Monday, March 27, 2023

Seven Apprentices selected for the Digi CXO Apprentice Programme

Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (Digi) has selected seven apprentices for the Digi CXO Apprentice Programme.

Digi CXO
Year 1 and 2 CXO Apprentices with members of Digi top management including Albern Murthy, center top, CEO for Digi Telecommunications

The Telco said that applications for this year’s CXO Apprentice Programme (Year 2) hit a record high of 1,100 applications, 25% more than its inaugural launch in 2016 as a result of heightened awareness of the programme among its key target audience. Greater engagement from local universities also resulted in a more diverse pool of candidates going through to the Freedom Challenge to conceptualise, validate, prototype and pitch the next MyDigi product or service to a panel of judges.

The selected seven Digi CXO Apprentice will experience the priceless opportunity of being exposed to high-level decision-making, dealing with real business challenges, working on high-impact projects across different business areas to shape how Digi delivers digital experiences for its millions of customers – all with direct input and guidance from their respective management mentors:

  • Accelerated learning and development giving apprentices a competitive edge at the start of their career
  • Front row seats to decision-making
  • 365 days of Direct CXO mentorship
  • Solve real challenges across the company
  • Live Digi’s workplace promise of having the freedom to inspire the next

The seven Digi CXO Apprentice Year 2 are:

Name Age University Background CXO Attached To
Amanda Mariko Sakai 23 University of Nottingham Mechanical Engineering Kesavan Sivabalan,

Chief Technology Officer

Bryan Hong Tiang Suan 23 Sunway University Marketing Loh Keh Jiat,

Chief Marketing Officer

Daryl Ong Wi Hsien 22 Asia Pacific University Software Engineering Praveen Rajan Nadarajan,

Chief Digital Officer

Khaled Amru Ambok Chening 25 San Francisco State University International Business Albern Murty,

Chief Executive Officer

Nur Azrin Afiqah Binti Badri 23 Middlesex University London Biology Haroon Bhatti,

Chief Human Resource Officer

Rachel Koh Chung Man 22 INTI International College Subang Finance & Economics Nakul Sehgal,

Chief Finance Officer

Rachel Lee Ke Ying 22 University of London Law Eugene Teh,

Chief Corporate Affairs Officer


“It was a challenge to shortlist candidates because they were all well rounded in terms of their academic achievements, internship experience and their involvement in extracurricular activities. This year, we used a game based assessment which gave us an additional data point on filtering the candidates via an aptitude test,” said Haroon Bhatti, Digi’s Chief HR Officer. “It is important for us to look beyond academic success and to be able to assess each candidates’ abilities in a way that allows us to see their potential in an everyday business environment. Ultimately, we want every candidate who applies for the programme to have the best possible opportunity to be selected.”

The crux of the program lies in the one-on-one mentorship that apprentices garner with their respective CXOs. “Having a mentor that can answer questions you can’t find on the Internet, and share their personal experiences with you, can fast track your learning curve years ahead. A mentor can help you to validate your ideas quickly and strengthen your confidence to see things through to completion when you’re not quite sure how to move forward,” explained Haroon Bhatti, Digi’s Chief HR Officer.

Each apprentice will have a unique experience of their time at Digi, based on their respective educational backgrounds and a mental checklist of items that they want to achieve. “The CXO Apprenticeship program is one of the transformative ways in which Digi has found success in developing our future talent and filling the leadership pipeline. When candidates enter the program, they are able to set and define the impact that they want to have on the organization in the 12 months that they are with the company.”

After 12 months, most apprentices find their niche within the organisation – Wendy Liang, the CEO’s Apprentice has moved to Consumer Sales to manage the Malaysian segment. Justin Yong, the CIO’s Apprentice has joined the Corporate Affairs division to work on Digi’s transformation journey while Wan Nur Alia is now in the Digital HR team, creating products to digitalise HR processes for other companies. When asked about the impact that they had on the organisation during their apprenticeship, Year One Apprentice Andrea Ong, believed that her energy and motivation rallied team dynamics when it came to collaborative exercises such as brainstorming sessions. For Wendy Liang, she was able to affect a positive change on the business when she dived into a project for the Prepaid segment during her time as a Year One Apprentice, and this consequently shaped her decision to move into Consumer Sales.

The Digi CXO Apprentice Programme Year 2 was first announced in May.

Kugan is the co-founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy

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