Dialog Axiata PLC
Dialog Axiata PLC
Dialog Axiata supports the GSMA’s Connected Women initiative by committing to increase the percentage of women using mobile internet and mobile money services within its subscriber base.
“Dialog has always been at the forefront of driving connectivity in the country. We always see connectivity, as a means of bridging the divide, be it the poverty gap or the education gap. In this particular challenge that we are looking at — bridging the digital divide in women — we see that women have access to unlocking larger opportunities for the communities. This challenge and the opportunity have been recognised by governments to drive education.
It is very important to have women with us to enable digitisation and to unlock growth in our economies because they are the key enablers of growth and of societies within our ecosystem.”
— Supun Weerasinghe, Group Chief Executive Officer, Dialog Axiata.
DIALOG’S APPROACH AND INITIATIVES
Since its inception, Dialog Axiata has developed and practiced a Philosophy of Inclusion. This philosophy is firmly ingrained in the company’s core values that ultimately translate into sustainable and responsible business models. The company’s 4As Philosophy of service Availability, Affordability, Applicability and Affinity is an extension of its inclusion strategy, which recognises the importance of supporting traditionally marginalized groups to gain access to digital and mobile money services by minimising entry barriers.
As the number one mobile service provider in the country, Dialog Axiata acknowledges the numerous significant roles women play in society. However, society tends to overlook their immense and valuable contribution, and they are often marginalised due to lack of self-advocacy and their selfless nature; always putting others’ needs before their own. The company firmly believes that it is of utmost importance to help women improve their lives by increasing their access to digital and financial services because when women are educated and empowered, the social and economic benefits are felt throughout the community. Dialog Axiata’s sustainability initiatives are backed by continuous research that helps to develop well-informed strategies. This research highlighted the marked differences in the ways that men and women consume services, confirming that a generic strategy doesn’t always produce the best results. This has resulted in the company striving to break any entry barriers faced by women by taking an inclusive approach to relevant products and services.
One example is the 5-Star Partner Programme designed to extend the company’s reach in rural areas. A community study revealed that women in Sri Lanka — particularly those in the more rural, conservative areas — feel more comfortable approaching and interacting with female rather than male retailers with regards to mobile-related queries and activities. To break this barrier, the programme integrates women into the rural retail chain by providing them with the necessary knowledge and training and thereby increasing women’s accessibility to mobile services.
‘Secret Code’ is yet another service designed to break barriers for women. It was developed to provide customers — especially females — the much needed confidentiality when using their personal mobile number during reloads or third party Star Points transactions.
Another example is the launch of an island-wide ICT awareness programme targeting rural women. This is directly linked to the GSMA Connected Women initiative and aims to reduce the gender gap in mobile and internet usage in the country. The programme, conducted via a series of workshops, intends to educate women on the benefits of using the internet for personal development and entrepreneurial opportunities, as well as cyber safety. This is directly linked to the GSMA Connected Women initiative and aims to reduce the gender gap in mobile and internet usage in the country. The programme, conducted via a series of workshops, intends to educate women on the benefits of using the internet for personal development and entrepreneurial opportunities, as well as cyber safety.
In an effort to minimise the digital divide faced by women, and make products and services more relevant to them, Dialog Axiata launched the first ever portal dedicated to women. The portal offers access to a myriad of services relevant to women such as health tips, diet & lifestyle tips and emergency alerts —an innovative service which allows one to alert a group of trusted loved ones during an emergency.
Agriculture is an important sector in the Sri Lankan economy making it a significant source of employment. Dialog Axiata recognized the need to support the local farming community and launched the ‘Govi Mithuru’ service in 2015, to share information via mobiles regarding land preparation, cultivation, crop protection and harvesting. The service was made relevant to women too by including customised and timely advice regarding home gardening, improved family nutrition and other related topics.