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  • 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report
2018 Corporate Responsibility Report

Makedonski Telekom

Why does corporate responsibility matter to our company?

Nikola Ljushev, Chief Executive Officer

For a long time, the modern, contemporary world has ceased to be a place where only the privileged elite rules. We are now living in is a world where we are all part of a community and this means that we already have a place within society. We all have equal responsibilities and obligations in this world. Our base is regional, yet we are part of a universal and global sphere, because the modern, contemporary world is a combination of diversity and distinct identity. Everyone needs to work hard to support the community they are part of. The model is flexible and highly individualized. We can build the greatest of things with the tiniest of pebbles that are different and yet typical for each individual.

The business community and big companies are active players within society and this is absolutely essential for social cohesion. They need to think in terms of individuals and the planet. This involves attention to detail and understanding the bigger picture since both these perspectives determine the quality of our lives. The era when big companies simply focused on success for its own sake has long since receded into the annals of history. Today, everyone expects ever-increasing commitments from the corporate world to assist society and support the common good. This approach is absolutely fair, appropriate, and justified. Corporate power is the motivation for our actions and for improving society. This commitment needs to be concrete, visible, and tangible.

The position of Makedonski Telekom makes it one of the most significant business enterprises in the local community and it has the privilege and duty to act as a dependable and active member of society that everyone can rely on. This is why the company is constantly developing a range of corporate responsibility programs with the objective of educating its employees and engaging them in campaigns dedicated to tangible purposes. The world of work has to be more than a mundane obligation and a mere necessity. It should also be an opportunity to improve an individual’s personal sphere and therefore the common, collective spirit within the local community. Makedonski Telekom transforms its employees into company ambassadors to enhance the reputation that the company enjoys in the area of social responsibility. They are ambassadors of ethical principles. Our ultimate imperative is to enhance the understanding and to highlight the image our approach to social cohesion within society. We are improving the environment through the volunteering programs supported by Deutsche Telekom, but even more importantly we are improving ourselves. Successful societies do not exist without satisfied citizens, and a successful company needs to have satisfied employees. This concept is the embodiment of our business and the foundation of our social platform.

Nikola Ljushev, Chief Executive Officer

Network of the Future with continuous Investment

The speed of information exchange plays a key role for each and every one of us. Our position as a leader in the telecommunications sector means we have to meet the needs of our dynamic way of life. We reflect the changes in society that are dependent on data transfer.

Moreover, data transfer is not possible without building a modern network. We are therefore focusing on superfast, high-performance networks that will keep pace with the new era and the increasing requirement for world-class communication. Makedonski Telekom has gained a reputation among the general public as the operator of the best network in North Macedonia.

After investing in the network, 2017 saw us recording the country’s highest download speeds of 30 Mbps in the mobile network. We then launched the latest 4x4 MIMO technology as a 4G upgrade and this represents a step forward to the network of the future.  

However, the investment process did not stop there. In 2018, we continued to introduce new technologies in order to bring multiple new functionalities to customers.

The main challenge for telecommunications operators over the upcoming years will be 5G technology and we will be focusing on this area in future. In September 2018, we achieved the first 5G demo in the country. This heralded our intention of introducing this technology in North Macedonia. We will spearhead technological progress in our society and facilitate the many new advantages of new functionalities for customers.

Speeds four times higher than the data-transfer speed in the 4G network have been measured on the mobile network for the first time in this region. Nevertheless, speed is not the main benefit from 5G technology. This new technological standard will change the way we communicate and our lifestyle We have demonstrated that we are keeping pace with European countries by establishing a platform and demonstrating the incredible speed of 5G.

High quality for all the segments of the network is exceptionally important for launching this new technology. Over the next two years, Makedonski Telekom is planning to invest in the network with the aim of meeting all the prerequisites for the commercial launch of 5G technology. Our vision is to keep pace with the incredibly fast upcoming changes in the world. We will use our technological superiority and experience to create a better society that will depend on the speed and quality of information exchange.

Innovative Sustainable Products and Services

As one of the most high-profile telecommunications and ICT img providers and system integrators in the country, we focus specifically on creating innovative products and services, while also emphasizing the importance of sustainability and reliable technology.

Our superb technical infrastructure and market knowledge mean that we tend to become partners and not just vendors for our customers. Using the advantages of our infrastructure, we offer governments, businesses and individuals boundless possibilities for improving their effectiveness, optimizing their operations, and decreasing costs. This plays a role in safeguarding the environment and contributing towards local economic growth.

Based on our strong platform of technical expertise, the main objective is not simply focused on implementing technology, but rather on helping businesses achieve digital transformation, while at the same time operating in a more efficient and sustainable manner. Our ICT products and services provide sustainability and continuity for the businesses, as well as being focused on environmental protection.

Over the past couple of years, our company has been successfully working in the smart city segment. Our mission has been to implement new and innovative technologies that can help cities become smarter and more sustainable. Our pilot of sustainable ICT solutions for smart cities range from smart parking, smart waste, and smart benches, to smart lights and electric vehicle chargers.

We are extremely proud that in cooperation with our partner, we succeeded in acquiring our first project to implement a cloud GIS solution for municipal infrastructure. Our joint project is providing municipalities and public utility companies with advanced integrated spatial infrastructure management. This gives citizens, institutions and companies access to data relevant for water supply, sewerage, gas pipeline, heating, public lighting, waste collection, landscaped areas, parking lots, traffic, urban equipment, and telecommunications.

Development and Satisfaction of our Employees

During 2018, Makedonski Telekom ran a number of training and development programs for employees that focused on activities for expanding Growth Mindset. At the beginning of 2018, we collected information about development needs and we implemented a vendor selection procedure. This involved collecting information about training providers to cover different topics and organizing training sessions and team-building activities in MKT. We then launched team-building activities, since this is a very productive way to foster collaboration and understanding among employees from the same units or different ones. We organized training sessions for our PMP professionals, PMP certification, and SDI certification, etc.

Development of Front Line Employees
Every three months, we organized training courses to develop communication skills for new employees in direct contact with our customers. The training sessions are based on SDI methodology, and they provide them with outstanding and practical methodology for improving the communication skills they need and their approach to dealing with customers.

We also started the process of implementing training sessions in order to develop advanced sales skills in all the employees working in our shops. Before training started, we analyzed the needs and challenges of our employees. We also defined potential solutions for improving management and professionalism across all the operations in teams and in interactions with our customers.

We are organizing Level Up Training for about 70 employees in the B2B and B2C segment as part of the learning program: sales process and sales skills, field sales coaching, conflict resolution, and conflict management.

Digitization and Agile Work
We saw a need for learning and developing different ways of working, and diverse approaches and skills. Starting from September, we have therefore been carrying out training for design thinking and agile methodology. Up to now, 85 employees from different units have taken part in this training. We also organized training sessions for employees on digital marketing, digital PR, and Adobe Photoshop.

Talent Management Program
This year the management of Makedonski Telekom identified 23 employees as valuable assets for our company. These employees were promoted as part of the Global Talent Pool and they took part in the Talent Summit 2018 held in Bonn.

Leadership Development
At the end of the year, we embarked on the process of implementation for F2F training sessions in leadership, responsibility, and teamwork for team leaders at the call center.

We worked on implementation of a program for developing leadership skills for managers in a complex business environment. We also implemented global leadership programs such as the Level Up program and the Open Leadership Portfolio program. Managers who have recently taken up their first MG4, MG5 leadership position in Makedonski Telekom took part in the LeadFirst program. Nine of them started the program to gain a clear understanding of their new role and to build a robust leadership foundation.

Promotion of Digital Learning
At the end of the year, we started to operate the HR Suite platform. This is a platform for digital learning. It is available for all employees in the organization and everybody has 24/access to digital-learning offerings tailored to the individual. This is a flexible scheme designed to acquire any necessary skills. The HR Suite digital platform provides content on PC skills (Office, Microsoft, SAP, etc.), IT (software, network, OS, database development, etc.) and business administration (soft-skills, management, project management, sales, human resources, strategy, etc.). Employees also have an opportunity to learn languages through Learnlight, a digital platform for learning English and German.

Let’s Grow Initiative
Employees from Makedonski Telekom were part of the biggest initiative for Growth Mindset organized in DT Europe. This initiative started in London where our CEO was part of the Learning Journey program. 123 employees from different units in MKT took part in the Growth Lab program. The participants worked together in international teams to create pilot projects in nine different areas. Three of our employees were members of the winning teams that presented their projects to the DT EU Management in Bonn. The topics they worked on were Digitization, FMCC, and Design EU 5G Story. Eight of our leaders are part of the Growth Leaders program. Three of our employees are part of the Influencers program. While the program is running, we work together, learn how to communicate better, talk about our mistakes, learn how to give and receive feedback so as to create a beneficial working atmosphere. At the beginning of 2019, we are going to start the local transfer of Growth Mindset activities and launch a project to create a more modern organizational culture within our company.

We recognize Best Performance
This year we marked a milestone in recognizing best performance. We created a special Program aiming at saluting our best performers and their successful results. A culture of recognition is the #1 reason for optimum engagement of employees in the company. High performers exhibit greater loyalty and deliver more. We therefore focused on promoting our culture of recognition to a higher level. We created a program under the motto “I TRY HARDER” and established a group of employees who excelled in their performance and delivered excellent results. The selection process was complex and painstaking. This Club has 60 employees. Their promotion prospects benefit from participation in the Club, along with advanced development and public recognition. We also established a list of rewards selected specifically for Club members to choose from. Each year we are planning to select our best performers. This will allow them to enjoy the benefits of participation in the “I try harder” Club for one year. Our best people worked on key strategic topics for the Company and they generated some fantastic, creative ideas across a wide range of topics. These ideas will be communicated to the executive management.

Attraction and Retention of Talent
We offer opportunities for fresh graduates from colleges who are looking for their first job, and for students in their final years of education. At the same time, we offer many opportunities for technical and non-technical career development. This year, we provided training for approximately 50 trainees in successful cooperation with a number of universities around the country. Some of the trainees achieved outstanding results and became part of our team.

Since digitalization is our priority, we created the Digitalization Hub. The most talented students develop optimum digital solutions for our business needs in this hub. Their creative minds combine with in-depth technical and IT knowledge to develop successful digital solutions that are competitive in the marketplace, improve our performance, and meet our requirements in full. 

We communicate openly with our Employees
Open communication and discussion are a priority for us. This year, we held an open event to share various HR initiatives. Our employees had an opportunity to come along and discuss the new Wellness Program, e-learning platforms, and Let’s Grow initiatives. For the first time, they were able to apply for and win a voucher that entitles them to training. Feedback from employees indicated that the event was a big success and this motivated us to organize similar activities as an open forum for discussing HR issues.

Corporate Volunteering Activities

During the past two years, we have been committed to the #Telekom Goes Green initiative for protecting the environment. This has so far involved a large number of activities and projects such as creating pollution sensors, purchasing electric vehicles, using electric bicycles, etc. As part of #Telekom Goes Green, we have organized two eco-actions involving our company employees and created the CleanAppMK waste location application over the course of 2018.

The first activity entitled Eco-Action for Cleaner Vodno was held on World Environment Day on 5 June. Makedonski Telekom employees organized an eco-action for cleaning the Vodno forest park. Over two hundred employees took part and together with their children they cleared the mountain paths.

We also organized the eco-action for a Cleaner City Park. The second activity was the highlight of 2018. It was held on 8 September and around 150 Telekom employees took part.

Telekom employees were motivated by the desire to demonstrate a positive example and encourage responsible behavior toward the environment. They sorted the waste they had collected and handed it over for recycling.

The two activities provided a practical example of the CleanAppMK application for handling waste. This is a conceptual solution by Makedonski Telekom created in the Digital Talents Hub. The application has been refined and is currently available only in certain locations. The ultimate goal is for it to become a digital tool that will help ensure a cleaner environment through citizen engagement. Citizens will be able to report waste by entering a photograph and marking the position where the waste is located. This is our way of looking after and helping to preserve the environment.

With  #Telekom Goes Green, Makedonski Telekom contributes to the group-wide initiative “Stop Wasting – Start Caring!”.

Pioneers in the Digital Transformation of Society

The technological trends in telecommunications are changing at an incredible rate and it is self-evident that radical digital transformation is needed. This will involve increased use of electronic services. Makedonski Telekom is the pioneer of digital transformation in North Macedonia. Digitalization is a process that brings innovation into people’s lives, ensures higher efficiency and productivity in companies, improves the economy, and enhances the environment we live in.

in March 2018, we organized a Digital Talents event on the premises of three large faculties in Skopje: FEIT, FCSE and the Faculty of Economics. This was motivated by our awareness of the benefits and challenges of digitalization and by our desire to retain our leadership status for creating new electronic services and solutions for customers. The event was directed toward selecting students with the ambition to be part of the digital transformation at Makedonski Telekom. The aim was for them to develop their professional skills and work together to offer solutions for facilitating and improving digital life for everybody.

The students from FEIT, FCSE, and the Faculty of Economics have been incorporated in our team and these young people generate fresh ideas for new and innovative solutions and services. They are intended to meet the increased needs and requirements of our customers by improving the customer experience. This is always our ultimate goal.

One month after organizing the Digital Talents event in April, we had already opened the Digital Talent Incubator. It consists of a team of selected students working on the development of digital transformation applications. Alongside the Telekom digitalization process, this team works on other innovative applications directed toward the digitalization of society.

The applications developed by the students are primarily intended to contribute to simplification of the work processes at Telekom. However, as time goes by we expect not only to keep pace with the new technological trends, but also to create products and services for customers by meeting their increased needs and aspirations. This will improve the customer experience that we are continuously striving to enhance.

Key facts at a glance

Markets, business Areas and market share  
  • Remains the market leader with 59.6 percent share of the fixed-line segment
  • 46 percent of the broadband Internet segment
  • Over 50 percent in the mobile segment
Number of customers  
  • Fixed network: 210,300
  • Broadband Internet services: 189,500
  • IPTV: 124,100
  • Mobile Services: 1.20 million
Number of employees   1,145 at Makedonski Telekom
Shareholding of Deutsche Telekom AG since   2000
Certifications   ISO 14001 and OHSAS
Please refer to the internet for further information

As of February 2019, Macedonia has officially been renamed the Republic of North Macedonia.