KUWAIT: The pandemic has swept across the world in 2020 and continued for a year and a half, leaving havoc in its wake. More than any event in memory, the pandemic has been a global event. On every continent, households have felt its devastation – joblessness and lockdowns, infirmity and death. In addition, an abiding, relentless fear.

This has posed some challenges to Kuwaiti youth job seekers, especially with the negative impact on many sectors in the country during the lockdowns or permanent cessation that some private sector’s companies suffered from. They could not continue providing their services or products to their customers during that period. This resulted in a huge loss, rationing of expenses, or even the elimination of some jobs, and eventually laying off a number of employees. The telecom sector was one of those sectors in the country that was affected by the consequences of the pandemic.

Long-term strategy
However, despite all that, Ooredoo Telecom, the first to introduce innovative digital services in Kuwait, and thanks to its efficient crisis management’s long-term strategy, managed to set the perfect example in how to control the crisis and took the initiative to support the national economy and society as a whole in recovering from the consequences of the pandemic. Ooredoo Kuwait aimed at two important goals: supporting employees, raising their efficiency, refining their talents and qualifying them to occupy leadership positions in the company. The second and most important goal is to open the door to employment for Kuwaiti youth to apply to several positions in the company.

Hiring despite the pandemic
These goals were the main pillar on which the company relied on; following its strategy, which focuses on encouraging Kuwaiti youth. During the pandemic, Ooredoo emphasized on its role and social responsibility in recruiting and investing in young national talents. At a time when some private sector companies laid off a number of their employees and stopped employment, Ooredoo Kuwait was keen to hire about 40 young Kuwaiti talents during 2020 and throughout the beginning of 2021.

Different academic disciplines
These young talents came from various scientific academic backgrounds, which included: Petroleum Engineering, Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Computer Sciences, Computer Engineering, English Language and Literature, Business Administration, Public Relations, Information Systems and Economics. This reflects the company’s successful plans towards human capital management; it also demonstrates the company’s appreciation of the fresh-graduates; those who have the right skillsets and capabilities for growth to be in the telecommunications sector. Ooredoo provided those young nationals with the tailor-made training courses; refined their talents and qualified them to be ready for the workplace.

Youth in leadership positions
The company has taken upon itself the responsibility of attracting, maintaining and encouraging national talents and developing their skills in light of the accelerating pace of digital transformation and technological change that the world is witnessing – especially in the telecommunications sector.

The percentage of Kuwaiti youth employment increased by 67 percent in 2021 compared to 2019, and the percentage of Kuwaiti youth employment in leadership positions increased by 64 percent in 2021 compared to 2019. The company was also keen to prepare and equip young Kuwaiti leaders within the company, taking into account the importance of consolidating their growth and development process on a sustainable basis, which positively affects the company’s performance and thus providing the best services to customers.

Successful investment
In this regard, CEO of Ooredoo Kuwait, Abdulaziz Yaqoub Al-Babtain said: “Kuwaiti youth – especially during the pandemic and up to this day – are looking for the right support. Providing those with job opportunities and creating the most appropriate environment for creative youth energies, is one of our main objectives in Ooredoo Kuwait today. Kuwaiti Youth have proven that they are capable of taking responsibility and participating in the development process. It has become imperative for us to provide them with jobs and professions in the telecom sector; one which is witnessing significant dynamic changes that require creative youthful minds like those, of whom we are so proud of.”

Babtain emphasized on the fact that: “We, at Ooredoo Kuwait, have achieved 100 percent of new appointments of Kuwaiti talents in leadership positions. This percentage came as a solid evidence of the success of our effective strategy, which aims to encourage and support youth. We also were keen on training and equipping these Kuwaiti employees according to specific plans and programs to assume leadership positions and to enable them to carry out their tasks to the fullest.

We made sure to develop advanced training programs to improve the capabilities and skills of our Kuwaiti employees in various fields, which will contribute to building professional national leaders. We have also achieved 100 percent of the leadership positions recruitment placement for Kuwaitis, especially in dynamic and essential departments in the company.”

Babtain concluded by saying: “At Ooredoo, we believe that investing in youth contributes to achieving sustainable development for the country and creating a sustainable competitive advantage for the company, so we are always keen to encourage them, adopt their ambitions, qualify and train them to work across all the departments at the company.”

Ooredoo young leaders
Thamer Al-Tahous, Director, VIP and Government Relations
Thamer Al-Tahous graduated from California State University – Business Management. He owns more than 17 years of experience in the fields of Banking, Investment and Telecommunications. Al-Tahous started his career at Gulf Bank followed by Gulf Investment Co. followed by Kuwait Finance and Investment Company (KFIC)

Tahous joined Ooredoo Kuwait on April 2015 – B2B Department where he headed Government Relations and Public entities department. In Jan 2021, he was appointed as a Director of VIP and Government Relations where his main objectives are to design special and innovative sales strategies that target high-value (Nokhba) customers and VIPs. Also, offering them the best and exclusive rate plans and products that cater to their needs. Al-Tahous is also responsible for enhancing and expanding the governmental clients’ network.

Basel Bushehri, Chief Corporate Legal and Regulatory Affairs Officer
Basel Bushehri holds a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering and Project Management, and owns more than 22 years in Telecom sector. He joined Ooredoo in 1999, and thus was appointed in various positions within the company including: head of Network infrastructure, Implementation, Technical Projects, Technical Operations and Maintenance in addition to Legal and Regulatory affairs.

Lately, in 2021, Bushehri was appointed as Chief Corporate Legal and Regulatory Affairs Officer which made him responsible for; following up on legal affairs and related issues and providing advice in addition to contractual matters, as well as follow up on regulatory affairs in the country and the telecommunications sector in particular.

Essa Al-Moosa, Executive Director, Customer Care
Essa Al-Moosa graduated from Denver University with a bachelor in computer sciences. He has a double minor in Math and Psychology. Essa joined Ooredoo/ MNTC back in 1999 when it was first established to work as a Senior Systems Analyst, Point of Sale systems as well as a Team Leader, Customer Care Systems Support until 2005.

In 2005, he joined Oula Company as a manager for information technology then to Sharq Investment Company at the same position. He was appointed GM at the National United Computer Co for 8 years until he became the CEO of Invita for two years after. He joined Ooredoo in 2020 as the Executive Director of Customer Care Department. Since then, he has been working on restricting the Customer Care department and designing new and innovative policies related to customer service. He endorsed new strategies and new ways to communicate with customers across all channels to offer them the best and the fastest experience.

Essa Haidar
Director, Network Planning and Design
Essa Haidar Graduated from The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering. He also holds an MBA from GUST University. Further, Essa graduated from London Business School with a certificate in Leadership Basics. He joined Ooredoo in 2005 as an engineer in Radio Senior Telecommunication Engineer, Radio Planning and Optimization, then a Manager, RAN Planning. In 2020, he became a Director for Network Planning and Design in the Technology department.