July 30, 2009

Warid Looks Equity Partners to Streamline Business

The private mobile phone operator Warid Telecom Wednesday said the company will welcome equity partners from across the globe to sell its stake to streamline its telecom business in Bangladesh, a top official said. But the company, which is the lone mobile phone operator that entered the telecom business here after buying its license, has refused to sell its major stake anyway.

"We are open to inject funds or take equity partners, who will own minor shares," Warid Telecom's Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Marius M Voinea told a group of journalists in his office Wednesday. He said the company in no way would sell its entire or major stake.

"We are not going to be eaten up by others. We are here to operate transparently for many years to come in Bangladesh under
the brand name Warid," said Mr Marius, whose company initiated operations in the country a couple of years ago in May, 2007.

The top Warid Telcom official said his company would initiate a new journey with a changed logo and a simplified brand from August 5 next to provide better services than before to earn customer satisfaction. "There will be no more Zem or Zahi packages. Only one brand - Warid - will be on offer. We are going to bring something new in the country's telecom business next week," said the Warid CCO.

The company seemed confident about repositioning itself in the market with the launch of its new journey. "There will be diverse approaches. We are going to be a customer-centric telecom company," said Mr Marius. The Waird products are being designed to address needs of all segments of people, he said.

The company, which was struggling in the initial years of its business, is now performing better due to its growing concentration on clients' needs. "Our monthly sales are increasing. We are now in the second place among the six operational mobile phone companies as far as monthly sales are concerned," the Warid Telecom official said.

In the last April-June quarter Warid's revenue increased by 25 per cent, he said.

"Our target is to be a profitable mobile phone operator in Bangladesh in the next five years," said the Warid CCO.

To achieve this target the company is looking to grab at least 15 per cent of the total market share over that period.

As of June 2009, Warid Telecom captured a market share of 5.50 per cent with a clientele of 2.58 million.


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