all the challenges, Jazz looked after its employees well, and raised the minimum salary of its employees to Rs. 62,000 per month.

“We gave relatively decent increments to our employees. Especially, we over-indexed our support and the more junior staff,” Aamir said.

He further stated that while the more senior employees should get paid for their performance, the lower-level employees shouldn’t suffer from everyday kitchen problems.

Taking the discussion of caring for employees further, Aamir said that all the best talent in Pakistan, especially the tech talent in analytics, fintech, engineering, etc. should come and work at Jazz.

“For that, I’ve to create an environment where they’re not only intellectually stimulated, but also feel psychologically safe.”

He revealed that Jazz preferred employees who were risk-takers and had failed trying something new, over the ones who come from comfortable career backgrounds and had taken no initiative.

Challenges for Telecom Industry

Talking of challenges that face the telecom industry, Aamir highlighted the imbalance between the company’s revenues and expenditures owing to the dichotomy of policies governing the sector.

“About 70%-80% of our payments are dollarized including spectrum, license renewals, and telecom equipment. We earn in PKR but pay in USD,” he said.

Furthermore, he highlighted that although Jazz had been growing, the growth hadn’t been at the level of inflation. “If the inflation is at 25%-30%, our growth stands at 15%.”

Aamir added that he had been quite vocal about these challenges for a long time, but little heed had been paid to Jazz’s and the telecom industry’s concerns.

“Over one-third of what we collect, we give back to the govt directly or indirectly. If this sector, which is worth 600 billion now, was twice as big, the govt would benefit more,” he said.

He added that a far-sighted policy approach would help the telecom industry to expand further and accelerate digital inclusion in the country.

“What we should think about is expanding the pie, instead of taking the bigger piece of the pie. This is where the importance of a long-term, sustainable policy matters the most.”

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  • Its heartening to know the forward looking approach of Aamir Saheb. Its remind me the saying “ hard times requires more inputs than normal business environments”. There are few bold decisions to my knowledge in the corporate world and JAZZ management decision is shining armoury in our present economic environment .

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