Facebook Facebook icon Twitter Twitter icon LinkedIn LinkedIn icon Email


How a telecoms giant brought hope to children in Pakistan 

IbyIMD+ Published 19 January 2024 in Purpose • 13 min read • Audio availableAudio available

The Norwegian telecoms group Telenor launched an ambitious project with UNICEF in 2016 to increase digital birth registrations in Pakistan. It remains a powerful example of how firms can experiment with sustainable business models to empower societies.

Have you ever thought twice about your birth certificate? For most of us, it is a privilege we often overlook. Yet today, there are roughly 1.1 billion people around the world who are considered “invisible”. Without a birth certificate, they lack an official identity and they cannot access basic services: going to school, visiting a doctor, or getting a passport.

At Telenor, we realized that we could help to change this situation. From smartphones to mobile connectivity, we knew we had the tools at our disposal to reimagine the registration process and to enable millions of disenfranchised people to gain access to a birth certificate. But we also understood that, as a privatized telecommunications company, we could not move the needle alone. Like many of today’s complex challenges, success would depend on strong partnerships with international organizations and, crucially, governments.

If we got it right, however, we could take one step closer to the UN Sustainable…

Corporate membership

Login and subscribe to IbyIMD+ subscription

Explore first person business intelligence from top minds curated for a global executive audience