Zain deputy CEO calls for change of direction

Hisham Akbar urges prioritisation of commercial concerns ahead of technology

Tags: KuwaitZain - Kuwait
  • E-Mail
Zain deputy CEO calls for change of direction Zain Group's deputy CEO, Hisham Akbar, outlined a new strategy at a company meeting in Dubai on Monday. (Getty Images)
By  Roger Field Published  November 7, 2012

The deputy CEO of Kuwait's Zain Group has called on the company's eight operating units to increase their focus on commercial operations and customer experience ahead of technology.

Speaking at the telco's annual technology summit, held in Dubai on Monday, Hisham Akbar, deputy CEO and COO of Zain Group, outlined a strategy to put commercial needs ahead of technology, increase customer focus, and keep a check of costs.

"In the past [...], we adapted our commercial base according to the technology that was presented. Well, this needs to change. We need to be commercially driven and choose the technology that will adapt to that commercial need. So we are moving from our priority being technology to our priority being the commercial requirements," Akbar told the 300-strong gathering of Zain employees and partners.

Akbar added that the company, which posted a drop in net profits in the year to September 30, should steer away from "being first at any cost" with respect to new technology. He used the launch of LTE by Saudi Arabia's three mobile operators last year as a prime example of counter-productive marketing that demonstrated a lack of real insight into customers' needs.

"Last year 4G launched in Saudi Arabia, and three operators on the same day claimed they were the first to launch the service. That doesn't get us anywhere. It means nothing to our customers. Our customers don't care less if it is called LTE, 3G or whatever," he said. "They need a steady service and bandwidth they can rely on, and to them that is enough. But as techies we love to play with technology [...]  and we are losing sight of what our customers really need."

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code