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Fri 21 Mar 2014 10:38 AM

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Virgin Mobile gets 35,000 applicants for new Saudi unit jobs

Telecom operator says it aims to start services in Gulf kingdom in the first half of this year

Virgin Mobile gets 35,000 applicants for new Saudi unit jobs
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson

Virgin Mobile, which has won a licence to operate telecommunications services in Saudi Arabia, has revealed that it has received over 35,000 applications for jobs.

The high demand for jobs follows an online recruitment campaign by the company to seek new recruits in the Gulf kingdom.

"Consistent with its vision that Saudi Arabia’s next generation mobile service can only be built by this generation of talented Saudi youth, Virgin Mobile launched an online recruitment programme to seek out genuine Virgin Mobile people froma cross the kingdom," the company said in a statement.

“We are extremely proud to be in Saudi Arabia,and delighted that talented youth of such high calibre are inspired by the opportunity to work with the Virgin Mobile brand. Receiving over 35,000 applications to work with us in such a short space of time is unprecedented and we are humbled," said Karim Benkirane, Virgin Mobile Saudi CEO.

Conceived in 1970 by Sir Richard Branson, Virgin has gone on to grow a successful global businesses in sectors ranging from mobile telephony and media to transportation, travel, financial services, hotels, health and fitness, as well as renewable technologies and space tourism such as its current Virgin Galactic project.

Virgin employs approximately 65,000 people in 35 countries and its global branded revenues in 2013 exceeded $22 billion.

The Virgin Mobile brand, which initially launched in the United Kingdom, already operates in ten countries globally, including Australia, Chile, Colombia, Canada, France, India, Poland, South Africa, UK and the US.

Virgin Mobile is currently reviewing all job applications and have embarked on a series of assessment centres in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam that will see potential candidates run through an interactive screening process.

Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA) said earlier this week that it expects to launch telecommunications services in Saudi Arabia in the first half of 2014 after the industry regulator gave it a licence.

The Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) announced in June that VMMEA, part-owned by British entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Group, was one of the winning bidders for three mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licences in the kingdom.

The virtual mobile operators do not own the networks they use but instead lease capacity from conventional operators, usually paying them a percentage of revenues as well as fees.

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