Taken from an interview in Theedgedaily here.
Q: What is your take on the outlook for 2008?
A: As we say every time we look forward, it’s going to be more challenging and even more competitive, that’s the mindset we need to have. We expect to continue to innovate and also to focus even more on individual customer experiences.
In 2008, the industry will introduce MNP, a code name for Mobile Number Portability, which means that you can take with you your current number to any mobile operator. I think that will shift the power further to the end-consumer and force the industry to take service and quality even more seriously.
This will lead to improved performance and even more satisfied mobile users in Malaysia in general. We hope for positive impact on DiGi, because we know there are a lot of people who would love to change to DiGi, but love their numbers even more. Soon, with MNP, they can take their beloved numbers and join us.
Q: What are the opportunities and challenges the new year will bring to your company or industry?
A: More and new competition in an industry with very low overall growth is going to challenge all the players. At the same time, MNP will reduce the barriers for customers to shift away from the under-performers.
The broadband ambitions we all have are promising but actually very challenging. But, we are working with areas that have reached must-have status for most Malaysians — access to a mobile phone and access to the Internet. So I am very optimistic, especially for the long term.
Q: What is your company doing to capitalise on the opportunities or to cope with the challenges ahead?
A: We are focusing on competing well, developing our people and to prepare for the future. Competition is our key mindset and people development our competitive advantage. When it comes to preparing for the future, we are going through a fundamental upgrade of all core technical platforms in DiGi.
The bad news is that it’s a lot of work — but the good news is that DiGi, in 2008 and forward, will be able to do much more, and that should lead to even better customer experiences.
We want to create excellent customer experiences. It is as simple as that, and also as difficult as that. And then we think our financial performance will benefit as a consequence of that.
We intend to give the best customer experience so that customers would trust us, and for that reason stay with us. We would like to see the DiGi brand being used more often. We want it to be a household brand, not just a mobile brand.
Q: What about trends that will shape the industry?
A: If you asked that question to someone in the mobile industry a few years ago, they would all say, “We are about to go through dramatic change very soon”. But that hasn’t happened. The industry tends to over hype trends. We think we know what consumers want but it is always difficult to change people’s behaviour.
Most advanced services are insignificant revenue contributors. Of course, there are some successful new services but only in some segments and in some countries; it’s not at a global level.
However, what is proven globally is that people love to be able to call anyone wherever they are or whenever they want, and SMS. So, voice and SMS will remain strong, but both broadband and a few other services will start to actually impact the mobile operators’ performance.