“What’s going on in Myanmar now is not just a part of Telenor’s history but a whole country’s history. This is a country that’s changing right before our eyes. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Manisha.
Manisha and her Uninor colleague Dr. T. Vijayakumar (Vijay) were recruited by Telenor Group Business Assurance to come to Myanmar and take on the task of building the foundation for HSSE (Health Safety Security Environment). Uninor has managed to build up a successful business assurance environment in India quite quickly, even earning the SA8000 certification standard for decent workplaces before all operators in India.
“In both India and Myanmar, we are operating in environments with a lot of risk – but much more so in Myanmar. Regionally, there is an overall lack of awareness of health and safety issues, and we believe that what we have achieved in Uninor can be brought to Myanmar,” said Manisha.
Risk studies conducted prior to Telenor entering Myanmar stated one of the main issues Telenor may face would be related to health and safety. The country is host to insufficient laws and governance, possible child labor in the workforce, lack of proper safety awareness and gear, no competency certifications, a potential for unethical practices and a general lack of understanding by suppliers.
One of the ways Vijay and Manisha are educating the suppliers and sub-suppliers is through workshops – with a focus on training, learning and sharing of Telenor processes. Telenor Business Assurance in Myanmar believes that through training/awareness, audits/inspections and HSSE performance and incident reporting they will succeed in reducing the risks.
The Myanmar Business Assurance team has set a three-year roadmap to ensure that this business unit is completely integrated into the Telenor way of managing HSSE. By 2016, HSSE is expected to be the way of work in Myanmar.
“We are only at the beginning of a journey, but we will leave no stone unturned to ensure HSSE compliance. We aim to set new benchmarks for HSSE in Myanmar,” said Vijay.