What it does: Offers mobile phone products and services in Bangladesh.
Best known for: Making mobile telephones affordable for consumers in Bangladesh and being. the country’s first mobile phone provider to offer free incoming calls for both postpaid and prepaid connections.
Staff stats: Around 2,300 employees, with a male-female ratio of 75%-25%. Of these, almost 1,200 or 52% are temporary workers.
The good bits: Reported to have a good work environment and plenty of room for personal development
The not-so-good bits: The company has long working hours and work-life balance is reported to be insufficient.
Hiring grads with top marks in: IT & Computer Sciences, Engineering, Finance, Mathematics, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration, Law & Legal Studies, Psychology, Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences.
Banglalink is the third biggest mobile telecommunication service provider in Bangladesh, after Grameenphone and Robi Axiata Ltd. It corners a market share of 25% with about 34 million mobile phone subscribers.
Banglalink was founded in 1996. It was then known as Sheba Telecom Ltd. as a Bangladesh-Malaysia joint venture starting its operations in the country’s rural areas. In a confidential deal in 2004, Egypt-based Orascom Telecom bought the company for US$60 million. The transaction was made in secret due to legal reasons and due to the alleged feud between the Malaysian and Bangladeshi partners. In 2007, it was reportedly involved in illegal voice over internet protocol (VoIP) or call termination business resulting in a Tk 1.25 billion (US$14.7 million) fine from the government’s telecommunication regulator.
In 2008, the company’s name was changed to Orascom Telecom Bangladesh Ltd and finally to Banglalink Digital Communications Ltd in 2013. It is now a fully owned company of Global Telecom Holding, in which VEON owns almost 52% shares. VEON is a global mobile service provider based in the Netherlands with main operations in Asia, Africa, and Europe.
The first step is applying online, where. candidates can complete an online application and resume form. Within the month after submission, shortlisted applicants are notified through email or mobile phone. They are then invited to the corporate office in the city of Dhaka (capital of Bangladesh) to take the aptitude test and digital gamification round. Applicants can expect to be notified about their test results in a week. Those who made it are required to go to the Dhaka office again for the initial or ‘first-level’’” interview. Basic questions (i.e. tell me about yourself, why did you apply for this job) are mostly asked during the panel interview, especially to new graduates. The next hiring stage is the assessment session where candidates who passed the first-level interview are grouped into teams and are given case studies to work on. They are evaluated based on individual performance in their team. The last step in the recruitment process is the final interview with senior officers where applicants are asked technical questions.
For interns, the reported monthly salary is fixed at 6,000 BDT (Bangladeshi taka). This is higher than the monthly rate of its competitor Robi Axiata Ltd at 5,000 BDT but lower than that of GrameenPhone where entry-level salary ranges from 6,000 to 10,000 BDT.
Employees who serve the company for less than four years receive an annual raise of 7.5% whereas others with a longer period of service get a 10% increase in their basic salary.
For fresh graduates with above-average academic performance or potential, Bangalink offers the Strategic Assistant Program, which gives them the opportunity for quick career advancement in the organisation. Under this program, they join as management trainees and go through job rotations. The reason for this is to give them the chance to learn about the entire business. If they complete the course, the company offers them permanent and specific positions.
Candidates unable to avail of this program may find their career development limited. Some wait for more than a year before becoming permanent. Reports also state that promotion is based on availability regardless of one’s performance.
The work environment is described as friendly, with employees reported to be generally approachable and accommodating. However, work hours are said to belong, an average of ten hours a day. Work pressure is reported to be challenging as the company continues to focus on expanding its market and subscriber base. The gap between management and rank-and-file employees is said to be a serious issue to be addressed as the latter claims that sometimes, there is a lack of direction and trust from management
Banglalink assisted in the renovation of Dhaka International Airport, the country’s largest international airport. Provision of passenger trolleys, phone booths, emergency charging stations and decor improvements were among the initiatives lead by Banglalink. It also supported the tiger conservation project in the Sundarbans and the Cox’s Bazar beach cleaning program. Banglalink also sponsors voluntary blood donation programs around the country.