Why Digi's CXO talent pipeline is a powerful strategy

Eight young Malaysians are offered a career kickstarter to top management.

By AvantiKumar
May 24, 2017

Digi CXO Apprentice

Photo - Digi CXO Apprentice session


  While finding talent with a useful, balance between hard and soft skills has become something akin to a war, some companies in Malaysia are publicly testing new frameworks to attract the right candidates.

With new spin on mentorship, Malaysia's Digi Telecommunications (Digi) launched a new annual programme called Digi CXO Apprentice back in March 2016, as reported in Computerworld Malaysia.

Under the scheme, eight apprentices would be matched to eight Digi chiefs on a one-to-one basis for a year. Fresh graduates will compete for these eight spots to speed up their learning and develop skills in line with driving Malaysia's digital transformation path.

At the time, Digi's chief executive officer Albern Murty said: "We are at a point of a major transition in the workforce, where Malaysia's young talents are projected to account for 50 percent of the active workforce in the next five years."

The CXO roles under the programme were: Chief Executive Officer, Chief Finance Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Network Officer, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Chief HR Officer, Chief IT Officer and Chief Sales Officer.

Successful strategy

This strategy has yielded benefits as Digi is now inviting candidates for a new iteration this year. As before, the Digi CXO Apprenticeship a full-year direct mentorship programme with all of its top management team members to eight apprentices.

Digi's chief human resource officer Haroon Bhatti said: "The past twelve months have been an accelerated learning curve for both Digi and our first batch of apprentices. From Digi's perspective, this was a great opportunity to strengthen our future talent pipeline, and gain deeper insights into managing and gearing our workplace to harness the potential of young talent."

Speaking of last year's apprentices, Bhatti said the pioneering batch has reached the final quarter of the programme, and current discussions will identify their future roles. "Their respective CXOs will continue mentoring them while they transition into their new roles as part of their ongoing development roadmaps."

He added the new programme has been fine tuned.  "[There have been] incremental changes to the latest programme version, based on learnings from our first apprenticeship cycle, which we believe will have better, more measurable outcomes and development value for the new batch of young talents."

"This version of the programme will have a more guided approach to management mentorship while immersing the apprentices in an explorative, agile way of working from the on-start of their career," said Bhatti.

CXO Apprentice 2 - at a glance

"The apprentices will work in sprints throughout their apprenticeship. They will begin by building a solid understanding of our business and our customers' needs, which they will use to solve business and organisation-wide challenges from within their respective divisions," he said.

In essence, Digi CXO Apprentice 2 offers young Malaysians:

  • A full-year direct mentorship programme with top management in the country for young talent
  • First-hand exposure to high-level decision-making and dealing with real business challenges
  • Empowered to innovate in a culture that enables the freedom to inspire the next in digital for Malaysians
  • Greater inclusiveness in selecting talent and more structured approach to development in latest cycle

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