About this Report

This Sustainability Report should be read together with Axiata Group Berhad’s Intergrated Annual Report 2017 for a comprehensive overview of the Group’s financial and non-financial performance for the year under review.

This standalone Sustainability Report is a comprehensive document detailing the management of our business impacts on Economic, Environmental and Social (EES) issues. Our Sustainability Report contains detailed information about Axiata’s Sustainability Framework, anchored on our 4P approach; Beyond Short Term Project, Nurturing People, Process Excellence & Governance, and Planet and Society. The 2017 edition is the fifth volume in our “Commitment to Development” series, which has been following the Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 (GRI-G4) guidelines since 2013.

Report Boundary

The 2017 Axiata Sustainability Report covers the sustainability performance of our Group Corporate Centre (CC), and key operating companies. This includes Celcom (Malaysia), XL (Indonesia), Smart (Cambodia), Robi (Bangladesh), Dialog (Sri Lanka), Ncell (Nepal), and edotco Group which covers their operations in Malaysia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myammar and Pakistan. This accounts for 46% of the Group’s gross revenue. The report excludes Axiata Digital Services, Axiata Business Services, wholly owned and non-wholly owned subsidiaries, associate companies (M1 & Idea), and companies that are in the process of being disposed (Multinet).

This report discusses the sustainability of the Group as a whole. The 2017 volume of our Sustainability Report differs from past years’ in that a focused effort was made to harmonise and integrate the reporting methods used throughout the Group, including our OpCos. We note that our OpCos’ operating environments may vary significantly from one market to the next, but we have nevertheless made the attempt to harmonise general reporting areas. Our OpCos are encouraged to produce their own standalone sustainability report to provide more insight into their respective sustainability management and context.

Report Scope

Axiata Group’s 2017 Sustainability Report provides detailed disclosure of the Group’s management of EES risks and opportunities for the financial year ended 31 December 2017. The report addresses 23 material aspects covering 33 identified indicators. Our materiality mapping methodology is specified on page 12 of this report.


Selected subject matter within this Sustainability Report has been independently assured by Deloitte PLT (Deloitte) at a limited level as defined by ISAE3000. For more information on the subject matter and scope of assurance, please refer to Deloitte’s assurance statement on pages 80 and 81.

As part of our process improvement, we conducted a review of assurance across our reporting units. Among our key operating companies only Dialog conducts a third party independent assurance of their report. We are committed to work with our OpCos to progressively assure material sustainability performance data in future reports.

Stakeholder Engagement

Axiata’s ability to create value relies on successful interactions with our diverse groups of stakeholders. Our stakeholder base cuts across our Group presence in ASEAN and South Asia. Each of our stakeholder groups significantly impact our regional business which sees us within multiple roles including being an employer, communications provider, technology innovator and infrastructure developer.

In order to clearly understand our various stakeholder groups’ concerns and identify the most effective response to issues raised, we conduct continuous, consistent and targeted stakeholder engagement sessions. The outcomes of these sessions informs our material issues, our strategy development, and our risk management.

Stakeholders Why They Are Important How We Engage With Them Subjects Raised Axiata’s Response


Our customers are key contributors to our success as a commercial enterprise. Through their purchases of our products and services, they provide us a direct gauge of the efficiency and effectiveness of our product and service portfolio. To maintain high levels of customer satisfaction, we need to fully understand our customers needs.

  • Customer satisfaction levels are benchmarked through the Net Promoter Score system conducted annually.
  • Customer experience
  • Product affordability
  • Network availability

Driving efficiencies and innovations through investments in new technologies

Establishing strategic ties with “Over-the-Top” (OTT) or other digital product developers to create products and services that meet evolving customer needs, increase the Group’s share of customers’ wallets and rebuilds customer loyalty


As our human capital base, our employees are a key resource for all our activities in the realisation of our vision to become a New Generation Digital Champion by 2021. Employee satisfaction is a top priority, and we continuously strive to ensure that morale remains high in all our business units.

  • Employee Engagement Survey conducted each quarter
  • Town hall Meetings conducted annually
  • Career development
  • Employee communication
  • Developing our people through robust talent development programmes
  • Offering attractive performance-based rewards
  • Providing a safe and healthy work environment
  • Ensuring continuous employee engagement through a variety of channels


As owners of the Company, shareholders provide us with the financial capital needed to sustain our growth. Consequently, they are entitled to receive a return on their investment and to be apprised of developments in the Company. They are also entitled to express their views on the Company or to share any concerns about the way the business is being run.

  • Annual General Meeting
  • Investor Roadshows
  • Analyst Meetings
  • Business performance and strategy
  • Social responsibility initiatives
  • The Axiata Treasury Management Centre has been tasked to oversee and control the Group’s treasury and funding matters.
  • The Centre develops hedging strategies which are governed strictly by the treasury policies, taking into consideration current and future outlook of the relevant economies and foreign exchange markets with the ultimate objective of preserving the Group’s profitability and sustainability.

Regulators & Government

Our regulators and authorities specify the laws and regulations that determine the scope and extent of our activities in our respective countries of operation. They provide our OpCos access to spectrum and operating licences, and impose regulatory measures with potential cost implications for our Group. We maintain open channels of communication with them, as they are best positioned to provide advice and clarification in relation to our operations and obligations.

  • Axiata works proactively with local regulators and authorities from every jurisdiction as local requirements vary from one country to the next.
  • Compliance with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)
  • Compliance with Bursa Malaysia
  • Information security
  • Personal Data Protection Act 2010
  • Tax issues
  • Advocating strict compliance and transparency in putting our case before the relevant authorities
  • Participating in government consultations and sharing knowledge and best practices in the development of healthy regimes for the telecoms sector
  • Ensuring our Group Regulatory Policy is based on strict compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, regulatory obligations and governmental policies in the jurisdictions in which we operate
  • Obtaining regulatory advice in an efficient and cost effective manner as and when required


Our broad range of suppliers support all aspects of our business. Our supplier chain covers vendors supplying infrastructure components to professional corporate service providers. They are our key enablers as providers of vital services. It is important that we maintain a professional relationship of trust where views from either party can be freely exchanged, as well as to apprise them of changes to our procurement policy and to seek relevant feedback and information from them.

  • Supplier Code of Conduct
  • Vendor Satisfaction Survey
  • Payment practices
  • Delivery and definition of vendor performance
  • Centralised Axiata Procurement Centre that handles all network related procurement to improve efficiencies
  • Conducting Supplier Performance Management assessments for continuous improvement in vendor performance
  • Optimising procurement budgets and the development of a network of suppliers and vendors committed to best practices and enhanced corporate governance


The media is our primary channel of communicating with the public at large. They play a critical role in sharing information such as our Company’s financial performance and changes to our products and services, as well as information on our CR programmes. They also provide us with valuable feedback on any general concerns or views that the public may have about us.

  • Media Meetings
  • Quarterly Media Surveys
  • Media Releases and Press Conferences
  • Company performance and strategy
  • Future business aspirations
  • Emphasising on our long-term value creation efforts which extend beyond commercial considerations, and include initiatives that will result in greater social uplift of our communities and contribute to positive market impacts in the long-term.
  • Sharing updates on our efforts to expand our regional network coverage to connect less commercially viable rural regions
  • Sharing updates on our digital inclusion efforts to facilitate access to digital connectivity for underserved segments of the community


Through our Corporate Responsibility (CR) projects, we are contributing to the ongoing socioeconomic development of our communities in our operating countries. This present us with the opportunity to ascertain how we can make meaningful impacts on their lives and improve our products and services to better serve them.

  • Axiata Young Talent Programme
  • Axiata’s Corporate Responsibility Programmes
  • Green Initiatives
  • Disaster Management and Response Initiatives
  • Social requirements
  • Specific feedback on our CR programmes and initiatives
  • Innovating our digital offerings to meet the needs of all our communities including those located in rural regions.
  • Developing digital ecosystems that provide basic services such as access to capital (m-money) and trade transactions (m-commerce).
  • Tailoring products and services to meet the specific needs of particular segments of the community, such as the ‘Govi Mithuru’ service that was launched for Sri Lankan farmers by Dialog.

Management of Material Risks and Opportunities

Axiata uses an integrated assurance methodology to manage our risks and opportunities, to catalyse long-term value creation. The following outlines our material risks, along with our Group’s exposure and potential impacts, and identifies mitigation measures which are linked to our Axiata 3.0 strategy and future opportunities.

Risk Category Mitigation Measures

Financial Risk

  • Axiata Treasury Management Centre oversees and controls treasury and funding matters.
  • Develops hedging strategies which are governed strictly by treasury policies
  • Takes into account current and future outlook of the economy and FOREX markets

Market Risk

  • Driving efficiencies and innovations through investments in new technologies
  • Enhancing cost efficiencies
  • Establish strategic ties with ‘Over-the-Top’ (OTT) or other digital product developers to create products and services that meet evolving customer needs, increase the Group’s share of customers wallets, retain customers and maintain our Profit After Tax.

Regulatory Risk

  • Strict compliance, and fair and transparent practices of government policies.
  • Dedicated personnel and resources to monitor all relevant developments
  • Maintaining regular engagement with governing authorities and regulatory officials
  • Participating in government consultations and industry knowledge sharing for the sustainable development of healthy regulatory regimes
  • Enhancing our process flows to encourage quick and cost-effective responses to changing regulations

Cyber Risk

  • Our Cyber Security Steering Committee ensures strict compliance with security policies and procedures.
  • Implementing the technologies and tools to minimise the risk of security breaches
  • Implementing preventive, detective and responsive controls to minimize the risk of a successful attack

Digital Risk

  • Keeping up to date with policy initiatives at national and international levels
  • Expediting the implementation of action plans to ensure compliance and strengthening of cyber security measures to safeguard data security and integrity

Operational Risk

  • Axiata Procurement Centre’s key role is to manage vendor-related risks, monitor vendors’ performance and develop new relationships to reduce dependencies.
  • Continuously address issues such as network congestions, drop calls, and upgrades to network coverage to ensure better quality network and service delivery
  • Operating procedures with appropriate incident escalation procedures and adequate disaster recovery plans in place at each OpCo to ensure seamless business continuity
  • Maintaining a global insurance programme to mitigate business losses

Geopolitical Risk

  • Working closely with the respective OpCo Management, leveraging on their local expertise, knowledge and ability to continually assess the changing political scenario
  • Implementing measures to ensure timely response in the event of such occurrences
  • Maintaining neutral government relations
  • Contributing to our operating countries’ socio-economic development

Strategic Risk

  • Closely monitoring the competitive landscape
  • Exploring and investing in technology and platform upgrades
  • Reviewing the relevance of products and services
  • Prudent cost management keeping budgets lean while maintaining strong strategic alliances with network vendors to keep pace with technology shifts

Investment Risk

  • Our Mergers and Acquisition Committee oversees all acquisitions and divestments
  • Maintaining a robust due diligence process to evaluate and manage the potential risks involved
  • Post-acquisition, transition teams are put together to ensure that organisational, cultural and mind-set changes required are implemented appropriately.

People Risk

  • Talent Management team is on a constant lookout for suitable employees
  • Developing our people through robust talent development programmes
  • Providing attractive performance based rewards and providing a safe and healthy work environment
  • Advocating staff empowerment to allow for employees to respond to rapidly changing customer demands and work processes
  • Focusing on employee engagement to to motivate employees and increase staff morale and attrition rates.

Technology Risk

  • Constantly reviewing and refreshing our Group’s whilst maintaining financial prudence
  • Reviewing and revamping capital expenditure (capex) governance and business planning processes, focusing on prudent cost management and capex productivity, whilst increasing our visibility of these expenditures across all OpCos

Governance & Integrity Risk

  • Our Code of Conduct sets out rules and guidelines on how personnel acting for or on behalf of the Group are expected to conduct business.
  • Continuing to focus on maintaining and further developing a strong ethical platform and corporate governance standard to support Axiata’s business integrity and strong performance

List of Abbreviations

‘Over-the-Top’ (OTT)
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Axiata Digital (AD)
Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (ADIF)
Axiata Procurement Centre (APC)
Axiata Treasury Management Centre (ATMC)
Axiata Young Talent Programme (AYTP)
Badminton Association Malaysia (BAM)
Base Transceiver Station (BTS)
Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)
Board Audit Committee (BAC)
Business Continuity Management (BCM)
Business Development Programme (BDP)
Capital Expenditure (Capex)
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
Connected Woman Commitment Initiative (CWCI)
Corporate Responsibility (CR)
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC)
Cyber Security Steering Committee (CSSC)
Department of Education (DOE)
Department of Hydrology & Meteorology (DHM)
Disaster and Emergency Warning Network (DEWN)
Disaster Readiness Programme (DRP)
edotco group (e.co)
Employee Engagement Survey (EES)
Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
Economic, Environmental and Social (EES)
First Line Manager (FLM)
General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
Get Out of Diesel (GOOD)
Gigajoule (GJ)
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
Government-Linked Company (GLC)

Greenhouse Gas (GHG)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Gross Value Added (GVA)
Group Accelerated Development Programme (GADP)
Group Risk Management Committee (GRMC)
GSM Association - An association of mobile operators and related companies devoted to supporting the standardising, deployment and promotion of the GSM mobile telephone system (GSMA)
GSMA’s Humanitarian Connectivity Charter (HCC)
High Throughput Satellite (HTS)
Human Resources (HR)
Improvement, Innovation, Investment & Impact (4i)
Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA)
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
International Finance Corporation (IFC)
International Long Distance (ILD)
International Standard on Assurance Engagement (ISAE)
Internet Data Centre (IDC)
Internet-of-Things (IoT)
Kampung Tanpa Wayar (KTW)
Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM)
Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
Kilowatt (kW)
Local Partner Development Programme (LPDP)
Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA)
Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)
Malaysian Sustainability Reporting Awards (MasRA)
Market Capital (Market Cap)
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE)
Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group (MSWG)
Multimedia Development Corporation (MDEC)
Narrowband Internet-of-Things (NB-IoT)
National Centre for Educational Development (NCED)
National Long Distance (NLD)

National Secondary School Leadership Development Programme (NSS)
National Stock Exchange (NSE)
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (NGNBN)
Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)
One Laptop per Child (OLPC)
One Village One Product Programme (OVOP)
OpCo Accelerated Development Programme (OADP)
Operating Companies (OpCos)
Operating Expenditure (Opex)
Personal Accident (PA)
Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA)
Profit After Tax (PAT)
Pusat Internet 1Malaysia (Pi1M)
Request for Proposals (RFP)
Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (RISDA)
Senior Leadership Team (SLT)
Short Messaging System (SMS)
Skim Latihan 1Malaysia (SL1M)
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)
Standard & Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM)
Strategic Partners Development Programme (SDP)
Supplier Performance Management (SPM)
Sustainability Engagement Index (SEI)
Taylor Nelson Sofre (TNS)
Technical Vocational Education & Training (TVET)
Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM)
Telekom Malaysia International (TMI)
Uncompromising Integrity. Exceptional Performance (UI.EP)
University Leadership Development Programme (ULDP)
Value Added Services (VAS)
Vendor Development Programmes (VDP)
Venture Capital (VC)
Year Over Year (Y-o-Y)
Young CEO Development Programme (YCDP)

Aspect Boundaries

The table below provides an overview of our material issues and their corresponding material aspects. The table also illustrates the areas of our operations in which these material aspects apply.

√ This segment is within the boundary of the concerned aspect and we have reported on it
This segment is within the boundary of the concerned aspect, but we have not reported on it due to the unavailability of information for the reporting cycle
* Reported in the Axiata Annual Report 2016

Data In Numbers

GRI Content Index

Custom Content Index - ‘In Accordance’ Core

This Content Index provides an overview of the G4 Standard Disclosures made in this report and the Axiata Integrated Annual Report 2017.

Assurance Statement

Independent Limited Assurance Report On Axiata Sustainability Report For The Financial Year Ended 31 December 2017
To The Board of Directors Axiata Group Berhad (“Axiata”)

Scope of our work
Axiata Group Berhad has engaged Deloitte PLT (LLP0010145-LCA) to perform limited assurance procedures for the Corporate Centre (“CC”) on selected Subject Matter (“the Subject Matter”) for the financial year ended 31 December 2017 presented in the Axiata Group Berhad’s Sustainability Report 2017, in accordance with the reporting criteria (“the Criteria”).

Subject Matter
The selected Subject Matter related to the Corporate Centre chosen by Axiata comprises:

Note: All data points refer to the Corporate Center only.

The selected Subject Matter above are included in the Axiata Group Sustainability Report 2017 and has been assessed according to the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines version 4 –Global Reporting Initiative (GRI-G4) - Core option.

Basis of our work and level of assurance
We carried out a limited assurance engagement in accordance with International Standard for Assurance Engagements 3000 (revised) “Assurance Engagements Other Than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information” (‘ISAE 3000’). A limited assurance engagement consists of making enquiries, applying analytical procedures, reviewing the process and systems used to compile the Subject Matter and gathering other evidence to enable us to obtain a meaningful level of assurance. The procedures performed depend on our judgement and take into account the risk of material misstatement in the Subject Matter, whether due to fraud or error.

The procedures performed in a limited assurance engagement vary in nature, and are less in extent than for a reasonable assurance engagement. As a result, the level of assurance obtained in a limited assurance engagement is substantially lower than the assurance that would have been obtained had we performed a reasonable assurance engagement.

We have complied with the independence and other ethical requirements of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants issued by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants, which is founded on fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity, professional standards and due care, confidentiality and professional behaviour.

The firm applies International Standard on Quality Control 1 and accordingly maintains a comprehensive system of quality control including documented policies and procedures regarding compliance with ethical requirements, professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

Inherent limitation
Inherent limitation exists in all assurance engagements due to the selective testing of the information being examined. Therefore, fraud, errors and non-compliance may occur and not be detected. Additionally, non-financial data may be subject to more inherent limitations than financial data, given both its nature and the methods used for determining, calculating and estimating such data.

Key assurance procedures
Considering the risk of material error, we planned and performed the work to obtain all the information and explanations considered necessary to provide sufficient evidence to support our assurance conclusion.

Our assurance procedures included, but were not limited to:

  • Gaining an understanding of Axiata’s business and approach to sustainability.
  • Visiting Axiata’s Corporate Centre.
  • Interviewing management at Axiata’s head office, including the sustainability team to understand:
    • The process for stakeholder engagement across the organisation;
    • The process for determining material issues and reporting against them; and
    • The activities relating to the sustainability priorities during the reporting period.
  • Conducting limited assurance procedures for the six sustainability performance indicators by:
    • Checking that methodologies have been correctly applied;
    • Performing analytical review procedures to support the reasonableness of the data;
    • Performing testing of selected data on a sampling basis;
    • Identifying and testing assumptions supporting calculations; and
    • Assessing the reliability of specific sustainability performance information.

Management’s responsibilities
The management of Axiata (‘Management’) is responsible for the preparation of the Sustainability Report which is ‘in-accordance’ with the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines issued by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI-G4) Core option. Management’s responsibility also includes the collection, preparation and presentation of the Subject Matter in the Report in accordance with the above Criteria, and for maintaining adequate records and internal controls that are designed to support the sustainability reporting process.

Our responsibility
Our responsibility is to independently express a limited assurance conclusion on the selected Subject Matter in accordance with the Criteria. Our assurance engagement has been planned and performed in accordance with ISAE 3000.

Limitation of use
This report has been prepared in accordance with our engagement terms, solely for the Board of Directors of Axiata for the purpose of reporting on the select Subject Matter set out within the Axiata Sustainability Report 2017. We do not therefore accept or assume any responsibility for any other purpose of to any other person or organisation. Any reliance that any such third party may place on our report is entirely at their own risk. No statement is made as to whether the criteria are appropriate for any third party purpose.

We have not performed any work in respect of sustainability information published elsewhere, including Axiata.com’s website.

Our assurance opinion
Based on the work described above, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the selected Subject Matter for the year ended 31 December 2017 included in the Axiata Group Berhad’s Sustainability Report 2017 has not been prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the Criteria.

Deloitte PLT (LLP0010145-LCA)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
5 April 2017

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