Ethio Telecom has conducted vast reform activities in the last four years with remarkable achievements in multiple arena. As part of the reform initiative, the management took the initiative to develop and execute a three- year BRIDGE strategy from July 2019 to June 2022. As 2014 EFY is the final year of the strategic period, the company has now developed a new three-year Growth strategy called LEAD Strategy.
Among the many initiatives following the institutional reform, BRIDGE strategy was designed to meet the market dynamism, reshaping and leading the company with a competitive mindset with the ultimate aim of making the company a Preferred Operator. Accordingly, it achieved many outstanding results in multiple fronts.
Through the reform and during the entire strategy period of BRIDGE, the company achieved 75.6% growth in customer base, 76% growth in revenue, a 104% growth in foreign exchange, 142% growth in net profit, and 125% growth in number of smart phones.
During the strategy period, the company has been working on affordability, offering discounted products & services with up to 86% tariff reduction. It has done network optimization works to enhance customer experience and satisfaction, offering a total of 306 local and international products and services: 140 new and 166 revamped ones.
To sustain the remarkable results achieved, broaden horizons and scope of engagement, our company got its establishment regulation amended by the Council of Ministers, which in turn enabled it to have its capital raised to 400 billion birr and allowed it to participate in the mobile finance and related digital financial services including the right to engage in both domestic and international equity investment.
In addition, more than 200 projects on infrastructure and system capacity expansions and enhancements have been carried out during the strategy period to increase network coverage capacity, diversify business and enhance customer experience out of which projects like expansion of 4G/LTE and LTE Advanced services, Modular Data Center, smart poles, Next Generation Business support system, Mobile Money service and 5G network services have been completed.
Apart from its participation in national activities, Ethio telecom has had its share of contribution in the country’s economy paying 86.6 billion birr in taxes and 11.5 billion birr in dividends in the last four years. In addition, it made payments of 34.3 billion birr (1.1 billion USD) for loans for projects carried out by the vendor financing modality to maintain its credibility and good business relationship with its partners.
During the strategic period, our company was able to issue its financial report for the first time in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS), and the entire financial report from 2018 to 2021 was examined by external auditors and passed the auditor’s opinion as unqualified.
In addition to the telecom services it provides to our customers, our company has participated extensively in national issues that are beneficial to our society and fulfilled its social responsibility in an integrated manner spending a total of 2.72 Billion birr in Corporate Social Responsibility activities in the last four years. Main areas of contribution were: education, health, environmental protection, green development and beautification throughout our country and our employees have done a very encouraging and exemplary act by providing financial and material support of 44.7 million birr to the economically challenged society as well as by donating blood and providing goodwill services.
In general, the reform and the strategy achieved their intended purpose by building institutional capacity, strengthening the working system, playing an enabling role in the country’s economic development, leaving a positive mark on the lives of organizations as well as individuals, and were concluded successfully.
LEAD Growth Strategy
Our company, with a new beginning and a new perspective, began implementing its newly devised three-years LEAD Growth Strategy starting from July 01, 2022, with a vision of providing services beyond connectivity, enabling inclusive growth by providing digital and financial services and simplifying the daily activities of organizations and individuals.
This strategy is a rolling strategy with deliberate and emergent strategy development approaches to accommodate a changing reality, considering the nature of the business and the ongoing market conditions. To ensure competitiveness and sustainable growth of the company, this strategy has been developed by considering and reviewing relevant government policies, international best practices, and Industry trends. Various important analyses have also been made such as internal and external stakeholders’ interests and expectations (Customers, Employees, Vendors/suppliers and various government organs), past company performances, internal strengths, organizational resources and capacities, and weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the outer environment and the market dynamics. After these multi-faceted observations and analysis of environmental conditions, a total of 20 strategic issues were identified and six strategic thematic areas were formulated.
In this strategy, the company’s vision, mission and values which were in use for the past 10 years are changed in a way that allows it to have a winning and leading position in the competitive market considering its current institutional capacity, the market and industry conditions, and are presented as follows:
Our company aims to realize the defined strategic thematic areas: Supreme Customer Experience, Sustainable Business Growth, Excellence in Technology & Solutions, Operational Excellence, Leading Brand and People-centric High performing company by properly managing its human resources, knowledge and resources and strives to be a leading company preferred by its customers, partners and stakeholders.
The strategy is designed to satisfy the ever-changing customer demand, digital inclusion to create better digital economy, financial inclusion, enhance productivity, shift the revenue from traditional revenue streams to value added and content driven services by introducing new business streams and solutions.
In the competitive market, we shall work towards satisfying our customers who are the basis to our company’s existence by providing various service options that will increase their loyalty, improving our services accessibility, facilitating digital channels, improving post-sales services to enable them to have better experience, and implement network expansion programs that increase the quality of service and network density.
To boost customer’s satisfaction and ensure customer loyalty, we are working on creating easy customer journey by simplifying offers, availing multiple products and services, empowering our customers, enhancing after sales services and enhancing loyalty programs. In addition, we are working on improving our services accessibility, facilitating digital channels, engaging more partners, offering subsidized and installment based handsets and availing credit services etc.
The strategy will also continue to focus on the most important company asset – employees, to equip them with relevant knowledge and develop high performance culture, with skill that will enable them to grasp and catch up with the telecom industry dynamism, to exploit opportunities arising from development of the industry and cope with the challenges.
Telecom business needs collaboration and concerted efforts of all players in the ecosystem, to this end, the strategy will be discussed with partners including vendors and distributors, content providers and other stakeholders. This will further enhance strategy execution, shortening of TTM, meet customer demands by adopting new solutions and insights.
Potential challenges during the strategy period are: service outages related to security, lack of supply of foreign currency, market competition, market instability and inflation, global supply challenges, infrastructure damage, telecom fraud and cyber-attacks, regulatory issues, etc. Various solutions and programs are designed and being implemented with a separate work unit assigned to solve the threats and challenges identified by the strategy.
In the 2015 fiscal year, our company plans to make multifaceted efforts to provide quality services that increase customer satisfaction and improve experience, especially through network and system capacity enhancement and improvement projects to secure the company’s market share, as well as new technologies to provide services. Data traffic growth based expansions of 3G and 4G/LTE Advanced services, network capacity and coverage enhancement activities, 5G pre-commercial expansion, backhaul and transport network capacity enhancement activities, Fixed broadband capacity enhancement, enterprise, solutions, mobile money and digital financial services, cloud services, Operations support system and Corporate Solutions projects as well as security solutions and technologies to provide new services and various civil construction projects are planned to be implemented.
In this fiscal year, we plan to increase our subscriber base by 10.3% to reach 73.5 million and increase our mobile voice customers by 10.5% to reach 71 million and increase the number of fixed broadband customers by 37.4% to reach 696.7 K and increase tele density by 68%.
We aim to generate 75.05 billion birr, a 22.4% increment, by engaging in new business streams and shifting revenue source from traditional to value-added services, offering local and international products & services to the market, increasing telebirr’s access, service types and partners, improving service delivery and by increasing customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty.
It has been two months since our company started implementing its newly devised LEAD strategy, and in the first two months it already has achieved 98% of its target. To keep satisfying our customers and increase their loyalty, we have released different products and services enclosed here with.
Finally, we would like to extend our most sincere gratitude to our management and employees, customers, business and media partners, vendors and stakeholders for their continual support and contribution in our journey.Excerpt from a Press Release by Ethio Telecom