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New Delhi, May 13  Leading private telecom operator Bharti Airtel won the “Aon Best Employer Award 2017” for people practices and leadership intent, the global consulting firm in human resources (HR) said on Friday.

“Airtel was recognised for achieving high levels of employee engagement and well-established people practices and leadership intent,” Aon said in a statement here.

The telecom behemoth also scored high on employer brand and innovative HR practices, including the use of a chatbot for its campus hiring programme.

Chatbot, short for chat robot, is a computer programme that simulates human conversation, or chat, through artificial intelligence.

Selection for the award was made by Aon’s India chapter jury comprising UTI Asset Management Company Managing Director Leo Puri, CERG Advisory Founder-Chairman Omkar Goswami, ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, IIM-Bengaluru Professor Vasanthi Srinivasan and Hindustan Unilever Ltd CEO Sanjiv Mehta.

“As people are the core of our organisation, the Aon award is a testament to our innovation on the HR front, leveraging technology to build a digital office,” said Airtel Chief Human Resources Officer Srikanth Balachandran in the statement.

The company, however, did not disclose the number of employees it has for operations in Asia and Africa.

Aon has been conducting the study of best employers in Asia since 2001 to gain insights into companies creating competitive advantage through their people, to explore what makes a workplace of choice and to identify them in the region.

In all, 119 organisations across 14 industrial verticals and employing 520,000 employees participated in the latest study spread over nine months.

The city-based Airtel operates in 17 countries across Asia and Africa, with a range of services and products to 372 million customers. Its offerings include 2G-4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed home broadband, DTH (Direct-to-Home), and enterprise services, including national and international long distance services to carriers.

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