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Axiata Sustainability


How we are becoming The Next Generation Digital Champion

Digital Inclusion

The full potential of our emerging digital economies can only be realised once everyone has the opportunity to access its benefits equitably. This is the basis of our extensive digital inclusion efforts, which span across all our OpCos and form a key pillar of our efforts to drive long-term socio-economic development.

Our efforts are vast and wide, but can be broadly categorised into three areas of impact:

The initiatives shown within this page are only a summary of the many ways that we are contributing to greater digital inclusion. For a deeper read, please see our Sustainability and National Contribution Report 2021.


An Industry Leader In Digital Inclusion

In 2021, we performed strongly in the World Benchmarking Alliance Digital Inclusion Benchmark:

Ranked 3rd out of all companies in Southeast Asia

Ranked in the top quartile of all digital technology companies

An Industry Leader In Digital Inclusion

In 2021, we performed strongly in the World Benchmarking Alliance Digital Inclusion Benchmark:

Ranked 3rd out of all companies in Southeast Asia

Ranked in the top quartile of all digital technology companies

An Industry Leader In Digital Inclusion

In 2021, we performed strongly in the World Benchmarking Alliance Digital Inclusion Benchmark:

Ranked 3rd out of all companies in Southeast Asia

Ranked in the top quartile of all digital technology companies

  • Driving The New Digital Ecosystem

We live in an era where digital capabilities are a must, not a “nice-to-have”. With this in mind, we work extensively with individuals, businesses and organisations across our markets, helping to develop the digital skills and processes required to compete and thrive in the digital economy.

Driving Enterprise Digitalisation

The pandemic has greatly accelerated our ongoing migration to digital ways of working, and having the correct digital tools has become a must for all businesses. With this in mind, our OpCos have launched specific and value-oriented offerings that support enterprise digitalisation, including purpose-fit tools for business productivity and cloud-based collaboration in the hybrid-work era.

Developing Digital Skills

Our OpCos also place focus on developing digital skills amongst the general public and within specific audience groups. A key example is Celcom’s Young Digital Innovators Programme (CYDIP), which provided experiential learning through digital technology for young learners and helped over 4,000 teachers transition to digital teaching methods through a series of webinars.

We are also responsive to the potential dangers that internet access poses to young digital users, with programmes launched by our OpCos to educate youth and their parents on important issues such as cyberbullying and online safety.

Supporting Entrepreneurs And Start-Ups

Over the years, we have become a major enabler of technology innovation in developing country markets by promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and start-ups. We do so by funding and providing digital services capabilities and opportunities for business.

We actively fund and partner with tech start-ups to encourage innovation across the digital ecosystem, powering bottom-up innovation for local technology industries, which in return propels business incubation and innovation industry-wide.

Since 2014 we have continually invested in digital venture funds in Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Cambodia, working with local strategic partners to identify, fund and coach local startups that are able to demonstrate high potential for growth as well as contribute to the national landscape.


Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (ADIF) has invested RM63.2 million in 17 Malaysian companies since 2015, which have since recorded average year-on-year revenue growth of 34%.


Sri Lanka

Dialog Innovation Fund (DADIF) has supported 5 companies since 2018, disbursing USD1.82 million to date.


Using digital tools and technology, we can make previously unaffordable or physically-inaccessible resources such as healthcare, education and employment opportunities widely available to low-income and remote communities, thereby transforming the opportunities available to them and their communities.

Access To Education

Our extensive efforts in providing digital access to education include delivering devices and internet access to those from low-income communities, developing e-learning platforms that connect students to free educational resources, and developing entrepreneurial and technical skills in young learners.

  • Provided free internet access and tuition content to students in community housing, enabling access for 1,500 students learning from home during lockdown
  • Distributed refurbished laptops and new devices to students from B40 families through the Bantuan Peranti Prihatin (BPP) initiative, while giving free internet access, tablets and SIMs to 60 SPM candidates as part of the Tuisyen Pintar campaign
  • Provided more than 600 SPM candidates free access to the Mahir Tutor platform to assist their pre-exam studies
  • In collaboration with Axiata Corporate Centre, provided more than 21,000 SIMs and 300 laptops to students under the CERDIK Programme
  • Supports the #MyBaikHati crowdsourcing initiative, which aims to narrow the digital learning gap in Malaysia
  • Has committed to provide internet-connected tablets, SIMs and internet packages to out-of-school youths under the Basic Education Equivalency Programme (BEEP)
  • Created the SmartStart Unipreneur initiative in collaboration with Impact Hub Phnom Penh, introducing entrepreneurship skills to students through an e-learning platform
  • Established the Mobile Library, which provides books to youths in isolated communities and logged 5,372 borrowed books in 2021
  • Provides internet access to schools in low-income and remote regions of Indonesia through the Gerakan Donasi Kuota (GDK) initiative
  • Donated routers, free internet access and laptops to the Al-IBTIDA Islamic Boarding School while some XL staff also volunteered to lead classes at the school
  • Donated 100 laptops and internet access facilities to 12 Islamic boarding schools in several areas of the country
  • Launched various e-learning platforms – including and e-thaksalawa – providing students with access to learning resources during the pandemic and in the present day
  • Provides access to the Hologo app, which leverages augmented reality to promote learning, and free educational channels on Dialog TV
  • Developed the Nenasa Educational App in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Education, providing primary and secondary students with equitable access to learning material developed by trained teachers and third-party educators
  • Added four new channels to Nenasa TV, a dedicated satellite TV channel streamed free-of-charge to 1,000 schools across the island, and which now reaches 1.7 million homes
  • Developed Robi 10-Minute School, which contains over 24,000 video tutorials, 8,500 quizzes and 1,250 smart books to aid the learning of students from Grade 1 to Grade 12
  • The platform offers daily live classes delivered by experienced teachers, reaching an average of 3 million viewers
  • It has become Bangladesh’s largest digital school and an invaluable resource for students across the country
  • Ncell supports the Government vision
    of Digital Nepal by setting up modern digital labs in 60 community schools across the country in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MoCIT) and Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA).
  • This benefits over 30,000 students.

The digital divide continues to hamper the ability of specific communities to compete fairly in the modern economy. Whether these divides are based on gender, income level or industry, it is our responsibility as a digital champion to develop solutions that help to level the playing field.

Empowering Communities Through Digital Financial Inclusion

In our markets of operation, many people and businesses remain excluded from the financial system, unable to access facilities for savings, loans and insurance.
With the relaunch of Boost in 2021 as a unified financial services company, we are driving greater digital and financial inclusion for small business owners in Malaysia and beyond. Using rich transaction data analysed by AI technology, basic financial services can be extended to these businesses, giving them the tools to improve their livelihoods and build a more stable financial foundation for their families.

The new structure of Boost, as detailed below, also lays the foundation for them to become a full-fledged digital bank in the near future.

Boost Life

Wallet offering online and offline retail payments, bill settlement, insurance and transportation use cases

Boost Biz

Payment platform for enterprises of all sizes, with digitalisation

Boost Credit

Micro-financing and micro-insurance solutions for small

Boost Connect

Regional cross-border payment and customer growth platform
ecosystem provider

Description of our material matters

Our material matters are determined through a bi-yearly process of materiality assessment, detailed below:

1. Review Of Material Matters

We review and update our material matters in response to changes in our business landscape, risk environment, internal policies, KPIs, emerging local and global sustainability trends, regulatory developments and stakeholder opinions. Our review also incorporates peer benchmarking.

2. Stakeholder Engagement

We conducted a structured stakeholder prioritisation exercise by leveraging insights from our dialogue with various stakeholders on our material matters. This allows us to identify the influence and dependence of key stakeholders on the Group. We then engage with the prioritised stakeholders to obtain their feedback on material matters.

3. Sustainability Impact Assessment

Upon identification of our material matters, we conducted workshops within the Group to further prioritise materiality matters from the business perspective.

Description of sustainability material matters - Next Generation Digital Champion

Material matter


Material matter


Sustainable Business Growth

Consideration of Economic, Environmental and Social (EES), and positive direct and indirect value creation in our strategic investment decisions to enhance our shareholder returns

Network Quality & Coverage

Enhancing network quality and coverage through continuous improvements in efficiency, availability and reliability

Digital Inclusion

Providing affordable and innovative products and services in bridging the digital gap

Digitisation & Modernisation

Technological innovation to enhance key internal business functions, improve process efficiency and effectiveness, and promote innovation and business continuity

Description of sustainability material matters - Environment

Material matter


Material matter


Climate Action

Internal controls and monitoring mechanisms to manage environmental impacts

Resource & Waste Management

Towards circular economy within our operations as well as the solutions we can provide our customers and supply chains waste management

Description of sustainability material matters - Social

Material matter


Material matter


Fair Employment & Welfare

Fostering fair recruitment practices by embracing diversity and inclusion in the workforce, and offering employees fair compensation and benefits

Talent Development

Promote development and uplift competencies of employees to respond to the rapidly changing and complex business environment

Employee Health, Safety & Wellbeing

Providing for the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees in ways that address key challenges and bring value to their livelihood in the workplace

Customer Service

Delivering a differentiated user experience for customers, and offering the most affordable products and services relative to customer promise in our highly competitive markets

Supply Chain Management

Consideration of EES factors across supply chain management and processes

Community Development

Financial and non-financial contributions to support local communities, underprivileged and underserved groups

Emergency & Disaster Response

Providing society in times of emergency and disaster, through the contribution of our business streams in disaster response

Description of sustainability material matters - Governance

Material matter


Material matter


Business Ethics & Compliance

Enhance business integrity compliance within the ambit of Malaysian and international laws on bribery and corruption

Data Privacy & Cyber Security

Protection of all data, information and intellectual property against cyber security breaches

Regulatory & Political Risk

Management of the evolving changes in the regulatory landscape and political context