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Solutions to compete in global market

Etisalat is a leading communications service provider based in UAE which has of late been trying to grow globally by entering emerging markets. This document briefly reports some of the strategies which Etisalat has implemented in various countries and also gives an idea of its current business services and products along with a brief description of its supply chain model. The report attempts to highlight the current position of the company in becoming a world leader and provides recommendations which could be of use for the company in improving its strategies as well to be more successful worldwide.

Table of Contents

Strategy 3

Business and Consumer Solutions 5

Supply Chain Model 6

Conclusion and Recommendations 7

Strategy:

In order to lead the market in communications, Etisalat has come a long way in developing various strategies and implementing them across the countries which it operates. It has its presence currently in 18 countries across the world and is aiming to become a world leader in communications by rapidly making its presence felt globally. The company implements strategies according to the needs of the region which are ultimately in- line with its global strategy of focusing on customers, innovative practices and market leadership. The company based in UAE observed that the telecom sector in that region was at the brink of saturation and it understood the need for expansion into emerging markets. Apart from trying to improve its revenues in UAE, the company saw opportunities in foreign markets as well. It has taken up some excellent strategies which would enable the company in becoming a world leader in the telecom market.

For example, way back in 2006, as part of developing its presence in Asia apart from UAE, Etisalat took over Pakistan’s biggest telecom company, PTCL by paying $2.6 billion in order to attain a 26% stake. This gave the company a break into the Pakistani communication market as the government owned PTCL was the sole operator in control of Pakistan’s land lines besides cellular and internet services as well. The strategy was a huge plus for Etisalat as it clearly was way above any competition in Pakistan by having PTCL as one of its trump cards. It also was the first to multinational to appear in Pakistan’s telecom market and this gave it an advantage in terms of its positioning there.

The company has consequently worked its way into various other emerging markets like Nigeria where it is currently having five million subscribers. It has also tried to capture other markets like Sri Lanka, Jordan, Sudan, Egypt, India and many others using its strength of resources at hand. While some of them have been successful others had to be even pulled out. A similar thing which can be tracked in most of these investments is that the countries have not had communication networks apart from the state/ government owned telecom networks. This proved to be helpful as Etisalat was one of the few private operators to launch in the countries. Thus slowly it grew across the world mostly in emerging economies and also by providing other services in the developed world in order to increase its revenue from existing customers apart from expansion.

Recently, it has taken up a major step in laying a fiber optic submarine cable all the way from India to Europe by collaborating with major global telecom players like Bharti Airtel (India), Etisalat (United Arab Emirates), France Telecom-Orange (France), OGERO (Lebanon), PTCL (Pakistan), Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Saudi Arabia, Telecom Egypt (Egypt), Telecom Italia Sparkle (Italy), and Tata Communications (India). The thirteen thousand kilometer 3-pair IMEWE (India-Middle East-Western Europe), has design capacity of 3.84 Terabits /sec, and connects India to Italy ,France via Middle East, with landings enroute in Pakistan, UAE, Saudi Arabia , Egypt and Lebanon. This is expected to take care of substantial growth in capacity requirements owing to increase in broadband demand in the region.

All these strategies which Etisalat has taken in different nations have helped it come a long way from being the telecommunications service provider in UAE to being a global telecom service provider. Besides the company has also moved into other services part from telecommunication with the growing presence of internet and other current communication technologies.

Business and Consumer Solutions:

Etisalat provides a wide range of services in communication including fixed-line, mobile, internet services. In fact, the company is one of the Internet hubs in the Middle East and provides connectivity to other operators besides being the largest carrier of international voice traffic in Middle East (even apart from UAE) and Africa (includes countries like Egypt, Nigeria etc.) . As of October 2008, it has five hundred and ten roaming agreements across one hundred and eighty six nations and enables BlackBerry (smart phones), 3G (third gen wireless technology in mobile communications), GPRS and voice roaming. It also operates Points of Presence (P o P) in some of the richest and busiest cities of the world like New York (USA), London (UK), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Frankfurt (Germany), Paris (Italy) and Singapore.

The company has launched varied new services catering to businesses, consumers and other telecom operators as well. The following provide an idea of the variety of services which Etisalat offers.

The All-in-One service for example provides coverage and value to its customers/subscribers by combining Etisalat's three most widely admired services - fixed-line Broadband Internet, Cable TV and Landline services – all three delivered via a single access network.

The company also provides a load of solutions for businesses and enterprises. The Xpress Connect service a new IP- based service offers (Multiprotocol Label Switching) MPLS Layer-2 connectivity. This gives customers a private and secure network which also ensures flexible connectivity with Ethernet access speed of up to 1 GB between local offices and worldwide as well.

Etisalat also announced its strategy for the retail of mobile devices and terminals across 17 countries in Africa (Egypt, Nigeria etc.), Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka) and the Middle East (Jordan, Sudan etc.).

E-Marine PJSC, the company which offers submarine cable installation, maintenance and repairs in the Middle East and is a subsidiary of Etisalat Services has a product which is capable of undertaking all aspects of cable maintenance, sea bed survey and cable burial work of long duration at water depth up to two thousand five hundred meters.

It also has a new Mobile Yellow pages portal. This allows all mobile customers across the world to access the online yellow pages directory through their GPRS or 3G enabled mobile phones by logging onto the site.

Thus we see that the company has its wings spread across diversified products and business though it has started as a telecom operator in UAE. Making use of emerging technologies in emerging markets and providing businesses and services worldwide Etisalat is working its way up in becoming a world leader in the future.

Supply Chain Model:

Since Etisalat provides a variety of services across the world with the help of its various subsidiaries, the supply chain model beneath such a huge organization would be involving tremendous workforce, technology and other resources. However if we breakdown the entire supply chain we can generate three basic entities at the core of it; suppliers, from whom the ram materials are obtained, in this case it could be varying depending on the product we are dealing with; production/ manufacturing which involves the actual process of adding value to raw materials obtained from suppliers and finally; consumers, who for Etisalat could be individual subscribers/ businesses for which they provide services. As we have seen, Etisalat offers a diverse range of products and the supply chaining for it requires man power at the back end. It can also be noted that customer support also plays an important role in the services which Etisalat offers. In order to gain an edge over its competition Etisalat has always tried to provide solutions at a cheaper cost. This would definitely require a great deal of supply chaining in order to ensure smooth flow especially since it is in a service based sector where delays cannot be accepted. Also it works through its subsidiaries in cases where it has to lay submarine cables and for their maintenance. Thus the company takes care that the global supply chain runs smooth. It can also be noted that while the organization is the leader in UAE, it needs to still grow in other areas of the world. Thus it makes use of its resources at hand in order to account for diversification and brings out the best all across globally. The company has always been making use of the emerging technology trends in improving its performance of products. When it comes to customers, the company has customers all across the world. It has been observed that while it is undoubtedly the leader in UAE, the company has also been successfully able to tap some of the emerging markets in Asia, Middle East and Africa. The company has identified solutions for customers according to the region and has also been customer focused which has always been part of the organization’s global strategy.

Conclusion/Recommendations:

From the strategies which Etisalat has adopted and implemented them through various businesses and services as well as products across the world, it can be said that the company is marching in the right direction towards making its presence felt across the globe. However it has to also look into penetrating into markets to a greater extent and retain business and customers in all the areas without which it could be at loss in the future. Also, the company has invested mostly in developing/ emerging economies. These economies mostly are still unpredictable and it could change the fate of the company if it does not analyze the business environment time to time as they are dynamic in nature. The company’s efforts in developing its market in developed cities is also a very interesting step and might help in improving its revenues until the markets become saturated. However as of now Etisalat seems to be doing well considering the day by day increase in use of mobile communication networks and internet access in emerging economies. The company must however keep up with the technologies and always try to implement as soon as it can while evaluating the business benefits of them in order to have an edge over its competition since competition is very fierce for example in countries like India. It can set up collaborations in providing communication network as well in order to penetrate more into the markets. Hence though the company has come a long way making use of the advantages it had in being the first telecom operator in UAE and spreading across the world, it needs to work more aggressively and has a lot to do to become a world leader and sustain its position.


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