1.1 Origin of the Report
This report is the accomplishment of the class assignment program as required for the completion of the PGDBA TERM 2 course at College of Technology London.Project for the program was assigned by the institutions course teacher Carole Still
1.2 Objective of the Report
Objective of this report is to give a general idea about the organization, business and operations of Banglalink, a mobile telecommunication company and to explore information about the market position, Marketing strategy and measures to improve the product and services of Banglalink.
1.3 Company Overview in Brief
Banglalink was formed in 2005 by the Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) under the registered name “Banglalink”. Before that it was called Sheba Telecom Ltd. In February 10, 2005 the company changed its name to Banglalink, as a part of global think process. In Bangladesh Banglalink is a very fast growing telecommunication company. The major products and services of the company are listed below:
- General prepaid
- Ladis first prepaid
- Misti Kamala
- Upper Class
- SME and SOHO Package
- Corporate post paid package.
The company has customer care center in Dhaka and Chittagong. The corporate Head Office is located at 28, Gulshan, Land View Tower, Gulshan Circle-2, Dhaka.
Banglalink is a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) which is a leading mobile telecommunications company operating in nine emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Established in 1998, the company has acquired nine operating licenses in this region. With nearly 520 million people and an average mobile telephony penetration of only 5% falling under these licenses, Orascom Telecom has positioned itself as a leading telecommunications conglomerate in the emerging markets of this region. The organization has managed to build an amazing subscriber base of around 15 million in just a short span of six years by the end of 2005.
Both primary and secondary sources of information were used for this report. For the organization part secondary sources were the major source, whereas for the project part primary sources of data had used.
Primary data were collected through personal interviews to target groups, which include Banglalink employees, distributors and customers. Open ended, close ended, structured questionnaire were used for collecting information at different stages of the report for different groups. For example, interviews with employees for organization part included open‑ended nonstructural questions, but for project part close‑ended structured questions were the majority. However, most of the questions were direct and non‑disguised in nature.
Stratified random sampling method was used in the survey. Sample size was 75. Data analysis techniques used for the project part included graphical presentations, frequency distributions, percentage ranking, cross tabulations and normal distributions. Data was analyzed by MS Excel.
1.5 General Limitations
Efforts have been made to accomplish the project according to the objectives. But as the research team consisted of only one member, therefore, it was difficult to cover areas in detail. Moreover, there was constraint of other resources also.
The type of study required a detail interview of customers and retailers. Difficulty was faced in getting access to this different group of people.
This type of work requires extensive fieldwork. Due to lack of adequate manpower it was very difficult to work with large sample. Efforts have been made to accomplish the project in accordance with its objectives. But as the research team it consisted of only one member, therefore, there were difficulties to cover more details.
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1.6 Report Preview
The report is divided into two different parts. First part of the report is the organization part, which will give a general picture of the organization Banglalink as a whole, including the businesses it does. The other part is the project part, is assigned by the organization to fulfill the requirement of the internship as well as the need of the company. The topic is “Analysis of Marketing Strategy, Market Share and Future Action Plan of Banglalink”. In this regard, four packages namely; Ladis First, Misti Kamala, Upper Class and SOHO-SME were considered.
VIEW OF BANGLALINK
2.1 General Information
The company aims to make a difference in the lives of the people. Its vision is to “understand people’s needs best and will create and deliver appropriate communication services to improve people’s life and make it easier”. Their mission is, therefore, to reduce the total cost of ownership of buying and using a mobile phone. Moreover, to achieve this vision, the company has established some values that it tries to instill in its employees. They want their employees, and the company as a result, to be straight forward, reliable, innovative and, above all, passionate.
As Sheba Telecom, the worst performing network operator in the industry, the company had only 30,000 subscribers. To dispel this image, OTH had re-branded Sheba as Banglalink™ in an attempt to give it a completely new image. Finally, they have successfully achieved their goal.
With that kind of a reputation at its disposition, the Banglalink™ management has placed one of the highest priorities on improving its network. In this respect, they have installed state-of-the-art equipment from Siemens and Huawei and brought in over 1,000 people, including experts, from 15 countries around the world to set up the required infrastructure. The system took a record of four months (less than half the normal time) to build. In 2005 alone, Orascom plans to invest $120 million, earmarking close to another $300 million for future investments.
“Banglalink understands people’s needs best and will create and deliver appropriate communication services to improve people’s life and make it easier”
They have the following four underlying organizational values.
- Straight Forward
The Marketing team also consists of several teams, which includes PR & Communications, VAS, Loyalty & Retention and International Roaming. The teams all report to Omer Rashid, the Marketing Director.
The Loyalty & Retention team is responsible for the designing of the special offers launched from time to time in an attempt either to increase customer base or to increase ARPU. The VAS division is responsible for the continuously adding valuable services to provide a complete solution to existing customers, for example, for making conference calling & ring tone/logo downloads possible. These two teams together are in charge of making the customers experience with our network more satisfying.
PR & Communication is responsible for designing and developing all promotional materials for the marketing of any new product/package and any other activities. They coordinate and work directly with the advertising agency and other vendors. While other companies have an entire department for promotions and branding, at Banglalink™ this division, consisting of only a handful of people is responsible for this task.
Although Banglalink™ does not have any International Roaming facility now, this team is working on developing the service soon for post-paid subscribers.
Aside from recruiting and training employees, the HR department is also responsible for disseminating internal communication to all users and in the process of developing compensation packages for its employees, such as medical insurance under the group plan, life insurance and running several activities such as the Vaccination Program for all.
Training activities are continuously taking place to develop and hone the skills & knowledge of the personnel, such as the English Language & MS Project Courses for selected employees and conducting a GSM Orientation session for all employees, especially the Sales, Marketing & Customer Care Departments who have to deal with customers.
Rumana Reza, the only female director in the organization, is the head of the Customer Care department. This too is segmented, consisting of the Customer Care division itself, and then there is Care Line, Credit Management Unit and the Support Services Unit. They are responsible for handling customer queries and providing solutions to any problems faced by the subscribers.
While the above departments are all located in the headquarters in Gulshan 2, the Customer Care people are divided between the head office and the Call Center (Star Tower) between Gulshan-1 and Gulshan-2.
2.4.4T & Billing
The IT & Billing department, as is evident from the name, is in charge of all the hardware, software and program requirement of the other departments. They also generate the bills for the company subscribers (post-paid).
Apart from the Administration division, the department also consists of the Legal division and the Project Management Office.
The finance department is the largest department at the head office with an entire floor devoted to their needs. They consist of the Procurement & Cash Management divisions among many others.
2.5 Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats (SWOT) Analysis
Huge capital investment:
As mentioned earlier, Orascom Telecom has great plans for Banglalink™. Wherever OTH has gone, it has become the industry leader there or is on its way there. A possible explanation is that the organization kicks of its companies with a huge capital outlay to help get rid of or solve all the hitches.
In 2005 alone, Orascom will invest $180 million, earmarking close to another $300 million for future investments.
As mentioned earlier, OTH had over 1000 people, including 15 experts, working on the infrastructure to get the company started in a record four months. These experts, with several years of experience in the telecom industry, now help in the day-to-day operation of the business.
Tight control over sales process:
Many people in the industry do not know the sales process, since its is dealt by their distributors and dealers. However, with the Direct Sales Booth, the people involved know the sales process intimately and are responsible for achieving the sales target and project implementation, thus giving the company a strong control over the process.
The greatest weakness of Banglalink™ and also the most widely criticized service is its network. While the reception is quite clear when the user is out of doors, once inside, the reception breaks up.
The worst part is the company has entered a market where the industry leader has been reigning supreme for years now and people are bound to compare the leader’s services with Banglalink’s performance, even if it is fairly new to the market. People tend to forget that it had taken the leader more than three years since its start to provide its subscribers with a decent connection; hence it is with Grameen’s present performance that Banglalink™ is compared and sure enough the latter does not fare well.
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OTH bought off Sheba (Pvt.) Limited last September and immediately started changing the structure of the loosing concern. They are constantly recruiting people, adding/deleting levels to the organogram. Thus, the environment is constantly chaotic, with many people not knowing who to contact or whom to report to and who is responsible for what. This takes away time and energy away from the selling activities.
Inadequate human resources:
While many people drop off their CVs at the office on a regular basis, finding sufficient numbers of people, with the correct qualifications, has become hard to find. Hence, a handful of people are doing the work of many leading to back log of work.
The new management is trying to create a system where each individual is responsible and accountable for his duties. While it is a good idea, it has also created a bottleneck at the administrative & financial level, where work gets stuck and stays stuck until all papers are properly signed and taken care of.
As mentioned earlier, the company created a strong buzz when it entered the market. Previously an unknown entity, many people now know of the existence of Orascom Telecom. They have done their studies and know that OTH stands for success. Thus, the people are ready to see Banglalink™ as a total different entity from its predecessor and are willing to give it another chance to re-invent its image in the market; not an issue to be taken lightly by the company.
While in the true sense it had been Banglalink™ who started this price war with its M2M package, it has created a series of price cuts that many cannot afford. After eight years of high call charges, Grameen has finally decreased its rates.
BTTB has also entered this battle with Teletalk Bangladesh Limited. With free T&T incoming and outgoing, this is sure to become popular once it gains access to other operators’ networks.
3.0 INTRODUCTION OF PROJECT
3.1 Background of the Study
Bangladesh has one of the lowest tele-density and the lowest telephone penetration rates in the world and even in the South Asia. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) report, the telecommunication revenue as a percentage of the GDP is also low in Bangladesh compared to the other regional countries. Among the SAARC countries per 100 inhabitants Maldives has the highest tele-density while Bangladesh has the lowest.
There are five telephone operators in Bangladesh at the moment. Among them one is Government owned telephone operator: Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) and the other four are privately owned companies namely Grameen Phone Ltd. Telecom Malaysia International Bangladesh (TMIB) Sheba Telecom Ltd and Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Ltd. (PBTL).
Banglalink is a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) which is a leading mobile telecommunications company operating in nine emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Established in 1998, the company has acquired nine operating licenses in this region. With nearly 520 million people and an average mobile telephony penetration of only 5% falling under these licenses, Orascom Telecom has positioned itself as a leading telecommunications conglomerate in the emerging markets of this region. The organization has managed to build an amazing subscriber base of around 15 million in just a short span of six years by the end of 2004.
The present situation of market share, marketing strategy and action plan of Banglalink is the basis of this study.
3.2 Problem Statement
The problem statement of the research is, “analysis of marketing strategy, market share, future prospect and action plan of banglalink”
3.3 Scope of the Study
The research is limited within the some selected product of Banglalink and it is confined in Dhaka city only. There are number of product of existing telecom operators having varied features. This study covered some fast moving products namely; Ladies first, Misti Kamala, Upper Class and SOHO-SME packages of Banglalink.
3.4 Limitations of the Study
The area of the research was too scattered to reach conveniently for gathering information within the specified time of the internship. However efforts were made to limit the area of observation through sampling method and experience judgment. Target populations of the research were not enough knowledgeable to understand and explain the required information needed from them.
The studies were carried out on four products namely ladies fast, upper class, orange sweated and i’pack. The researcher scope was not enough to amalgamate the whole strategy including all products.
3.5 Exploratory Research
To formulate research objectives an extensive measure to unearth the real situation was under taken in the form of exploratory research. The secondary data analysis and the pilot survey i.e. the interviews with the company people, dealers, retailers and customers were the major types of exploratory research that were followed to reach the research objectives. This research is based on qualitative method. After formulating the problem statement, a detailed background study was conducted. This background survey helped to determine the specific objectives.
Keeping the problem statement in view and the preliminary research being an unstructured one, a number of questions in the form of checklist had been formulated. This checklist had been the main tool for asking relevant questions to the primary data sources to formulate the operational definition of the problem statement and precisely find out the area of study.
Perception of customers about different operators of Bangladesh and the selected products of Banglalink were found from the checklist.
3.5.2 Exploratory Research Findings
From of exploratory research the following points were discovered:
- Banglalink made a huge splash in the Bangladesh mobile industry on February 12, 2005.
- Banglalink made the mobile service affordable to the general people at a cost of only Tk 3400, which is the lowest in the market.
- About 12% of the market share is occcupied by the Banglalink.
- Presently, Banglalink is selling SIM at a price of Tk. 132 only, which is the lowest in the industry.
- The Banglalink connections also allow subscribers 125% credit limit where all other counterparts allow only 100%. It means that a client can talk upto 125% of his deposit in case of postpaid connection.
- 55% of the customers expressed that strength of network is the prime factor for choosing a particualr mobile operators among the existing competitors.
- About 78% of present customer were satisfied with the service of Banglalink. Higherst stisfaction rate found among the GP subscribers.
- More than 30% of the total customers willing to switch Banglalink from other mobile operators.
- About 10% of the customers expressed that there is an assoiation between higher sales and lower call charge of Banglalink.
3.3 Research Objectives
After considering all the relevant aspects research objectives are formulated as under:
Broad objective of the present study is to have an idea about the marketing strategy of mobile telecommunication industry of Bangladesh to survive in the competitive world, especially in the case of Banglalink.
Specific objectives of the study are as follows:
- To explore the market share and position of Banglalink in the mobile industry of Bangladesh.
- To explore the business level marketing strategy of Banglalink.
- To assess the perception of customers toward the product of services of Banglalink.
- To explore the strength and weakness of Banglalink in comparison of other mobile operators.
- To explore the growth potentiality of Banglalink
- To explore the future action plan of Banglalink to be the market leader in the telecommunication industry.
3.7 Literature Review
Review of related literature in any research is a necessity in the sense that it provides an opportunity for reviewing the stock of knowledge and information to the proposed research. These knowledge and information give a guideline in designing the future research problem and validating the new findings. With this end in view, literature and research works in line with the present study, were searched in the relevant libraries, research institutes, offices and websites (internet).
attractive packages to the customers. A significant change has been taken place in the mobile telecommunication sector after launching the Banglalink in the industry. At this moment, all operators are trying to keep their products at the top position. Present study will help to identify the strategic competitiveness and pitfalls of Banglalink and to find out the new horizon to be the market leader in the industry.
4.0 RECOMMENDATIONS AND PROPOSALS
It was found that few operators in the market are trying to meet the growing demand of the city dwellers need for communication. For the high demand of the mobile phone there are many unmeet demand are waiting to acquire. Banglalink has to run to meet those demand of customers by providing the product and services at a affordable and minimal price.
People are gradually becoming informed about the value of information and understand the fact that timely access to the right information slants the balance of market information in their favor.
Governments of developing countries in general and Bangladesh in particular, have to address this issue of increased basic telecommunication connectivity to keep its population in the fast track of economy.
Finally researcher has suggested (Proposed) few points to make telecommunication industry healthy:
- It is better to Promote competition and investment by private firms.
- The company has to ensure access to advanced services in rural and high-cost areas.
- It has to ensure access to advanced services for schools and libraries also.
- Provide and promote education of what telecommunications and information services can do and how to use them.
Banglalink has a threat of price war from its competitors. In fact, mobile telecommunication industry has tremendous competition. All operators are coming up with different attractive products and services. So, it has to consider the following point to be a market leader in future:
- Strengthening the network system.
- Expand the coverage as soon as possible.
- Launch less product rather than multiple products at tie.
- Add value to particular product.
- Reduce the call charge.
- Tariff should be user-friendly and comprehensive.
- Billing system should be improved.
- Improve the standard of advertisement.
- Advertisement should be more appealing.
- Spend money wisely to minimize the cost which leads to maximize the profit.
With respect to the identification of the market position of Banglalink from the above study it can conclude that Banglalink possesses about 12% of the market share in the telecommunication industry.
It was found from the study that 37% GP subscribers want to change because of call charge, 24% GP subscribers want to change for T&T connection, 13% GP subscribers want to change for product features. 37% Aktel subscribers’ reason to change is network coverage, 26% respondents change for call charge, 21% respondents change for product features and rest respondents changes for T&T, billing system etc. A large number of CityCell subscribers like 61% subscribers want to change for network coverage, 22% CityCell subscribers change for call charge, rest for other reasons. 71% Banglalink subscribers’ reason to change is network coverage, 8% Banglalink subscribers’ change for call charges
- Malhotra, Naresh K. Marketing Reseach, 5th Edition, Prentice-hall of India Private Limited, New Delhi, 2000
- Kotler PhilipChase, Marketing Management, Millennium Edition, Prentice-hall of India Private Limited, New Delhi, 2000
- Lesikar, Ramond V. Flatley, Marie E. Basic Business Communication: Skills for Empowering the Internet Generation, 10th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2006-2007.
- Fred R. David. “Strategic Management”, 10th Edition, Prentice Hall of India (PHI)
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