Sunday, April 2, 2023

Celcom introduces new management team, plans to become a “Digital Company”

On last Wednesday, Celcom Axiata Berhad unveiled its new management team which is part of its “organisational refresh”, introduced by its parent company – Axiata Group.

celcom new management team
Celcom Senior Management team: From left, Nushad M Perera (Chief of Special Projects), Zalman Aefendy Zainal Abidin (Chief Marketing Officer), Rene Werner (Chief Customer Service & Experience Officer), Amandeep Singh (Chief Technology Officer), Jennifer Wong (Chief Financial Officer), Michael Kuehner (Chief Executive Officer), Azwan Khan Osman Khan (Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Business Operations), Zuraida binti Jamaluddin (Chief Corporate Officer), Ramanathan Sathiamutty (Chief Transformation Officer) and Acting Chief Digital Officer, Azmi Ujang (Chief Human Capital Officer) and Erik Marell (Chief Strategy and Intelligence Officer).

Some of the key management people include:

  • Nushad M Perera (Chief of Special Projects)
  • Zalman Aefendy Zainal Abidin (Chief Marketing Officer)
  • Rene Werner (Chief Customer Service & Experience Officer)
  • Amandeep Singh (Chief Technology Officer)
  • Jennifer Wong (Chief Financial Officer)
  • Zuraida binti Jamaluddin (Chief Corporate Officer)
  • Ramanathan Sathiamutty (Chief Transformation Officer)
  • Azmi Ujang (Chief Human Capital Officer & Acting Chief Digital Officer)
  • Erik Marell (Chief Strategy and Intelligence Officer)
Michael Kuehner, the new Celcom CEO

Michael Kuehner was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Celcom Axiata Berhad on 1 September 2016 together with Azwan Khan Osman Khan who is the Deputy CEO.

The new Celcom CEO said the Telco has now embarked on digitising its core operations and customer service and experience, as well as simplifying products and services to become a customer-focused digital company.

“We are focused on delivering higher value and superior customer experience to our customers. We will continuously enhance our network quality and diversify our products and services, to complement their evolving lifestyles. Solid productivity improvement initiatives and efficient marketing tools will further contribute to a highly commendable revenue growth, moving forth,” he said at the media briefing.

Kuehner highlighted that customer experience is a key focus area for Celcom going forward, in an increasingly mature market. A new organisational set-up and a broader portfolio of initiatives will help Celcom to drive improvements in these areas with the ambition to lead the market, latest two years from now.

“We aspire to deliver a user experience that engages and connects with our customers consistently across all our customer touch points and will drive a much stronger digital experience than what you are familiar with from us. We have launched initiatives to ensure this – a few early ones you might have recognised such as Device Self Help and more to come soon,” he said.

On becoming a digital company, Kuehner said “Within our core operations, we are developing new and have streamlined digital processes for our daily operations such as using software to execute processes, digitising human resource practices and other enterprise applications, among others,’’ he said.

Elaborating further on digitising Celcom’s core operations, Kuehner said this will enable the company to harness and create a strong digital presence across an ecosystem comprising customers, partners and suppliers.

“We are committed to delivering innovative products and services in the digital space, and engaging with our customers increasingly through digital and online channels,’’ he added.

Commenting on the Celcom’s 4G LTE network, Azwan said “Four to five years ago, Celcom was the undisputed leader in network quality. In the past few years, I think we under-invested a bit in the past several years.” However, he said Celcom has been working on modernising the network in the past year to build “the most advanced network in the country”

In April last year, Celcom signed a 4G LTE network agreement with Ericsson Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Huawei Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd, making both technology companies its main network infrastructure partners. As part of the network agreement, Ericsson and Huawei will integrate, deploy and manage Celcom’s 4G LTE network developments. Both partners will be responsible for the Full Turnkey supply and delivery of product, equipment, system, works and services for Celcom Radio Access Network (RAN), targeting 95% of 4G LTE coverage by 2020.

Celcom claims it has modernised its network through the most advanced and first of its kind Single RAN SDR technology. It uses the latest multi-port antenna system, and is part of Celcom’s on-going effort to deliver the best quality experience for customers.The transmission network has been further bolstered by efficiently designing high capacity IP microwave and ultra-high capacity fibre in the intra-city and long distance routes. The Telco said extra care has been taken to reduce the network latency to improve the data speeds and customer experience while core network has also been modernised through virtualised packet core.

To date, Azwan said Celcom has swapped out 2,000 base station which “uses the old Nokia equipment”.

Despite the smaller 4G LTE coverage footprint nationwide (compared to Digi and Maxis), Celcom claims that it offers the “No. 1 Data Experience” in Klang Valley and Penang. Celcom also claims that is has the No.1 Voice Experience Nationwide based on the recent MCMC Network Performance Report released in January 2017.

Celcom told MalaysianWireless that it’s 4G LTE coverage now stands at 30% and it will reach 60% nationwide by year end.

Moving forward, Kuehner added that Celcom’s diversification into adjacency – convergences, IoT and the enterprise business will drive some of the incremental growth for the company in 2017.

“Celcom aims to become a service provider that is easy to engage with and one that offers a personalised customer experience,” he concluded.

Kugan is the co-founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy

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