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iSON utilises local talent for technology development


Chairman of iSON Group, Ramesh Awtaney

Chairman of iSON Group, Ramesh Awtaney

Five years ago when iSON was established, the company promised to offer not only a complete bouquet of product and service offerings to its teeming clients but to utilise only local talent in doing so; a very ambitious promise seeing that other companies in its field were utilising the option of offshoring for its seemingly attendant benefits.

Today, iSON, Africa’s leading IT and ITeS company can boast of having achieved this feat using a 100 per cent local workforce to achieve this. iSON’s footprints are present in Africa, the Middle East and the ASEAN region. In Africa, its presence is spread over 25 countries with Nigeria accounting for over half of its work force.

iSON has 12,500 employees in over 29 countries across the world. Its astronomical rise within such a short time has proven that the company’s hitherto less popular business practice is in reality, sound business sense.

Founder and Chairman of iSON Group, Ramesh Awtaney explained: “We’ve seen the benefits of building local talent to further expand the frontiers of technology in our host communities. In Nigeria, we’ve basically replicated the same model that exists in all our offices all over the world and have thrived very successfully in all our host communities.”

“Not only are we obviously a strong driver of economic growth, but we are a platform for employment generation and urban to rural migration shift. So you can see that we are not just directly involved in steering an appreciable environmental shift and just as importantly, we’re also driving a mind shift. At iSON we’ve shown it is very possible to harness and cultivate local talent in order to inspire strong business growth locally and internationally.”

While Nigeria’s workforce accounts for over 5,000 workers, Kenya, South Africa, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo B, DRC, Niger, Rwanda, Tanzania , Uganda, Botswana and other countries with iSON footprints account for an additional 5,000 more.

Each year, iSON provides a series of rigorous training programs to build and improve the skillset of its workforce. This intensive series targeted at each cadre of its workforce is designed to ensure that skills are fully harnessed, optimized and transferred.“We are committed towards adding value to our customers through continuous training of our employees,” Awtaney said, adding “this not only helps the staff to be abreast with the latest developments in technology but also makes them more confident to resolve work related issues individually.”

According to him, iSON has international facilitators, in-house training, identified resources online, audio facilities and basically everything made available to build and enhance its workforce. The company also focuses on skill development of its employees at all levels with special focus on Customer Care Executive and People Managers.

Just last year, iSON as a part of the LEAD learning initiative, made huge investments on skills development and new hire induction, with over 2,500 new employees being inducted across Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, South Sudan, Zambia and Rwanda. In addition to this, he disclosed, over 3, 25,000 training man hours were invested on up skilling new resources on soft Skills, products, services, systems and applications.

This year alone, the company has invested about 1, 25,000 training man hours on new staff induction for its existing operations in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria and Francophone countries during the first two quarters. “In addition, our other training programs – “Success for Self” and “iSON Young Leaders” have been designed to develop and prepare our future Young leaders by following a structured methodology and create talent pools which are available for future Team Leader/Support functional roles. The first half of the year has witnessed over 850 staff trained through these programs with an investment of over 7,000 man hours,” he further added.

Awtaney said that one of the key focus areas of iSON’s training programmes is to build capabilities for the future and inculcate leadership essentials. “The growth of our people is one of our DNAs. Hi-potential employees are identified and developed to take leadership roles in other countries. Our model of developing people is very holistic. For example, when we identify high potential, iSON Young Leaders (IYLs), we not only impart a three-day classroom program but he/she needs to do a community project, be yellow belt trained and take a work related project. We also provide mentoring sessions to these IYLs so that they are ready to take future leadership roles in the company,” he added.

As iSON’s profile continues to rise across the world, the company has won a plethora of awards since inception, not just for its exceptional service but also in acknowledgement of its workplace which has become a viable route for employment generation and growth.

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iSON GroupRamesh Awtaney
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