Zain: A Leading Emerging Markets Player in the Field of Telecommunications

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Executive Abstract:

Introduction:

Zain is a leading emerging markets player in the field of telecommunications aiming to become one of the top ten mobile operators in the world by 2011. Zain was established in 1983 in Kuwait as the region’s first mobile operator. Since 2003, it has grown significantly becoming the 4th largest mobile network in the world in terms of geographic presence with a footprint in 22 countries spread across the Middle East and Africa providing mobile voice and data services to over 56.3 million active customers (as at 30 September 2008). Zain Communications (Ghana) Limited entered the Ghanaian market through a 75% acquisition of a national operator Westel, which operated Fixed Lines and Wholesale carrier business. Zain has invested about $ 420m in the Ghanaian market and currently has expanded the original Westel portfolio to mobile telephony and data services on a superior 3.5G network. Zain Ghana currently employs about 310 permanent staff with diverse educational, cultural and professional qualification. The company also employs about 60 contract workers through some recruitment agencies. Zain Ghana, which is one year old in the Ghanaian market, is a group member of the Kuwaiti Telecom Company formerly called MTC with commercial footprint in about 22 countries in the Middle East and Africa.

As part of its value added services, Zain Ghana has an ultra modern Call Center which primarily deals with customer quires about product and services. The call center also complements the company’s customer service strategy which balances into three imperatives - costs, quality and revenue. Zain Ghana’s customer service strategy goes beyond merely providing good service at low cost, the company puts in place an infrastructure that uses outsourcing and technology in a judicious way. And they ensure the best possible execution by their agents in all interactions with customers by investing time and money in coaching and in performance-management systems.

Environmental Background:

The global telecommunications industry has contributed greatly to economic growth, diffusion of technology, and enhancement of productivity all over the world in the last decade. In spite of the recent downturn in the industry, the technology sector has always been viewed as having vast potential. Global telecommunications trends point to a shift toward open access, leading to a healthy competitive environment. As the third largest economy in Asia and the eleventh largest in the world, South Korea is one of the foremost investment destinations of businesses around the world. It is home to some leading corporations including LG and Samsung and relies significantly on technology for economic growth. Country industry Forecast service for the South Korean telecommunications industry uses a macroeconomic perspective to provide a focused analysis of the industry. This service covers an array of issues pertinent to the telecommunications services sector ranging from political issues, trade policies, and industry regulations to their overall impact on the industry. Besides enabling decision makers to assess the impact of non-market forces, this analysis also helps in identifying new opportunities. In addition, it provides a strong base for preparing contingency plans

Environmental background:

The general environment in which Zain operates is composed of several dimensions in broader society that influence the mobile telephony industry, zain, and its competitors. These environmental segments are economic, demographic, political/legal, technological, sociocultural, and global. Our analysis chose to focus on the segments with the greatest impact on the mobile telephony industry, including demographic, political/legal, and technological segments.

Demographic - Opportunity
The mobile phone market was one of the fastest-moving segments in the telecommunications industry in early 2000, beating all forecasts for...
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